Think before you drink: a plant based alternative to the Pumpkin Spice Latte

Natalie Buscemi Healthy Living, Nutrition

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I drink coffee every day, occasionally tea. In the fall, I love to enjoy a hot pumpkin spice latte. However, after knowing what type of ingredients are in a typical pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, I’d rather stay far away from them. I decided to check the contents of my favorite drink, and I was surprised to learn that my Starbucks pumpkin spice latte has very little pumpkin in it. Here I believed that I was drinking a healthy beverage! I realized that I am probably not alone.  Here is what is in your Starbucks Pumpkin spice latte, from The Food Babe.

 So, I researched how to make a plant-based pumpkin spice latte alternative. A pumpkin spice latte should contain 6 main ingredients; cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, espresso, steamed milk, and some pumpkin . I found multiple milk alternatives as well. These include: coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, hazelnut milk, and cashew milk to name a few. I tried many of them and some tasted ridiculous (according to my palette), while some were tasteful. The coconut milk coffee was overwhelming, and I felt like I was drinking a hot pina colada. Almond was way too nutty, and the rice milk coffee was very watery. After extensive trial and error, I settled on cashew milk coffee. Although cashew milk is not very common in stores, you can find it at most Whole Foods & Better Health stores. It’s flavor is milder than almond milk, but it is naturally sweeter. This plant-based drink is a healthy option if you are trying to abstain from sugar, as the sugar content is low.  Cashew milk is high in Vitamin K and the fat and calorie content is low. Another nutritional benefit is that it boosts the feel-good hormone tryptophan, which increases the production of serotonin in the brain. It is also suitable for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant. In addition, the cashew milk is thick and creates a wonderful latte!

Some people may insist on their regular caffeine fix with a lot of cream and sugar, but I can assure them that this is a healthier and tastier alternative. Many others believe that the taste of real milk cannot be replaced by these products. However, they must remember that the main ingredient in a drink such as the pumpkin spice latte or a regular cappuccino is the coffee, not the milk. I am a huge believer in giving back and helping out in the community .Therefore, I purchase Detroit Bold Coffee to help give back to Detroit, the city I love. It is prudent to maintain a healthy diet even as we enjoy our seasonal fix. Enjoy my healthier, plant-based pumpkin spice latte this season, without all of the artificial ingredients!

Happy Fall,

Shana Loggins

Nutritionist

       Pumpkin Spice Latte Ingredients:

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of Cloves

Pinch of Turmeric

1 shot of espresso or 1 – 2 cups of coffee

1 cup of  unsweetened cashew milk

 1 -2 tablespoons of Organic Pumpkin Puree