October is finally here and sweeping in just behind is the uptick in all things pumpkin spice flavored and pumpkin related. Although most things that you may find in your local grocery store and coffee shops that include this seasonal fruit likely are overly sweetened with artificial ingredients, but pumpkins shouldn’t be completely dismissed from your diet. Pumpkins contain an abundance of vitamin C minerals, potassium, antioxidants, and fibers that have been shown in clinical studies to reduce blood pressure and promote better heart health. It is also a low-calorie fruit, making it a very easy and versatile weight loss friendly addition to meals. It’s understandable that around this time of year, pumpkin pie related treats are very hard to escape and very tempting to guzzle down. However, there are simple ways to still be able to include the health benefits of delicious pumpkins and their spices into your merry making without sacrificing taste. Most pumpkin pie baked goods are made with sweetened condensed milk, but a simple and healthier substitute is an equal parts of canned coconut milk! This option allows you to add your preferred sweetening ingredient and the quantity. However, it should be noted that if you intend to make a pie with this substitute, your pie will look wet and ‘under cooked’ until it is fully cooled. This option also makes a great ingredient in pumpkin pie smoothies!