Oh, the pumpkin spice latte. A simple Starbucks beverage turned cultural phenomenon that makes us feel all the fall warm and fuzzies. A pumpkin spice latte (PSL, for short) can be found at just about any coffee shop these days, which is not surprising given that it is the drink that spurred a thousand pumpkin spice-flavored things in the past few years, from Pop Tarts to candy to beer (so much!) more. Unfortunately, most of these pumpkin spice goodies contain very little actual pumpkin, and lots of artificial flavors and sugar instead.
The ingredients in a pumpkin spice latte in most coffee shops, for instance, reads like a novel too lengthy for me: “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, Milk, Mono And Diglycerides, Carrageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbet, Citric Acid)], Pumpkin Spice Topping [Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove, Sulfiting Agents].”
And here’s another: “Espresso, Pumpkin Spice Flavored Syrup: Fructose, Water, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Nonfat Milk, Annatto Extract (Color), Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Xanthan Gum, Salt, Sucralose, Whole Milk Vitamin D3 added.”
Both of the versions above contain an insane amount of sugar and carbs. The first has a whopping 52g of carbs in a 16 oz, with 50g of sugar and almost 400 calories, while the second packs almost 300 calories, 39g sugar and 41 carbs in just 12 oz — no, thank you!
Sugar is one of the leading causes of obesity, and pumpkin is such a wonderful ingredient, so less sugar and more pumpkin in our “pumpkin things” should be the way to go! Since you may be used to all these pumpkin spice-flavored (A.K.A sugar filled) treats, switching to a real pumpkin food may take a little adjusting to, but your body will thank you for cutting out all the junk and using wholesome natural ingredients instead.
PALEO PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE RECIPE
In a blender, combine:
- 1 cup coffee
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (use canned coconut milk for no gums or sugars)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin (I used 100% pure pumpkin, canned)
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (spice blend—be sure to check the ingredients—or make you own here)
- 1-2 teaspoon honey
- Other optional add-ins: MCT oil, ghee, butter, collagen peptides
- Blend well, and pour.
- Sprinkle a little of the spice mix on top, then top with some coconut whipped cream as desired. (Here is an easy recipe.)
Note: Start with this base recipe then adjust the quantities to fit your specific preferences; some might like more honey while others will want to avoid adding more, some may prefer more pumpkin spice or milk, etc. Keep the leftover pumpkin in your fridge and use it to create other recipes. There’s a ton of great options out there using canned pumpkin for desserts and soups.
I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe and use it to let yourself enjoy all the flavors of fall, without all the added junk.
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