It’s September 1st. This day always makes me happy because September is my favorite month of the year from start to finish. I don’t really know why I love it, I just do. I’m a summer girl through and through but there’s something about that transition out of summer into all things fall related that gives me a warm feeling. Certain flavors of food and drink start to appear in September as well, marking the beginning of fall: the most obvious being pumpkin. I’m not one of those people who loves pumpkin everything but I do like the flavor when it comes to sweet treats.
Now, you know that fall is coming when you see the ads for Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the windows of Starbucks and Peet’s. I remember my very first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte experience. I’ve never really been a straight coffee drinker, but I absolutely love coffee flavored anything and my go-to Starbucks order was a Skinny Vanilla Latte with whipped cream, even in my “paleo” days. It was my once a week treat to myself that I would get on Friday mornings. Anyways, in like 2007, I was out of town with a few girlfriends and we stopped in a Starbucks and I saw the ad for the Pumpkin Spice Latte and asked the barista if it was good. And I remember her saying, quote, “It’ll change your life.” So I ordered it and was like, holy shit, this is really good, but wow was it sweet. Over the years, as I began to be more and more conscious about my nutrition, I would order one here and there because of the novelty of the “Fall” drink, but my tolerance for the sweetness was basically nil. Even my Skinny Vanilla Latte with whip felt like drinking dessert. It’s funny how once you start to wean your body off of certain unhealthy habits that when reintroduced they can almost be intolerable. Check out the nutrition specs on the drinks of my past:
Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte with Whip (16 oz./ Nonfat Milk / Sugar Free Vanilla):
190 Calories – 25C / 7F / 12P
Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte with Whip (16 oz. / Nonfat Milk):
330 Calories – 53C / 7F / 14P
When I look at these numbers I kind of cringe. If I were to drink the Pumpkin Spice Latte today, 1/3 of my carb macros for the day would be gone in a few sips.
When Peet’s Coffee introduced almond milk to their menu I basically began boycotting Starbucks and became a Peet’s girl. The only thing missing from Peet’s are the fun holiday cups. Peet’s needs to get on that ASAP. I swear people go to Starbucks sometimes just for the red holiday cups. Anyways, my current go-to order at Peet’s that I usually order once a week or every week and a half is a Medium Sugar Free Vanilla Almond Milk Latte with two pumps of vanilla only. Otherwise it’s too sweet. I’m not saying it’s a perfectly healthy clean drink, but hey, I’m human, and sometimes I want it. It’s obviously the lesser of two evils and it fits my macros. Not to mention it’s super good 🙂 Compare the nutrition specs:
Medium Sugar Free Vanilla Almond Milk Latte (no whip):
120 Calories – 15C / 5F / 2P
The problem when ordering Almond milk Latte’s from a coffee shop is that they almost ALWAYS use sweetened Almond milk. I have yet to find a place that uses one that is unsweetened. It’s annoying. The sweetener jacks up the carb macros of my drink when a simple switch out would remove the sugar content of my latte. I ordered my usual the other day after giving myself a macro break at my cousins wedding and consuming way too many adult beverages, tacos and mini cupcakes. I don’t know if it was because I had too much sugar the night before, possibly a little hungover, or just got a bad barista, but my favorite drink tasted way too sweet. So, I’m taking a little Peet’s break and I’ve now resorted to making my own because I can completely control the content of my latte.
To celebrate the beginning of my favorite month, I made a Pumpkin Spice version of my almond milk latte that was good enough to share with you all. Keep in mind that this is a clean drink and is intended to have the pumpkin spice flavor but not be overly sweet. By all means, if you want to add a sweetener, go for it. It’s your life, your nutrition and your taste buds. I’m giving you the cleanest version that warms your tummy and still tastes really good! You will need a frother as well. I have an Aerolatte and it works perfectly.
For those on a flexible eating program, the macros for one serving of this drink are:
38 Calories – 4C / 2F / 1P
To create a larger drink, add ingredient amounts proportionately and adjust the macros if tracking.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
1/4 cup Brewed Coffee
3/4 cup (170g) Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
20g Canned Organic Pumpkin
1/8 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Combine all ingredients in a small pot or sauce pan, whisk to combine and bring to a simmer. When liquid is at your desired temperature, use a small hand-held frother for approximately 20 seconds to create the foam of your latte. Pour the liquid into the coffee mug first, then spoon the foam on top. Sprinkle with an additional dash of cinnamon and enjoy!
Optional: Add sweetener (honey, stevia, palm sugar, etc.) to the liquid. Can be topped with Coconut whipped cream for a cleaner option as well.