Is it when the leaves start changing color? When the kids go back to school? When you break out the big quilt for the bed? When you see Halloween candy?
Or is it when Starbucks brings back the Pumpkin Spice latte?
Creamy pumpkin, spicy cinnamon, smooth nutmeg, sharp cloves…I love the Pumpkin Spice latte.
What I don't love is the enormous amount of fat and sugar. Even if you take out the fat calories by using skim milk and foregoing the whipped cream, a tall (12-ounce) latte still packs in 37 grams of sugar!
That's 8 teaspoons of sugar - more than what you get in two frosted strawberry Pop-Tarts, or four iced Toaster Strudels. Maybe that's not enough to make you sweat, but it's too much for this girl!
I decided to take matters into my own hands. I had some pumpkin puree left over from when I made my Pumpkin Quinoa Snack Bars earlier in the week. I also had some unsweetened vanilla almond milk on hand, and even a tiny bit of whipped cream.
My healthier version packs 100% of your daily recommended Vitamin A, and weighs in at just under 50 calories, with 3 g of fat and less than 2 g of sugar. I must admit, since I didn't mass produce it and add all sorts of unnatural sugars and emulsifiers, you have to stir it every so often or the pumpkin settles down at the bottom of your mug.
I'll take a little stirring any day over the alternative - a drink with no actual pumpkin or spice in it. Don't get me wrong; I might splurge and head over to Starbucks periodically to get one, especially if I'm traveling and don't have a kitchen available; but a once in a while splurge isn't even close to getting one every day before work!
Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte
- ½ cup pureed pumpkin
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 15 drops Stevia extract, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp each ground cloves and ground nutmeg
- Dash of salt
- 15-oz coffee, brewed
- Whipped cream (optional)
1. Combine the pumpkin, almond milk, Stevia, spices, and salt in a small saucepan. Whisk until well combined.
2. Heat over medium heat, whisking often, until it is warm.
3. Divide coffee into three mugs. Pour in about ¾ cup of the pumpkin mixture. Stir to combine and add more Stevia to taste. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon if desired.