Plus, each are under 200 calories per serving.
I know that pumpkin spice tends to steal the show this time of year (hello, PSL season!), but there’s a new flavor-du-jour we can’t get enough of. Maple has popped up every season for the last few years, and Time even declared it the only fall flavor capable of being more popular than pumpkin spice last year. Many forms of maple are being harnessed by the food industry for its natural sweetness and autumnal flavor—which is great, considering it could also lead to healthier snack and beverage choices overall.
Like pumpkin spice, maple can be sugary sweet—or surprisingly subtle—when it comes to fall products. I went to check out our local Whole Foods Market to determine how many maple-flavored products I could snag—and which are actually worth my time. I picked up 10 maple-flavored foods throughout the store, and only six of these met our taste and nutritional standards.
I did the legwork for you—grab these festive foods next time you find yourself pining for a fall treat at Whole Foods, and you won’t ever go back to pumpkin-spice everything again.
Looking for easy ways to cook with maple? Try these recipes:
Blackberry Hills Maple Walnut Granola, $5.69
I loved the lightly sweetened granola chunks in Blackberry Hills’ maple-flavored mix. The flavor is reminiscent of maple, coconut, and vanilla, a grand trio—which will only cost you 110 calories and 3 grams sugar per quarter cup. The ingredient list is simple and wholesome with items like whole grain oats, brown rice flour, ground flax, and whole bean garbanzo flour.
Justin’s Maple Almond Butter, $1.49
It's no secret—Cooking Light's nutritionists are big fans of Justin’s natural nut butters, especially at snack time, but this classic almond butter blended with a touch of maple makes for a seasonal win. Toss a single serving pack in your lunch box for just 190 calories and 3 grams of sugar, and pair with an apple or whole grain crackers for an afternoon pick me up.
Brown Cow Whole Milk Yogurt Maple, $1.09
Sometimes sweetened yogurts can be a little overpowering, but Brown Cow’s variety hit all the right notes with maple this fall. The flavoring comes from real sugar and maple syrup, creating an ultra silky and buttery yogurt without feeling overly sweet. A single-serving container contains 150 calories, 19 grams sugar, and 5 grams protein.
Nature’s Path Maple Cinnamon Waffles, $2.50
For waffles you can throw in your toaster, I was incredibly impressed by the use of whole wheat flour along with real maple syrup and cinnamon. The waffles crisped nicely while still maintaining a soft, fluffy interior. Two vegan frozen waffles come through with 180 calories and 6 grams of sugar, so you can add some fresh fruit for a perfect fall feast.
365 Maple and Spice Instant Oatmeal, $3.69
Toss your sugary-sweet instant oatmeal aside and give this microwavable favorite a spin instead. The individual servings of oats are flavored with cane juice solids, maple sugar, and spices for a sweet, warming breakfast. For 150 calories and 13 grams of sugar, you’ll enjoy a super filling, and superfast breakfast.
365 Maple Cookie Thins, $3.99
These were by far my favorite maple-flavored snack available (I can’t get enough of them!). The super crispy biscuits are buttery and sweet, making the perfect pairing for coffee or tea. There's no surprises on the ingredient list, which includes flour, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Oh, and did I mention you can eat nine cookies for just 110 calories and 9 grams sugar? It’s the perfect desk drawer snack this season.