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The Hidden Truth Behind Starbuck’s PSL (Pumpkin Spiced Latte)

If you’re like me and sad that summer is unfortunately coming to an end, perhaps PSL (pumpkin spiced latte) season has got you thinking that fall ain’t so bad!

I remember the days in high school and college when I used to drink a pumpkin spiced latte at least once a week. I actually drank so many of them and had so many pumpkin flavored foods that by Thanksgiving I was dreading that giant slice of pumpkin pie waiting for me after a ginormous dinner.

I’m happy to say that my eating habits have changed a lot in the last few years. I initially stopped drinking lattes because I thought they added a ton of unneeded calories and sugar to my diet. But over the years I’ve grown to have a love-hate relationship with coffee. Sometimes it’s just what I need to start the day and get me focused. Other days it totally messes up my digestion and leaves me with a stomach ache for the entire morning. I’ve talked previously about coffee and ultimately whether or not you drink it is a personal choice. For me, most of the time coffee is just not a good idea.

But I’m not here to discriminate. If you love your morning coffee, great. Even if you enjoy an occasional latte from a fancy coffee shop, that’s fine. The important takeaway from today’s post is to know what you’re getting into before you consume these products. As far as I’m concerned, uppers like sugar and caffeine aren’t foods—they’re recreational drugs.

I’m not here to lecture you today on all the things that are wrong the pumpkin spice latte. Food Babe’s Vani Hari has already done a fantastic job of that, and despite how many claim she’s a food nut, I totally support her and her efforts to make the PSL healthier. Instead, today’s post is about making a super easy and delicious pumpkin spiced latte that tastes great and is actually good for you!

PSL alternative

Coconut Oil: My PSL’s Secret Ingredient

You might be apprehensive about putting coconut oil in your pumpkin spiced latte. But coconut oil is what makes this beverage taste amazingly decadent. Did you know that adding a little coconut oil to your morning coffee might actually help you burn more fat? There’s been a growing trend in the nutrition world about adding coconut oil to your coffee as a way to boost your metabolism first thing in the morning. While I’m still not totally sure if this is true, I have read a lot about coconut oil raising the metabolism and helping to repair damaged thyroids. I was inspired by this new trend and gave it a try. This recipe uses a very small amount of coconut oil that might seem trivial, but makes all the difference.

Oh, one last thing before today’s recipe. Okay, so technically it’s not a latte. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an espresso machine that I just pull out of my back pocket on a Wednesday. So yes, this drink is technically made with coffee. The directions actually call for a Keurig, but obviously traditionally brewed coffee will work.

Photo credit via Flickr

Print Recipe
Homemade Pumpkin Spiced Latte (Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Paleo)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Prep Time 5 minutes
  1. Dump your pumpkin pie spice at the bottom of your mug. Then either brew your K cup over the spice or pour coffee into your mug.
  2. Add your almond milk. If you have the time, you can steam it on the stove top, but frankly I never have any time for this. Remove your almond milk from the fridge and let it come to room temperature for 5-10 minutes if you hate the idea of pouring cold almond milk into your perfectly hot coffee.
  3. Scoop the tiniest amount of coconut oil onto a tablespoon. Pour your stevia into your latte and stir with the coconut oiled spoon. Serve immediately or pour over a large glass full of ice for an iced version.
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