Healthy Hack: PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte)

Pumpkin lovers rejoice; we’ve got a healthy upgrade for your favorite fall beverage.


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 Autumn is officially here and that means pumpkin spice products are back! This year, we’re sharing a healthier make-at-home version of the most requested seasonal drink (cue the Oprah voice), the pumpkin spice latte.

 

Pumpkin flavored products often contain artificial ingredients, loads of sugar and little to no real pumpkin. Take the Starbucks PSL—which really should be called a PSB—pumpkin sugar bomb…a Grande size made with 2% milk and no whipped cream contains a whopping 48 grams of sugar! To put this into context, the American Heart Association recommends limiting intake of added sugar to 38 grams per day for men and 25 grams for women. That’s nearly double your daily intake (for females) from one drink. We’re not saying that you should deprive yourself of this seasonal treat, but you can make a better version at home with just a few simple ingredients, including (you guessed it), pumpkin.


Pumpkin is a low calorie food packed with good nutrition. It’s a great source of fiber, which helps slow the absorption rate of sugar among other benefits. Pumpkin also contains carotenoids such as beta-carotene (hence the bright orange color), lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, and both A and C may help strengthen the body’s immune system. The antioxidants and nutrients found in pumpkin may also help protect against cardiovascular disease. Let’s not forget pumpkin’s flavor versatility! Often associated with sweetened drinks or baked goods, pumpkin works extremely well in savory dishes such as soups and curries, too. In addition to getting your PSL fix, try incorporating pumpkin in a variety of your recipes this fall.


 Pumpkin Spice Latte Remix

Serves 1

 

Ingredients:

·      8 oz coffee, brewed

·      ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (can also use coconut milk, oat milk or any nut milk of choice) 

·      2 Tbsp organic pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

·      2 tsp maple syrup

·      ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

·      1 tsp pure vanilla extract 

Coconut whip (optional)

·      1 14-oz can full-fat coconut milk (chilled overnight)

·      1 Tbsp maple syrup

·      1 tsp pure vanilla extract

 

Instructions:

For coconut whip (optional):

Use a mixing bowl that has been chilled in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Open a chilled can of coconut milk (so the cream and water separate) and transfer the solid contents to the chilled mixing bowl. You can save the remaining milk contents for other uses such as smoothies. Using a handheld or stand mixer, blend on high for a few minutes. Add vanilla extract and maple syrup or sweetener of choice and whip until peaks form. Try not to eat by the spoonful…

For the latte:

1.     Add unsweetened milk and pumpkin puree to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir and heat until warm for about one minute.

2.     Add the maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, pure vanilla extract and stir until well mixed.

3.     Transfer mixture to blender (or you can use a milk frother) and blend until frothy. Taste, and adjust for desired sweetness.  

4.     Fill your cup with coffee until it is about 2/3 full, add pumpkin milk mixture and top with a spoonful of coconut whip (if using).

5.     Garnish with a dash of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick.

 

Looking for more pumpkin spice recipes? Try this smoothie or this chia pudding.