Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe - Low Sugar, Low Carbs + The 411 on the PSL
Pumpkin Spice is everywhere this time of year! A famous coffee chain brought Pumpkin Spice Lattes back to their menu on the 1st of September. I don’t know how I feel about it being that early, but I also can’t wait for Fall so I am torn. Regardless of when they bring it back, I don’t like what they put in their famous PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) that so many people love, so it doesn’t affect me.
Did you know? Between 2003 and 2014, Starbucks sold 200 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes according to Forbes! That is a lot of Pumpkins Spice Lattes!
Let’s do some math here:
200 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes at 50g of sugar per grande (the average size) = 10 BILLION grams of sugar. That is 10,000,000,000g of sugar! My jaw has dropped, and I can’t stop saying that number! Sadly, I believe that number is much higher because people often get the Venti instead of the Grande size. The Venti PSL has 66g of sugar. That is more sugar than you should have in 2 days. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are 37.5 grams for men and 25 grams for women. I am no mathematician, but I am pretty sure that 66g of sugar is more than double the amount of sugar you should have in a single day (for a women).
Besides the toxic doses of sugar, there are many chemicals, preservatives, sulfites, GMOs and artificial flavors in the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s really sad that not only do people drink this willingly, but that Starbucks, or anyone for that matter, is offering this on the menu.
I'm sure you've seen this before but it's kinda scary to see this crazy list of ingredients that Starbucks puts in their famous PSL! The Food Babe put this together and as she says, THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK this holiday favorite. You can make your own! There's a recipe a the bottom of this blog and a whole30 version, here.
If you choose to not drink them anymore for whatever reason, then great! I applaud you. I have many friends who still drink PSLs, and while I do not support their decision, I love them anyway.
Side note, if you think you are ordering a vegan or dairy free PSL by ordering it with soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk… think again! There is condensed skim milk in the Pumpkin Spice Sauce.
I am a Starbucks Gold Member. If you are unfamiliar with what that is, in other words, I have spent a ton of money at this coffee chain since 2008 (and really my whole life, I but didn’t join their rewards program until 2010) and in return they gave me a fancy Gold Card that I can reload and buy more drinks with. Sure, I get rewards like free birthday drinks, but, to be honest, I don’t go there much anymore. I will get something at Starbucks when I am traveling at an airport, and I am in need of caffeine. I always have a packet of my Mushroom Coffee and order just a hot water and make my own coffee. I used to just order a steamed almond milk or coconut milk but I really don't like the ingredients in their dairy free milk options: soy, coconut or almond. I used to love Starbucks coffee and espresso but now it's way too bitter for me and it's not organic so unless I really need some caffeine, I will pass. When I do need some coffee, I order a grande iced black coffee. It’s just not my favorite coffee anymore (I went from ordering lattes in high school to an occasional kids hot chocolate to soy lattes to passion tea lemonades to soy lattes again to coconut milk lattes to almond milk flat whites). In my 29 years of existence, I might have ordered maybe 1 or 2 Frappuccinos … if that? It was never my thing. I loved lattes, thanks to my mom.
Okay, I must confess something else. I am not a fan of pumpkin spice, anyway, but I am married to someone who loves all things pumpkin! I don’t even like pumpkin pie! I know, I know… let the people arise with pitchforks! It’s totally a texture thing. Calm down! I do like to eat the crust! HAHA! My husband doesn’t particularly like when I eat his crust, though. My hubby used to be the one who would order a Venti PSL years ago, but now he wouldn’t think about touching one. “I think I would feel sick and jittery because I don’t have that much sugar or those types of ingredients anymore…” hubby said when I ask him if he would ever drink one again.
To be honest, my hubby missed pumpkin spice lattes for a long time until we found an organic plant-based restaurant nearby that makes them during the holidays, but now that I found a way to make them for him so that he can have them all year long. And, when I tasted this new Pumpkin Spice Syrup, I wasn’t mad at it at all! I actually liked it! While I don’t plan on putting it in my coffee any time soon (just being honest - I don’t like pumpkin coffee), I do plan on using it for baking and making other Pumpkin Spiced goodies this Fall!
I found a company at Expo East called NuNaturals that just launched a brand new Pumpkin Spice Syrup that is made with stevia! There are no toxic amounts of sugar (or any sugar for that matter), no chemicals, no coloring and no pesticides. It’s also non-GMO, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free, plant-based and vegan! I see you getting excited right now as you read this. Go ahead, read that again and now, smile, and feel all kinds of joy!
The first thing I did when we got home was make my husband a homemade PSL, and I could see it in his eyes. He loved me more after he took that first sip! Now I get to make him PSLs all year long, and we don’t have to worry about it being filled with sugar or bad-for-you ingredients.
You can learn more about NuNaturals Pumpkin Spice Syrup and order it, here.
Are you wondering how much sugar is in this low carb and low sugar PSL that I have made? Let's do some more sugar math.
If you make this using my homemade cashew milk, which I think is the best for many reasons (it's creamy, froths nicely, is easy to make) then depending on which sweetener you use, dates or maple syrup, your PSL will have anywhere from 4-10g of sugar based on how you sweeten your homemade cashew milk.
If you use...
1 date in entire cashew milk recipe = 16g sugar = 5g sugar in your PSL
2 dates in enture cashew milk recipe = 32g sugar = 10g sugar in you PSL
1 TB Maple Syrup in entire cashew milk recipe = 12g sugar = 3.5g sugar in your PSL
2 TB Maple Syrup in entire cashew milk recipe = 24g sugar = 7g sugar in your PSL
If that's all Greek to you then the short answer is, this is VERY LOW in sugar!
Let’s dive into this yummy recipe.
You can use any dairy-free milk or milk of your choice. I prefer to use homemade cashew milk for this recipe or sometimes flax milk. The cashew milk (which is so incredibly easy to make - and totally worth it!) makes this PSL so creamy and froths up really nice, if you have a milk frother. If you don’t have one, don’t worry! I have directions for with and without a milk frother below.
The coffee that we use is from Four Sigmatic. It has 2 types of powerful mushroom superfoods in it. I believe in the healing benefits of these incredible mushrooms! They help you sleep better, adapt to stress, balance hormones and maintain healthy energy levels. They also balance inflammation levels in the body. You can read more about that, here. You can use the coffee of your choice, but this is what we prefer and what makes this PSL healthy. It gives you energy without the crash and has antioxidants that are 46 times higher than blueberries. If you are weirded out by mushrooms, don’t be. You can’t taste them at all!
Use promo code KRYSTENSKITCHEN for discount. (affiliate)
3/4 cup homemade cashew milk
1/2 cup homemade cashew milk (set aside)
1 packet Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Packet
1/4 tsp of NuNaturals Pumpkin Spice Syrup*
1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides** (optional)
*Start with 1/4 tsp. Add more to taste
**Omit to make vegan
If you have a milk frother:
In your Vitamix, or powerful blender, pour 3/4 cup of cashew milk, 1 packet of Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Mix, 1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (optional) and 1/4 tsp of NuNaturals Pumpkin Spice Syrup. Blend on high for at least 2 minutes. Your blender should heat up your mixture in the process. To speed this part up, start with warm cashew milk.
While that blends, pour the remaining 1/2 cup of cashew milk in your frother and froth accordingly. Pour blended mixture into your favorite mug, top with frothed cashew milk and a sprinkle of Pumpkin Pie Spice.
If you don’t have a milk frother:
Pour all ingredients in your blender and blend on high until mixture is hot. To speed up the process, start with warm cashew milk. Pour blended mixture into your favorite mug and a sprinkle of Pumpkin Pie Spice
If you don’t have the mushroom coffee mix, use the following measurements and add to blender and blend on high. If you have a frother, set aside a little bit of the cashew milk to froth, blend the rest on high and top with frothed cashew milk. Pour blended mixture into your favorite mug, top with frothed cashew milk and a sprinkle of Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 to 3/4 cup homemade cashew milk
1 cup hot coffee
1/4 tsp of NuNaturals Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 scoop Vital Proteins (optional/omit to make vegan)
Enjoy and happy PSL making this Fall and all year round!