It’s finally Fall- and you know what that means… Pumpkin Spice Lattes all around! Basic or not, you can’t deny the primal call for something cozy as the days get cooler and shorter… the wild call for the ever seasonal and highly popular Pumpkin Spice Latte! The only problem with this? They’re typically LOADED with sugars, artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives, chemicals, flavorings, and dairy-laden creamers and milk. Blah! Don’t worry- we’re going to show you how to “DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte” the delicious, vegan, gluten-free, and healthy way! Skip all the way down to the bottom of the article to find the recipe, or take a quick read and learn the health risks of coffee shop PSLs, a cost analysis, and the health benefits from making your own PSL at home!
| Popular Pumpkin Spice Latte
While a little treat is essential every now and then, the PSL shouldn’t be an everyday habit, especially not if you purchase it from popular chain coffee shops! Let’s take a look at a Grande (Medium) Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks made with 2% Milk and topped with whipped cream…
-Calories from fat: 120
-Total Fat: 14g (8g from Saturated Fat)
-Total Carbs: 52g (50g from Sugar- remember the daily recommended sugar intake for females is 25g, and for males is 37.5g…YIKES)
- INGEDIENT LIST: Milk, Pumpkin Spice Sauce [Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% Or Less Of Fruit And Vegetable Juice For Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto, Salt, Potassium Sorbate], Brewed Espresso, Whipped Cream [Cream (Cream, Mono And Diglycerides, Carrageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)], Pumpkin Spice Topping [Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, And Cloves].
- COST: $4.95
Let’s say you have one medium-sized pumpkin spice latte a day for the fall season- which is about 80 days. That comes out to $396 spent on coffee drinks… that’s a big chunk of change to be devoting to a high-calorie yet nutrient deficient beverage!
- HEALTH RISKS: Dairy products contribute high amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat to diets. Diets high in fat, especially saturated fats, have an increased risk of heart disease among other serious illnesses.
It is recommended by the AHA (American Heart Association) that females get no more than 6 tsp of added sugar per day and men no more than 9… the Grande PSL has about 12.5 teaspoons of sugar in it- more than anyone needs in one day! To put this in perspective, a slice of pumpkin pie usually contains about half the amount of sugar as a Grande PSL. A diet too high in sugar can lead to blood sugar problems, weight gain, addiction to more sugar, and tons of other diseases and health concerns. This is a good reminder that although a drink might seem like the healthier option, sometimes just eating your dessert is better for you!
While the use of carrageenan is still being studied, this seaweed-derived thickening agent has been linked to inflammation and gastrointestinal issues. You may also notice that mono- and di- glycerides are used in the Starbucks PSL. These are fats that are considered “incomplete” and are used to help bind ingredients together and prolong shelf life. They are created from animals (cow or pig), plants (soybean or canola oil), or synthetically produced in a lab.
| DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte
Ok! So- buying a calorie and sugar-laden drink every day isn’t a good idea… but how do we combat the desire for something so delicious?! We make our own healthy version, of course! It’s really easy, and a lot more cost effective!
Some things to take into consideration: You can use store bought pumpkin puree and almond milk, or you can make your own. Both are super simple to make! For this recipe, we’ll be using store bought for both- organic, unflavored, and unsweetened.
| Pumpkin Spice Latte (Healthified) Recipe:
Makes: 2 Servings!
Time: 5 Minutes
Macros per serving: Calories: 108, Fats: 2g, Carbs: 17g (8g from sugar), Fiber: 3g, Protein: 7g
- Ingredient List:
-1 Cup Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk
-1 Cup Hot Water
-1 Cup Hot Brewed Organic Coffee
-2 Tbsp Organic Unsweetened Pumpkin Puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
-1 Tbsp Organic Maple Syrup
-1 Scoop Orgain Vanilla Protein Powder(Or Whey Protein)
-2 tsp MacaPowder
-1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend
- Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend on high speed until completely combined.
- Pour into two cups.
- Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy you healthy and superfood boosted PSL!
- Cost Per Cup: $2.90
Keep in mind this is the cost using all organic ingredients which we always recommend if your budget allows for it!
You save $2.05 every cup if you make it at home! That’s a savings of $164 if you made this latte every day, at home, for the 80-day fall season. Imagine all the other ways you could treat yourself with that money… You could throw it in your savings towards a house, a new car, a new phone- you could even join a gym and still have $$$ left over! The amount of money you save making your PSL this way is nothing compared to the way you’re saving your body from digestive stressors, agitators, and chemicals that can cause serious illnesses.
- Health Benefits
There is so much good in the DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte! Pumpkin is full of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C- all essential for heart health. Almond milk is low in calories and offers natural, plant-based calcium and protein along with the benefit of not drinking dairy which is commonly filled with blood, puss, preservatives, sugars, and hormones. Using a natural sweetener, like organic maple syrup, helps your body recognize sugar very close to its natural form making it lots easier to digest. Plus, organic maple syrup also boasts antioxidants and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and calcium! Organic coffee offers loads of antioxidants and is a great cardiovascular energy booster as long as it’s not over-used (no more than 2-3 small cups of coffee per day is recommended). Maca is an adaptogenic superfood, meaning it helps your body adapt to both physical and mental stress! It’s also known to help improve strength and boost vitality. Protein powder helps to keep you feeling full and satiated long after you finish your cuppa, and it makes your muscles happy! The spice blend is made of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger- all great for the immune system. The spices are considered “warm” in Ayurvedic medicine, meaning they heat up the digestive system which improves digestion. Add that to the antioxidants they bring to the table, and you have yourself a pretty great looking way to start your day!
Happy October! Be sure to tag us @pfcfitnesscamp in any pictures you take of your homemade PSL!