The Skinny On Starbucks' New La Boulange Pastries

The Skinny On Starbucks' New La Boulange Pastries

Admit it, you grab a pastry on the go more than you’d like to admit.  I’m going to raise my hand and admit guilt.  Sometimes you are on the go and it’s the only option between eating something or starving yourself (unless you’ve packed snacks, in which case you win!).  I’ve been seeing signs at my local Starbucks store counting down the days until their new La Boulange line of pastries arrives.  Well, today was that day.  I walked in this morning to a lovely new glorious display of pastries… all calling to me from behind the glass.  Starbucks stores are all over the city, and constantly have lines to the door for people getting their caffeine and snack fix.  Chances are, these pastries are going to speak to you as well, so I want to equip you with information that will help you make the best decision possible when selecting something from that beckoning display.

THE CAKES

BEST CHOICE – Reduced-Fat Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf Cake OR Reduced-Fat Berry Coffee Cake with Lemon Crumble

Though I am starting my list with the cakes, I will tell you right off the bat that any cake is really a terrible snack choice for health.  I recommend limiting intake of any cakes like this to once per week at the most.  These cakes came in as the best choice because they have half the fat of the other cakes and clock in at 310 calories, which is the lowest of all cakes.  Also, I dig pumpkin and berries.  “But, Melanie, the Chocolate Molton Cake is also 310 calories!”  Yes, you are correct, however, if you see one of these in person you’ll understand why I didn’t list it as best choice… they are tiny!  If you want to waste 310 calories on something the size of a bite-sized brownie then go for it… but I’d want more bang for my buck (aka calorie intake splurge).

WORST CHOICE – Raspberry Passion Fruit Loaf Cake

While this cake looks divine, it clocks in at 410 calories with 24 grams of fat (1 gram of which is the dreaded transfat, and 14 grams of saturated fat).   My thoughts… not worth it… ever.  If I’m going to spend that many calories and intake that much fat, I surely want it to be a splurge on something much more decadent.

THE COOKIES

BEST CHOICE – Chewy Chocolate Meringue Cookie

At 16o calories with 4.5 grams of fat, this definitely isn’t the most terrible cookie you could eat… just don’t have this every day.  Cookies, like cakes, should be eaten as the occasional treat and not actually be a regular snack or meal.

WORST CHOICE – Almond Cookie

Sounds healthy, right?  Almonds!  Nope… this cookie has the highest calorie content at 230 calories and 14 grams of fat.

THE PASTRIES

BEST CHOICE – Cheese Danish

You’ll spend 310 calories and 16 grams of fat on this… which makes it hard to consider this the lesser of the evils, but there you go.

WORST CHOICE – Blueberry Scone OR Morning Bun

These both clock in at 390 calories and have high contents of sugars and saturated fats.

THE CROISSANTS

BEST CHOICE – Tomato & Cheese Croissant OR Ham & Cheese Croissant

The Tomato & Cheese one is pretty self explanatory, as it has a low calorie count and is also low on the sugar scale.  While the regular ol’ croissant has less calories, it has more sugar and less nutritional value.   Speaking of nutritional value, you may find it strange that I list the ham & cheese one as a best choice since it has 330 calories.  Well, for starters, if you are actually getting a variety of foods, 330 calories isn’t terrible for a meal… it’s the fact that is packs 15 grams of protein that I choose it here.  It will keep you full longer, and gives your body a better nutrient balance than most items in the display.

WORST CHOICE – Chocolate Croissant

Yes, I know these are delicious… but at a cost!  A cost of 340 calories and 17 grams of fat (10 of which are saturated).

 

Overall, the croissants are the fully lesser evils on most accounts from the La Boulange menu… so if you plan on going that route, these are my picks.  If you want something even better for you that you can get at Starbucks, however, you may want to consider one of the warm breakfast wraps or the turkey bacon sandwich.  Other great options include the oatmeal, fresh fruit options, KIND bars, or the Chicken & Hummus Bistro Box. The fact of the matter is, even if you don’t plan ahead by packing your own food, you don’t have to give in to eating sugary sweets to have a meal on the go.  You just need to have the willpower to choose the best options that are available to you.  I do, however, have to hand it to Starbucks for using all natural ingredients in ALL of their food, so you can at least be assured that you aren’t consuming strange chemicals when you eat there.

Do you have a favorite on-the-go food option that’s healthy?  If so, list it below in the comments! 🙂

Comments

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  • I should bookmark this and bring it up every time I am debating. Great post!

  • Addition to the notes above about the chewy chocolate meringue cookie - it's gluten free!

  • In reply to Laura P:

    Thanks for noting that, Laura!

  • I got to Starbucks almost every day for my long breaks. I have tasted most items since the change. I may start bringing in my own pastries. The complete La Boulange overhaul may turn out a example again. The new pastries look sad, definately come from the freezer. They taste worse than the supermarket freezer cousins. I travel to foreign countries often. Starbucks in Seattle needs to borrow food experiences from many of their foreign locations. A few low cal items may be the right move. But a crossant or a cookie without butter taste will not survive.

  • johnson1357 said 2 seconds ago
    I go to Starbucks almost every day for my long breaks. I have tasted most items since the change. I may start bringing in my own pastries. The complete La Boulange overhaul may turn out a New Coke example again. The new pastries look sad, definately come from the freezer. They taste worse than the supermarket freezer cousins. I travel to foreign countries often. Starbucks in Seattle needs to borrow food experiences from many of their foreign locations. A few low cal items may be the right move. But a crossant or a cookie without butter taste will not survive.

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