I don’t remember my first pumpkin spice latte.
I know, I know–sacrilege. White girls everywhere are denying they know me.
But I do remember my first latte. You know, the regular kind, pre-pumpkin spice era. You’ve heard of them, right?
Let me take you back to 2002, when Starbucks was oh so cool (I think it still is? not sure…) and oh so elite. My cousins and I had heard of Starbucks, of course, but we’d never been to one. We’d definitely never had any Starbucks products.
One chilly Saturday night, we scoped out our nearest Starbucks. Upon discovering it was only a 15 minute drive away, we head out to taste the coffee that we’d only read about in US Weekly.
When we got there, I immediately realized that I had no idea what I was doing. I was only 13, after all. I had no prior coffee experience. I wasn’t ready for Starbucks. Beginners should really start off with Dunkin’ Donuts. McDonalds, really. Starbucks is the big leagues–the sizes are in Italian. That should tell you everything.
I heard my cousin order a latte, so I followed suit. “A latte, please. Mediu–err, grande.”
After I poured what I can only guess was about a half cup of sugar into the warm frothiness, we headed home to pretend we were celebrities sipping on our lattes in our grand California homes. Of course this is what really happened…
Monica and Donna fell asleep on my parent’s couch. I finished my latte and was watching TV when all of the sudden I got a rush of energy. Me being 13 and a coffee novice, I had no idea that I was even in the throws of a caffeine rush. I remember thinking the living room smelled weird. I got out a bottle of Febreeze and started spraying the entire room. Everything from the carpet to the curtains got a heavy spritzing.
My cousins, asleep on the the couch, weren’t even safe from the Febreeze air raid.
I was in my own world of caffeine-induced air-freshening when they woke up up, spitting out Febreeze and coughing.
“What’s wrong with you right now?! Why are you being so crazy? You have so much energy! Calm down with that Febreeze!”
I came down from my Starbucks high shortly after, and that’s the story of my first latte.
These days I don’t get that much of a rush from caffeine (but I WISH I DID) and I don’t even own a bottle of Febreeze, so I drink lattes freely. And I am a girl, in her twenties, in America–so naturally I’m obsessed with pumpkin spice lattes.
Pumpkin spice anything, actually. Pumpkin spice donuts, pumpkin spice cake, pumpkin spice syrup, pumpkin spice peanut butter. Basically I’d eat my shoe if it were pumpkin spice flavored.
But take a look at the breakdown of a medium–err, grande pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks:
Now, you’ll notice that this is the breakdown with nonfat milk and NO whipped cream. 260 cals?! 48g of sugar?! That’s just too much. Far too much.
So when I came across this recipe for a skinny pumpkin spice frap, I knew I had to try it!
This recipe is amazing for so many reasons. It’s not only dairy free, but naturally gluten free. The ingredients are natural and you get the pumpkin flavor from real pumpkin (imagine that) instead of a chemically enhanced flavoring.
The recipe as is in the recipe is only 110.25 with 14g sugar. However, if maple syrup is completely omitted (and a zero calorie sweetener such as Stevia is used in it place of it), the calories would drop to 58.25, and the sugar would drop to 2g. That is amazing.
I personally like the flavor of a little maple syrup, but the choice is yours. Play around with it and find out what you like!
Now this recipe requires a bit of prep, but it’s worth is–I promise. To make this Skinny Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino, you need COLD coffee. This shouldn’t be a problem for you if you love cold brew, like I do. But the secret to this recipe is…an ice cube tray.
Yup! After you mix all your ingredients together (except the coffee), pour it into an empty ice cube tray and leave it to freeze. I usually do this the night before and wake up to an ice cube tray of frozen pumpkin goodness…mmmm.
- 1 and 1/2 cups (12 oz) cold coffee
- 1 and 1/4 cups (10 oz) unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any milk)
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) pumpkin puree
- 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup (or equal amount of honey or agave)
- 2 packets stevia or other 0 calorie sweetener (or 2 more tablespoons maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Brew the coffee and refrigerate overnight. Coffee MUST be very cold.
- In a small bowl, whisk the milk, pumpkin, sweetener of choice, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg together until combined. Pour into ice cube tray and allow to freeze.
- Once coffee is cold and pumpkin ice cubes are frozen, add everything to your blender and blend on high until smooth. Add more milk for creamier texture. Add more sweetener or spices if needed.
- Serve immediately.
- Instead of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves - use 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.
What’s your favorite Starbucks seasonal treat? Any other pumpkin spice lovers out there?