Five on Friday: 5 Healthy Pumpkin Grocery Store Finds
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Five On Friday

Five on Friday: 5 Healthy Pumpkin Grocery Store Finds

Happy Halloween! Pumpkin products have been popping up all month. It's estimated that American's consume $300 million worth of pumpkin flavored products during Autumn. Many products don't actually contain any pumpkin, just artificial pumpkin flavorings. Read labels very closely so you purchase products with real pumpkin or pumpkin puree and without a lot of added sugar and fat.  

It would be ideal to make your own pumpkin products from scratch, but with busy schedules that's not always possible. Here are 5 healthy (and delicious!) pumpkin products you can find at your local grocery store and indulge in without guilt.  

Purely Elizabeth Pumpkin Fig Granola

This gluten free granola is made from natural and organic grains, including quinoa and amaranth. It contains an abundance of healthy fats: pumpkin, sunflower and chia seeds and also raw virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil contains medium chain fats that are metabolized more easily into energy in the liver, meaning they are less likely to be stored as fat. The granola contains no artificial sweeteners or flavorings. 
It's not too sweet and tastes great in yogurt or milk or just to snack on plain.
Siggis Pumpkin & Spice Icelandic Style Yogurt

 is the traditional yogurt of Iceland. It's made by incubating skim milk with live active cultures. The whey is then strained away for a much thicker, creamier yogurt. It is on par with Greek yogurt in terms of protein content. This seasonal yogurt is flavored with real pumpkin, cinnamon, vanilla bean extract, nutmeg and just a touch of cane sugar. No artificial sweeteners
.  Skyr is fat free so real cream is added for fat and flavor (and satiety!) It has just the right amount of pumpkin spice taste and not as sweet as other pumpkin yogurts I taste tested. It's a great way to get your pumpkin fix in an afternoon snack. 
Nature's Path Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Waffle

Amaranth and quinoa are the two grains used in this waffle instead of regular flour. They
 are blended with spices and real pumpkin puree for a light sweetness. Top with natural almond butter, 100% pure maple syrup or greek yogurt for a festive and healthy breakfast. 

Ciao Bella Pumpkin Gelato 

Gelato on a dietitian's list?! Ciao Bella is a brand of gelato and sorbet that uses real, natural ingredients. This pumpkin gelato has a hint of cinnamon and cloves and a light pumpkin flavor. It is made with real milk, real cream and organic cane sugar, rather than fake dairy or sugar alternatives. Since it still contains added sugar it's not an every day treat. However, when you do indulge occasionally, it's much better to have a little of the real thing rather than a lot of a diet product that is fat free, sugar free and loaded with artificial flavors and preservatives. 

Ella's Kitchen Apples, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin and Blueberries Kitchen 1 Puree 

Five on Friday: 5 Healthy Trick or Treats
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Five On Friday

Five On Friday: 5 Healthy Trick or Treats

It's definitely fall here in Chicago and children are starting to get excited for Halloween; costumes, carving pumpkins, trick or treating and of course...candy! The average trick or treater consumes ~3 cups of sugar (equivalent to 220 packets of sugar!)
Did you know traditional Halloween treats such as Butter Fingers, Snickers and Tootsie Rolls contain trans fat? And
M & M's and Sweet Tarts are dyed with artificial colors including Red #40 and Blue #1? Were you aware the first ingredient in Twizzlers, Starbursts and Dots is corn syrup? My Five on Friday suggests alternatives to these candies that are still delicious but don't contain refined flour, partially hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors. As you start to shop for your treats, keep my suggestions in mind and take an extra look at the ingredient list and nutrition facts of what you buy and pass out.

And remember, if you send your own children out trick or treating to feed them a well-balanced dinner prior to going out to prevent them from being really hungry and substituting candy for a meal.

Happy Halloween & have fun Trick or Treating!


Yum Earth Organics Gummy Bears: While I would normally recommend fruit and not fruit snacks, most children would cringe if you put an apple in their Trick or Treat bag. These are the next best option. Fruity and flavorful and made with real fruit extracts. They are made with organic fruit juice; no artificial dyes, no high fructose corn syrup and free of common allergens. You can feel good that they provide 100% of daily Vitamin C needs.


Amazon: 50 packages for $21.00

Target: 10 packages for $3.49

Stretch Island Fruit Leather Variety Pack: These are real fruit and fruit purees (not fruit juice) and are sweet and chewy. The Variety Pack contains delicious flavors: autumn apple, abundant apricot, orchard cherry, harvest grape, ripened raspberry, and summer strawberry. They are fruit leather but healthier than normal fruit roll up's that are filled with corn syrup, sugar, partially hydrogenated oil, Red #40, Yellow #5 and #6 and Blue #1.

Amazon: 48 Fruit Leather Strips for $18.43

Angie's Boom Chicka Pop: This popcorn is free of gluten, trans fat, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Made only from simple ingredients both you and the kids will love: just popcorn, sunflower oil and sea salt.

Target: 16 bags for $5.99 24 bags for $13.50

Annie's Halloween Bunny Grahams: While these aren't candy, they are a great snack with fun, kid friendly packaging! Annie's products are made with organic whole grain wheat flour and without partially hydrogenated oils.  The orange and brown coloring are from annatto extract and real cocoa; no artificial flavorings or synthetic colors.

Amazon: 24 packages for $7.84


Justin's Peanut Butter Cup: Combine organic peanut butter with high quality organic chocolate and you have a great peanut butter cup the kids will love. They are sweetened with organic palm fruit oil which is trans fat free.  Justin's brand is GMO free and organic.  You will definitely hope there are leftovers to indulge on! :) 120 Peanut Butter Cups for $77.99