Pumpkin Spice Latte {lightened up}


I’m a Seattleite so Starbucks will always have a little piece of my heart.  And while I don’t drink much coffee, the occasional seasonal latte gets me just as excited as those of you who count the days until Starbucks releases their holiday red cups.  


But, these special holiday drinks aren’t all pumpkin patches and elves (sorry to kill the magic).  A typical pumpkin spice latte is loaded with sugar, syrups, and artificial flavorings.    Just a grande pumpkin spice latte (with no whip) has 49 grams of sugar—that’s more sugar than THREE servings of ice cream. 


I can already feel the eye rolls.  If you love your Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, enjoy that baby and relish in the joy it brings you.  But, if you’re like me and are more into ice cream or… ahem…macarons, don’t waste your sugar intake on a drink.  Because guess what?  You can make your own pumpkin spice latte without the sugar and scary additives and it tastes just as good, if not better.


So grab a can of pumpkin (Trader Joe’s carries a great organic version in the fall!), put on your coziest slippers, and make your own pumpkin spice latte.  You’ve got this, sister.

Food La La Recipe:  Pumpkin Spice latte {lightened up}

Yields:  2 lattes


  • 1 ½ cups milk (cashew, almond, whole)*
  • 2 TBS maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin*
  • 1-1/2 cups hot black coffee


  1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan
  2. Add the syrup, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.  Whisk together.
  3. Add the pumpkin and whisk together.
  4. Pour pumpkin mixture into two mugs, then fill to top with hot coffee.
  5. Top with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.
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Psst!  A few recipe notes:

  • I like using homemade cashew milk to keep it dairy-free.
  • When buying your pumpkin, be sure it’s not the “pumpkin pie” filling mix.
  • If you don’t drink coffee, try brewed chai tea instead.
  • You can make the pumpkin mix in advance (will probably last 4-5 days), then just reheat and add to hot coffee.