WASHINGTON - The first day of fall is coming soon – but some stores and shops have had pumpkin-flavored treats on the menu for weeks! But are pumpkin-flavored goodies healthy for us?
"If we look at the science behind it, when we have that flavor it kind of transports us back to feeling of warmth and coziness," said Dr. Shilpi Agarwal. "If you add that plus sugar it really triggers addiction in your brain."
Agarwal said the right way to enjoy pumpkin-flavored treats is in moderation just like any other sugary snack.
WAYS TO ENJOY PUMPKIN-FLAVORED TREATS WITH LESS SUGAR
Pumpkin-Flavored Coffee - Use less syrup flavoring and whipped cream in your coffee drink. Instead of two or three pumps try just one to get the flavor you are looking for but with fewer calories. Pumpkin-flavored tea is a healthier alternative
Pumpkin-Flavored Cereal and Granola - May be loaded with sugar! May be best to skip these!
Pumpkin-Flavored Yogurt - High in protein vs. sugar, lower calories and quick to pick up.
Pumpkin-Flavored Cookies and Bars - sugar, sugar, sugar!
Pumpkin-Flavored Beer - It's beer, its seasonal, it has more calories - but go for it.
HOMEMADE PUMPKIN SPICE
-3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
-2 teaspoons ground ginger
-2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
-1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
-1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
Combine ingredients in a bowl. Store in air-tight container.