Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Buzzkill

It's that time of year: the return of Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte! If you're over 35 or need to watch your health, prepare yourself for some serious buzzkill. Each grande serving as prepared has 380 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 49 grams of sugar (equivalent to 12 1/2 teaspoons of sugar!!!) according to LiveStrong. That's a really sweet trick that might be best limited to an occasional treat.

As an alternative, try the Starbucks Via Pumpkin Spice instant coffee and make it home with almond milk. Without the milk you are looking at 60 calories, 0 grams of fat, and the sugar is reduced to 13 grams (or about 3 1/2 teaspoons). Not great, but better if you want that Starbucks flavor.

Or you can make it at home – from scratch! – and cut down on the calories and sugar. AverieCooks.com posted a great method using natural ingredients (pumpkin puree, spices, vanilla, milk) instead of artificially flavored syrups. A few people who posted comments said that the texture (and settling) was an issue for them. So I made one slight adjustment: I steeped the pumpkin and spices in 2% milk for a while (letting the flavor infuse into the milk) and strained before serving. It wasn't the overpowering Starbucks version but it was really good – and now my heart won't explode over the new kitchen tile.


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