The warm spring and summer months offer plenty of great seasonal cuisine options. However, there's just something about fall when we start impatiently counting down the days to have sweaters and a pumpkin and spice fury unleashed upon us.
Unfortunately, if you're watching calories and carbs, fall fare tends to offer a smaller range of selections in the healthier options.
THE PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE
And we'll go ahead and address the pumpkin elephant in the room. For most, that pumpkin spice latte fix is a non-negotiable, regardless of the implications to that calorie tracker.
Not to worry. We've put together a fall survival guide with healthier ordering tips for your Starbucks PSL, plus delicious alternative drink recipes that will keep cravings at bay, with hardly any sacrifice!
A POTENTIALLY NAUGHTY LATTE
At over 400 calories, 18 grams of fat, and 52 grams of carbs (16 oz Grande, whole milk and whip), the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte feels like a no-no as even a semi-frequent indulgence.
Fortunately, you don't have to give up the fun of relaxing with this sweet pumpkin beauty! There are several ways to tweak your order, from milk types to sizes. Our handy visual table a little further down the page makes it easy to compare each. In addition, there are fun recipes that satisfy this "must have it" fall flavor craving and can really get your into the seasonal experience.
TOP HEALTHIER TWEAKS FOR YOUR STARBUCKS PSL ORDER
A strategic change or two from the standard order can go a long way. Here are some of the best tweaks to ask your barista for to get a delicious, but healthier PSL (and don't forget to tip!):
- Control the size: You could obviously cut out plenty of the calories, fat and carbs down by ordering a Tall (12 oz) instead of the Grande (16 oz) or Venti (24 oz). Did you know that you can also order an even smaller size than those? Just ask for the Short, which is an 8-ouncer and can save 190 calories from a full-calorie Grande.
- Syrup, but less: Ask the barista for just a single pump of the pumpkin spice syrup. You'll still get a dose of the flavor without as many of the negatives. Ask them to add additional cinnamon on top to give it a nice punch-up.
- Swapping the milk: Soy, almond or other nondairy milks generally will save some calories, but be aware coffee shops use sweetened varieties so it may not be as much as you'd think. Almond, coconut and skim milk are your best bets, all at 260 calories or less.
- Don't trip over the whip: This one's a no-brainer for any dessert. You can cut 70 calories easily by asking for no whipped cream.
PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE OPTIONS: COMPARED
Use this handy chart to quickly compare different configurations for a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte* to find one that gets the best flavor, calorie and carb balance that's right for you!
Grande 16-Ounce Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Short 8-Ounce Pumpkin Spice Lattes
*nutrition information listed is from the Starbucks website and accurate as of the date of publication. Nutrition information for soy milk applies to United States orders only.
HEALTHIER PUMPKIN SPICE DRINK RECIPE IDEAS
Have some fun and create your pumpkin-flavored own seasonal super drinks at home, this fall. You'll be able to cut down on the calories, use your preferred ingredients, and maybe even make it a reasonable daily drink. Most importantly, the scale and your wallet will thank you.
from eatingbirdfood.com by Brittany Mullins
Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte: Lower calories, contains all-natural ingredients, with no added sugar. View the recipe.
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte: Combines real pumpkin puree, fall spices and a splash of maple syrup. Perfect if you try to avoid dairy and artificial ingredients in syrups. View the recipe.
WONDERSLIM PUMPKIN SPICE HIGH PROTEIN, NUTRIENT RICH SMOOTHIE RECIPE
We've created this delicious, nutritious WonderSlim-infused recipe to satisfy those fall-induced pumpkin spice cravings. It not only lowers fat and calories, it adds a big boost of satisfying protein plus 24 vitamins & minerals to the experience. Quick and easy to make, with just a few ingredients.
Ingredients: 1 Packet of WonderSlim® Vanilla Cream Meal Replacement Pudding Shake, 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin, 1/2 cup of mashed bananas, 1/4 tsp of nutmeg, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, 3 ice cubes.
Note: you can buy the WonderSlim Vanilla Cream ingredients directly from our online store here.
Directions: Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
For a thicker smoothie, use just 2 ice cubes. Substitute non-fat milk for water to get an additional protein boost.
Nutrition Information: 182 calories, 16.5 g of protein, 28 g of carbs, 2.3 g of fiber, 1.8 g of fat
Have any pumpkin spice latte tips or favorite alternative recipes? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!