Starbucks and La Boulange: Picks and Points

Best Choices at Starbucks with Weight Watchers PointsPlus

I’m not usually tempted by full fat baked goods at Starbucks (evil!), but ironically, since they partnered up with San Francisco’s La Boulange—which they now own—the “reduced fat”, artisanal options have brought up some serious cravings in me for pastries!

Do labels like ‘low fat’, ‘whole grain’ or ‘oatmeal’ make you more likely to give in?

I was surprised to find that the “Wheat” Spinach Croissant was higher in fat and calories than the Tomato & Cheese Croissant, after assuming the opposite. (That’s clever marketing for you!)

 

La Boulange Savory Croissants 

I managed to stick with my Skinny Caramel Latte (yay me!) and inhaled a Corazonas Oatmeal Square Mini as I got into my car. (One of my favorite Costco items.) This small victory inspired me to compile this guide—with nutritional information and Weight Watchers PointsPlus values—to empower us in the upcoming holiday season! I’ve included my Top Ten Best and Worst Choices, but you’ll find the complete guide below.

Even if you’re NOT a Weight Watcher, this list will help you make good choices.

Print it!

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Have a plan before you’re staring longingly through the glass.

FACT: All calories are not created equal

Weight Watchers does not consider calories at all to calculate points. (Surprised?)

By comparing the points versus the calories, you’re automatically making better choices, because PointsPlus values are based on fat, carbs, fiber, and protein—which affect how long you will feel satisfied, and what food choices you make for the rest of the day.

TIP: Take something delicious with you, and compare points and “worthiness” to it! 

Scone_Cake_Bar_Points_Comparison

Ask yourself… Is that Lemon Pound Cake really worthy of all those points?

You can’t expect a banana or a fruit cup to stand up to the temptation of a 14-point pastry. But if you have something with you that you consider a special treat (not your usual protein bar or Apple Chips), you’ll be better equipped to resist. 

My Top 5 Bring Along Snacks

Does the ritual of buying something in a little paper bag—to go along with that festive red cup—bring you joy?

Red Cup and La Boulange Pink Bag

I’m a sucker for the red cups, and… is it just me, or do the cute pink bags conjure up do-good, feel-good feelings?

 

If you must buy something, try to pick something healthy that won’t fill you with regret, and won’t trigger the “eater” in you!

Top 10 Healthy Picks

  • Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats – 4 PP (if you’re doing Simply Filling Technique, this is a WW Power Food, but keep in mind that if you add the dried fruit, nuts, and brown sugar you take it from 140 to 390 calories!)
  • Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend – 2 PP, WW Power Food
  • Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap – 7 PP
  • Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon & White Cheddar on Multigrain English Muffin – 8 PP
  • Multigrain Bagel – 8 PP. 6g fiber and 14g protein makes this a great choice!
  • Everything with Cheese Bagel – 7 PP. Packs 10g protein, and only 2g fat.
  • Roasted Vegetable Panini – 9 PP
  • Chicken & Hummus Bistro Box – 6 PP. Only 7g fat and 20g protein makes this an excellent choice.
  • Protein Bistro Box – 10 PP. A better choice than the Cheese Bistro Box which has 13 PointsPlus.
  • Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl – 9 PP

 

Sometimes, fruit or salad just won’t cut it! But you can still make a better choice while giving in to your craving.

Top 10 Slightly Indulgent Picks

  • Vanilla Almond Biscotti – 5 PP
  • Madeleines Petite French Cakes – 2 PP for one cookie. (3 per package) Perfect for sharing with a couple of friends! 
  • Chewy Chocolate Meringue Cookie – 4 PP
  • Cheese Danish – 9 PP
  • Reduced-Fat Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf Cake – 8 PP
  • Tomato & Cheese Croissant Square – 7 PP
  • Caramelized Apple Cake with Washington Apples – 7 PP
  • Petite Vanilla Bean Scone – 3 PP
  • Asiago & Cheddar Bavarian Style Pretzel – 9 PP. Delicious, and 16 grams of protein keeps you feeling satisfied.
  • Blueberry Yogurt Muffin with Honey – 9 PP. Don’t let the words “blueberry” and “honey” trick you into believing that this is “good” for you, but it’s the best choice of the muffins, and better than a Blueberry Scone.

 

Try to avoid anything with corn syrup or high in saturated fat. These are high in calories (and points), and will leave you looking for something else soon after! These higher fat, less healthful options are still in the grocery store Starbucks, and in the outskirts, where they haven’t yet introduced La Boulange.

Top 10 Worst Choices 

  • Iced Lemon Pound Cake – 14 PP
  • Reduced-Fat Lemon Loaf Cake – 10 PP. This is much higher in fat (16 g) that the other reduced-fat loaf cakes, so you’re better off picking another one.
  • Pumpkin Scone & Cinnamon Chip Scone – 13 PP each
  • Carrot Cake Muffin with Pecans – 10 PP. You’d think this would be healthy because of the carrots and nuts, but it packs 20g fat and only 2g fiber.
  • Old-Fashioned Glazed Donut – 13 PP (one of their most popular items)
  • Apple Fritter – 12 PP
  • Morning Bun – 11 PP
  • Classic Coffee Cake – 11 PP. One of their most popular items. If you have to have cake, there are better choices. (See above)
  • Pumpkin Sugar Cookie – 8 PP
  • Egg Salad Sandwich – 13 PP. While high in protein, this has far too much fat (28g) and calories (500) for me to consider it a good choice.

See below for a Complete Guide to Starbucks Foods with Nutritional Info and Weight Watchers PointsPlus Values.

Let me know if this list helps you to make better choices.

And please SHARE IT with your Weight Watchers and Starbucks buddies!

xoxo

 

 

*PP = Weight Watchers PointsPlus values 

Croissants

 CaloriesFatCarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Croissant2401228157
Chocolate Croissant3401740279
Pumpkin Cheesecake Croissant3201734189

Savory Croissants

 CaloriesFatCarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Tomato & Cheese2801329167
Wheat & Spinach3201832368
Ham & Cheese33016311159
Butternut Squash & Sage3001435288

Morning Pastries

The Cheese Danish, with 8 g protein from reduced-fat cream cheese, is one of the better choices.
 CaloriesFatCarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Blueberry Oat Bar3701447569
Cheese Danish3101636189
Morning Bun39014592811

Muffins

Carrots and pecans are healthy… so eating a Carrot Muffin must be almost as good as having a serving of vegetables, right? Not when the muffin packs a whopping 20g fat!
 CaloriesFatCarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Carrot Cake Muffin with Pecans34020402410
Blueberry Yogurt Muffin with Honey3201345159
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin42013712611

Scones

Scones are totally my thing! Come the holidays or road trips, I would always give in to getting one, and they NEVER lived up to what I had hoped they'd be. So I finally stopped wasting the money and points on them! The Petite Vanilla Scone—at only 3 points—seems to be a better investment than the hockey-puck-like Maple and Pumpkin Scones from the old menu.
 CaloriesFatCarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Blueberry Scone39016562510
Petite Vanilla Bean Scone1204.518023
Pumpkin Scone48017782613
Cinnamon Chip Scone48018703713
Maple Oat Pecan Scone44018593812

Cookies

If you're craving a little something sweet, you're best off with a Chewy Chocolate Meringue Cookie, or a good, old-fashioned Biscotti. Or share a package of delicious Madeleines with some friends!
 CaloriesFat CarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Chocolate Chip2001026036
Chewy Chocolate Meringue1604.528124
Almond2301421256
Oatmeal220932246
Pumpkin Sugar Cookie2901633048
Vanilla Almond Biscotti200926245
Madeleines Petite French Cakes (3 per package)2301132126

Cake

Cake is high in fat and sugar, and is generally not going to be a healthy choice. But if you're going to go in, make sure you know exactly what you're ingesting, and then savor every single bite and move on right after!
 CaloriesFatCarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Caramelized Apple Cake with NY Apples2901435248
Caramelized Apple Cake with Washington Apples2701335237
Banana Pecan Walnut40020482611
Classic Coffee Cake39016571511
Chocolate Marble Loaf Cake40021492711
Pumpkin Bread39014612611

Reduced-Fat Loaf Cakes

Unfortunately, reduced-fat doesn't necessarily mean low fat, and I wouldn't consider any of these to be a "healthy" choice. I'd skip the Lemon and go for the Pumpkin!
 CaloriesFatCarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Reduced-Fat Berry Coffee Cake with Lemon Crumble3201152259
Reduced-Fat Lemon Loaf Cake36016501510
Reduced-Fat Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf Cake3101051148
Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake340962249

Donuts

Donuts are some of the most popular items, but you might think twice before ordering one after seeing the points values! I have fond memories of log-shaped Chocolate Donuts from Dunkin' Donuts when I was a student in Boston! Lucky for me no others bring up cravings. If you must have one, the Raspberry Blueberry Doughnut is your best bet. (Though the website lists the calories as 330 and in the store it's listed as 350, so hopefully this information is accurate.)
 CaloriesFatCarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Old Fashioned Glazed Doughnut48027561513
Chocolate Old-Fashioned Glazed Doughnut42021572512
Raspberry Blueberry Doughnut3301835259

Bagels & Pretzels

While better than a donut or a pastry, the plain bagel doesn't have much protein or fiber—making it the highest in points of all the bagels, so not my first choice. For the same points, I'd rather go for the Pretzel which has 16 g protein. A container of Plain or Reduced-Fat Cream Cheese spread will cost you an extra 3 points.
 CaloriesFatCarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Multigrain Bagel2903586148
Plain Bagel270157299
Everything with Cheese Bagel2702542107
Asiago & Cheddar, Bavarian Style Pretzel36012462169
Plain Cream Cheese Spread130114023
Reduced-Fat Cream Cheese9074033

Hot Breakfast

 CaloriesFatCarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Bacon & Gouda Artisan Breakfast Sandwich35018300179
Chicken Sausage Breakfast Wrap30010335147
Ham & Cheddar Artisan Breakfast Sandwich35016310209
Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon & White Cheddar Classic Breakfast Sandwich3207433188
Sausage & Cheddar Classic Breakfast Sandwich500284111913
Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap29010336197
Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats (without toppings)1502.527454
Veggie & Monterey Jack Artisan Breakfast Sandwich35018300179

Yogurt and Fruit

The fruit cup is obviously the healthiest choice, and won't cost you any points. I sure wish they carried regular yogurts, like the Coffee Bean, but even a Parfait is more filling, and a better choice than a pastry.
 CaloriesFatCarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Greek Yogurt with Berries Parfait2903.555487
Greek Yogurt with Honey Parfait2604.5411157
Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend90024410 PP (Power Food)

Bistro Boxes

The Chicken & Hummus Bistro Box is one of the healthiest items on the entire menu! I would caution you against getting the Cheese & Fruit Box, because while it consists of healthy items, that's a lot of calories and fat in one sitting!
 CaloriesFatCarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Chicken & Hummus Bistro Box2707294206
Protein Bistro Box380193751310
Cheese & Fruit Bistro Box480283961813

Sandwiches, Paninis & Salads

 CaloriesFatCarbsFiberProteinPointsPlus
Chicken & Greens Caesar Salad Bowl34025103199
Chicken BLT Salad Sandwich470253432612
Chicken Santa Fe Panini410124522610
Egg Salad Sandwich500283972113
Ham & NY Cheddar Sandwich470184263112
Ham & Swiss Panini34010422239
Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl430225081011
Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Panini390184431511
Roasted Vegetable Panini35012484139
Turkey & Havarti Sandwich450223123312
Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl36015388199

 

Orna is a former Weight Watchers Leader and Ambassador.

Click here for her personal Weight Loss Journey (with before and after pics)

Click here for Orna’s Costco Shopping List (with Power Foods & PointsPlus values)

Click here for Orna’s Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with Power Foods & PointsPlus values)

Author: Orna

Orna Purkin is the creator of OrnaBakes—where healthy meets yummy. As a former Weight Watchers Leader and Ambassador, her passion is to inspire others with her healthy recipes, favorite food finds, and weight-loss tips — with the odd confession here and there!

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6 Comments

  1. Love this post! I eat a spinach croissant every morning. I might have to switch to the tomato and cheese.

    Post a Reply
    • You’re the third person to tell me they’re hooked on the Spinach Croissant! Sorry to burst the bubble. 🙂

      Post a Reply
  2. Orna,
    Don’t you think that the spinach wrap could be a power food, or part a power food? What ingredients make it not a power food? Please help? I am curious what you think.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Carly,

      Power Foods are selected not only because of their fat, fiber and protein content (which = points value) but also by their abuse potential. Two reasons that this is not a Power Food are 1) full fat cheese and 2) tortillas (even the light variety) are not considered power foods. Hope that helps!

      Post a Reply
  3. Terrible time opening the package. Almost returned it to Starbucks, it was difficult to open the package. There must be a better, easier way to open a package. Good product, thogh
    Larry
    4/28

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Larry, I’m not sure which package you are referring to!

      Post a Reply