fall has arrived! at least to minnesota, where it is currently 41 degrees. (brrr…)
while we are sad to see summer go, we are trying to focus on fall favorites: mostly revolving around the clothes (cute outdoor running gear, fabulous transitional coats, I could go on…) but also on the re-emergence of hot coffee & lattes – yum!
today we are focusing on a seasonal favorite: THE pumpkin spice latte from starbucks.
while this seemingly innocent, wholesome beverage may appear to just be a more seasonably-appropriate version of our summertime iced coffee…it’s not! unfortunately, an unaltered order of a grande pumpkin spice latte has the fat of a snickers bar, and the calories & sugar of almost 2 snickers bars. since we find that the best of days are usually not begun with a candy bar binge, we decided to investigate and uncover some ways we can have this beverage & drink it too, so do not despair!
the best approach is to treat this beverage like the dessert that it is, as a splurge, not a daily AM caffeine jolt. however, if you revel in the return of this beverage so much that it cannot be just a splurge from time-to-time (but also prefer not to drink your desserts, it’s seriously not as much fun), here are our favorite fixes:
- milk swap: switching to non-fat milk cuts the fat in half and saves 50 calories
- watch that whipped cream: usually “whipped” implies lighter…but that’s not the case here. ask for no whip & save an additional 70 calories and take the fat down to zero (with that milk swap)
- don’t pump it up: even with these swaps, we’re still left with the 2-snickers-like sugar (it’s coming from the pumpkin spice pumps). we like to ask for half the pumps of pumpkin spice (there are 4 in a grande, we find 2 does the trick just fine!) and you can cut your sugar in half. if you seriously need the uber-sweet taste, substitute 2 of the pumps with some of their sugar-free options: cinnamon dolce or caramel..both still taste delicious!
these reductions still make this latte a big-time splurge over our typical caffeine fix (black coffee), so if we’re feeling in the spirit of the season and need a little pumpkin in our lives but aren’t ready to commit to the sugar intake for the day, we ask for a small pump of the pumpkin spice in our coffee and add a little steamed non-fat milk or soy milk! it’s no pumpkin spice latte, but it sure does taste good!