Scroll down to watch the video!
I love coffee shops.
I especially love seasonal coffee drinks.
But what I don’t love is drinking my weight in sugar! And unfortunately, that’s what seasonal coffee shop drinks are made of. Lots and lots of sugar.
And unless you indulge in one of these drinks per season and treat it as a ‘treat’, the sugar content presents a serious problem. It’s just too much. Especially for those of us who enjoy seasonal ‘treats’ all season long.
And as you know, I’m not a fan of willpower or deprivation, so my solution was to get into the kitchen and whip up a clean and delicious version of the oh-so-popular, pumpkin spice latte that I can enjoy throughout the fall (multiple times if I please).
And as usual. My version is not only healthier, but more delicious than the original (oh yes. i am just that confident).
I use my home made almond milk as the base and then flavor it up with some pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and just a kiss of maple syrup. Then once that’s all heated through, I toss it in the blender with some strong brewed coffee and make myself a light and frothy, CLEAN, pumpkin spice latte.
In the video, I touch on the sugar thing for a minute.
I think it’s really important and you should definitely watch the video to hear my point of view. But in the meantime, I wanted to share my tips for curbing sugar cravings, because really if there was one small thing you can change in your diet that will yield big results it is to cut back on the sugar.
So here it goes.
My Top 5 Tips for Curbing Sugar Cravings:
- Ditch the fake stuff. Artificial sweeteners can be 300x (if not more) sweetener than real sugar. And while they may be calorie free, they really can mess with your palette. They basically bombard our tastebuds with such an over the tops sweetness, it can be very difficult to then appreciate the subtle, real flavors and sweetness in whole food. In the long run they have you wanting more and more sugar, and that my friends is counter productive. (Notice I didn’t even begin to touch on the fact they are full of chemicals and correlated with all types of crazy diseases).
- Rest. Here’s the deal. Our bodies are crazy smart. Like crazy-crazy. When the body is tired it looks for energy (it is trying to do us a favor) and it knows the the quickest way for energy to get into the body is via sugar. Ever notice that when you are tired you crave processed carbs and/or sweets? This is why. The next time you feel like you need to rest, do yourself a favor and rest.
- Add more sweet food. This one is especially true for my dieters and low carb peeps. When we have a diet very low in carbohydrates and sugar we tend to want sweets. By simply adding some nutritious sweet foods to your day you can cut that craving way back. Some great examples are sweet potatoes, squash, brown rice, oats, and carrots.
- Protein. Ok. Are you ready for this one? Both eating too little and too much protein are linked with sugar cravings (how annoying is that?!). So the key is to really become your own detective. If you find yourself craving sugar, just take note of how much protein you have been eating. If it seems high, try cutting back. If it seems low, experiment with adding some more in. I’m telling you, being interested in ourselves is one of the best ways to figure out what our bodies need.
- Add non-food sweetness. Often times we reach for sweets because we are looking for a little sweetness in the day. C’mon, fess up! How many of my moms out there love a little chocolate after the kids go to sleep? It’s an easy way to add a sweet moment to the day. But if you are fining that the food-sugar in your life is just too high, ask yourself, “how else can I bring sweetness to my day/life?”. It can be a simple as a phone call with a dear friend, a walk, a girls night out, a great book, etc. The options are endless, but the key component is that you remember to keep yourself on the top of your own list.
All of that and a pumpkin spice latte!
So check out the video, try the latte, and then come back and let me know what you think! I love to hear your thoughts and comments, so I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Yield: Serves 1
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 tbsp. pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
- ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup strong brewed coffee (or 2 shots of espresso)
- Fresh grated nutmeg (optional)
Combine almond milk, pumpkin maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a small saucepan over a medium low heat. Whisk everything together and as soon as the milk begins to simmer, shut off the heat and transfer the milk mixture to a blender.
Add a ½ cup of strong brewed coffee to the blender and blend for 10 seconds or until light and frothy.
Pour into your favorite mug. Top with fresh nutmeg and enjoy!
Nutrients for entire recipe (aka 1 drink): Calories: 78; Total Fat: 2.7g; Saturated Fat: 0.1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 2.4g; Sugars: 9.8g; Protein: 1.7g