Last year I was so over-my-head in love with pumpkin-flavored coffee that I bought a year's worth of Trader Joe's pumpkin spice blend. This year, though, I'm determined to use pumpkin-flavored items in a healthy way. 

While most of us are obsessed with pumpkin flavors, a lot of the pumpkin things we pick up to eat during this time of year are filled with tons of unhealthy fat and sugar. Because of this, I'm determined to show you five ways you can put a splash of pumpkin in your life without feeling guilty or gaining 15 pounds in the next two months.

1. Pumpkin Facials

If you've ever baked homemade pumpkin pie, you know how magical baked pumpkin smells. With this in mind, I'm sure a pumpkin facial would be a fantastic thing for you to try.

In addition to the great smell, it has been shown that pumpkin is great for your skin and can even brighten and smooth out rough or dry skin. 

2. Pumpkin Soup

butternut squash soup, butternut squash, spoonful of soup, soup, cream, parsley, vegetable, bread, broth, garlic, herb
Julia Gilman

Pumpkin is such a great vegetable to use in a soup because it's slightly sweet but not to the point where it's overwhelming. Put together some pumpkin and other squashes and some mixed veggies and you've got a toasty soup to keep you warm during chilly fall nights.

Another great thing about this soup is it would be incredibly easy to make in a crock pot or right over the stove. Impress your dinner guests with this simple recipe!

3. Pumpkin Granola

Julia Muro

Yes, this one might take a little bit more work, but can you imagine how satisfying it would be to not only make your own granola, but your own pumpkin granola?! 

You'd probably single-handedly put Starbucks out of business, and all of your friends would be over to get just a little taste. Plus, your apartment would smell absolutely amazing for days!

4. Pumpkin Soap

If you don't like the taste of pumpkin but you love the smell, this one is for you! Not only will this soap last you awhile, but it's always really cute and would make great birthday gifts for any of your friends who are obsessed with everything pumpkin- flavored.

5. Pumpkin Oatmeal

rice, oatmeal cereal, granola, muesli, oatmeal, sweet, milk, cereal, porridge
Christin Urso

Who doesn't love a good bowl of oatmeal to wake you up and keep you full throughout the day? Incorporating fresh pumpkin into your oatmeal will not only keep you full because of the bulk from the pumpkin, but it'll also make you feel accomplished for eating a vegetable...or fruit? 

The Final Say

pumpkin, sweet
Jocelyn Hsu

While you could decide to indulge in all things pumpkin and unhealthy (we're looking at you, pumpkin oreos and pumpkin lattes), it's important to remember that there are healthy ways to eat and use pumpkin. 

Of course it is completely fine to want to have some pumpkin-flavored treats, but remember that it's important to get some nutrients along the way as well.

Hopefully this has inspired you to not only carve your pumpkins this year but also eat them. After Halloween passes, a lot of pumpkin patches will sell these bad boys for very little money. Enjoy your pumpkins, and happy fall!