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Starbucks Fall Haul Made Healthy

Starbucks Fall Haul Made Healthy

It’s back! The Starbucks Fall Menu. And we’d be lying if we said we weren’t thrilled.There’s something to be said for their collection of autumn-inspired beverages and treats (hello, the pumpkin cream cheese muffin) that give you that warm and cozy feeling. They’re kind of like wrapping up into a warm blanket. No one’s new to this. The pumpkin spice latte has fostered a whole movement of sorts–from memes to candles dedicated to the smell. No doubt, this is a coffee enthusiast’s favorite time of year! 

It’s a Fall Flavor Thing

It’s easy to simplify the appeal of fall flavors, but that would be wrong, if you ask us. Starbucks fall flavors are more than a little moment of satisfaction, they’re quite honestly, an experience. From the silky, savory taste of a pumpkin spice–like ribbons of flavor dancing on your tongue to the robust and rustic taste of the baked apple croissant that finishes with flaky goodness to lock in the euphoria felt with each bite, Starbucks does not disappoint. And the beauty of Starbucks is the flavor can shift based on milk choices, which is an experience in itself.  

With each sip or bite, these rich flavors can spark memories or just really put you in the fall spirit. And who doesn’t want that? As the weather turns and the air changes, there’s nothing more delightful than those leaning into those cozy feelings and it goes without saying that the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte–well the Starbucks Fall Menu altogether helps us do just that. 

Navigating Nutritional Choices

The transition from summer to fall is not only a feast for our senses, but also an opportunity to make healthier choices that align with our wellness goals. In this pursuit, the Starbucks Fall Menu tempts us in a real way with its enticing flavors, but we have to remember while indulging in these autumnal delights, it’s crucial to maintain a nutritional balance.

Enter your personal HUM RD, the expert guide in navigating the culinary landscape of seasonal treats. Consider your RD the unsung hero of healthy eating–she’s armed with a wealth of knowledge on the nutritional aspects of the Starbucks Fall Menu and how to make it work to support your wellness goals. Because really, sipping on a pumpkin spice latte as a midday pick-me-up or savoring a slice of pumpkin bread doesn’t have to derail your wellness journey. Instead, RDs can provide invaluable insights on portion control, ingredient choices, and even creative ways to customize your order to keep you on track. 

Partnering with your RD can help you savor the joys of everyone’s favorite beverage menu without compromising your health and well-being. 

Meet the RD

Say hello to Gaby Vaca-Flores, one of our expert RDs here at HUM.  Gaby boasts several years of hands-on experience in the field. Her passion for wellness and beauty have  led her to work with diverse clientele. And Gaby’s extensive knowledge, combined with her empathetic approach, empowers wellness enthusiasts like you to make informed dietary choices. She encourages people to practice mindful eating and think about food as a powerful tool for both inner and outer beauty. 

According to Gaby, “Enjoying the Starbucks Fall Menu won’t compromise your wellness goals unless you are ordering menu items that are high in sugar, saturated fats, or calories on a daily basis. With that in mind, I would enjoy these items in moderation – say, once per week or once every two weeks to help keep my wellness goals (and budget) on track. If Starbucks is a part of your daily routine, I recommend choosing ‘healthier’ options most of the time, like a classic cold brew, egg white bites, etc, and saving your Fall treat for a special day of the week.”

There it is valuable insights and practical tips to help you embark on your journey to better health and still enjoy your absolute favorites. .

Healthy Beverage Options: 

The good news? You can enjoy Stabucks’ seasonal offerings while still prioritizing your wellness journey. Here’s a selection of nutritious beverages from the Starbucks Fall Menu that will help you make mindful choices without sacrificing flavor.

Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew with Almond Milk: This delightful concoction combines the rich flavors of pumpkin with the creaminess of almond milk. With reduced sugar compared to some other fall favorites, it’s a lower-calorie option that delivers a cozy taste of autumn without the guilt.

Pumpkin spiced latte

Iced Apple Crisp Macchiato: Made with unsweetened apple juice and a dash of cinnamon, this refreshing choice boasts reduced sugar content. It’s a great way to quench your thirst while savoring the essence of freshly picked apples.

Maple Pecan Latte with Oat Milk: For those opting for plant-based alternatives, this latte is a winner. The oat milk adds creaminess without the saturated fats of dairy, making it a heart-healthy choice. Plus, the maple syrup provides a natural sweetness, reducing the need for added sugars.

By opting for these beverages, you can still enjoy the cozy vibes of fall and make choices that align with your wellness goals. These reduced-sugar options and those featuring plant-based milk can help you savor the season with fewer calories and less sugar, ensuring you feel good inside and out as you sip your way through autumn.

Balanced Bites:

While it’s tempting to indulge in sweet treats, there are also some delectable, health-conscious snacks to consider. These balanced bites provide a satisfying experience without compromising your wellness goals. And you can always do things like add cinnamon or ask your Barista for a little nutmeg or pumpkin spice to sprinkle in your oatmeal or yogurt! 

Whole-Grain Oatmeal: Starbucks’ fall menu often features wholesome oatmeal options topped with nuts and dried fruits. Loaded with fiber, complex carbohydrates, and essential nutrients, it’s a hearty and guilt-free choice to kickstart your day.

Protein Boxes: These bento-style boxes offer a balanced assortment of goodies like hard-boiled eggs, cheese, whole-grain crackers, and fruits. They’re a convenient and satisfying snack, perfect for keeping your energy levels steady throughout the day.

Fruit and Nut Mix: A simple but effective option, this mix combines dried fruits and nuts, offering a delightful combination of natural sweetness, protein, and healthy fats. It’s a snack that satisfies your cravings and keeps you energized.

fruit and nut mix

Yogurt Parfaits: Featuring layers of yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola, these parfaits are a delightful blend of textures and flavors. They provide protein, calcium, and a dose of antioxidants from the fruit.

These balanced bites prove that you don’t need to compromise your health for flavor. 

The RD’s Take

According to Gaby, balance and moderation are crucial as we move into the fall season because, “Practicing moderation and balance with your food choices in the Fall can help prevent the dreaded urge to “reset” your diet at the start of the new year. It can also help you feel in control of your food intake, allowing you to feel empowered to nourish your body with healthy foods (most of the time) while still enjoying the delicious treats that the Fall season has to offer.”

We asked Gaby about her favorite Starbucks Fall Menu options and she said, “Call me basic, but Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes are my favorite. To make them healthier, I skip the whip cream and I ask for one pump of the pumpkin syrup. Because this drink feels more like a treat than a daily beverage, I typically opt for a Tall size rather than the calorie-dense Grande or Venti options.”

Customer Favorites and Their Nutritional Benefits 

As we’ve said, Starbucks enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the return of their favorite fall menu items. Among these, two standout options have captured hearts and taste buds alike.

Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL): The now iconic Pumpkin Spice Latte is a beloved autumn classic for a reason. It’s an unapologetically rich blend of espresso, steamed milk and a welcomed  infusion of pumpkin spice syrup delivers a cozy, comforting warmth. While it, no doubt, embodies the essence of fall, it’s worth noting that Starbucks offers various ways to customize this hero beverage, including a lighter version with reduced sugar and non-dairy milk. This adaptability allows PSL lovers to enjoy their cherished beverage while without derailing their nutritional goals.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin: The Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin has garnered a dedicated fan base thanks to its delightful combination of moist pumpkin cake (yum) and a creamy center. And while this treat is indulgent, it can be savored mindfully. Yes, you read that right.  Its nutritional value is heightened by the inclusion of real pumpkin and the balance of sweet and tangy flavors. Pair it with a simple brewed coffee or tea makes for a satisfying treat that celebrates the flavors of the season. 

In The End…

It’s no secret that enjoying the flavors of the season doesn’t have to be a full departure from our wellness journey. The key takeaways are clear: you can relish the delightful tastes of autumn while making health-conscious choices. Read that again. You can do it–and not feel bad. 

From reduced-sugar beverages to plant-based milk options, Starbucks provides a range of selections that cater to all types of nutritional needs. Pair your favorite seasonal beverage with a balanced bite, and you have a satisfying, guilt-free combination that celebrates both flavor and health.

It’s important for us to remember that moderation and customization are our allies–really. You can adapt your orders to fit your dietary preferences and goals. So, whether you’re sipping on a Pumpkin Spice Latte or savoring a Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin, you have the power to enjoy these treats while staying mindful of your wellness aspirations.

This fall, let loose and embrace the warmth of apple cinnamon, the comfort of pumpkin, and the joy of all the yummy seasonal flavors, while prioritizing our health. By making mindful choices at Starbucks, we get to savor the essence of autumn without compromising our wellness goals. Here’s to a season filled with both delicious treats and wellness from the inside out!

Check out the Starbucks Fall Menu for yourself and see how you can make the most of it this season [link to menu]