It’s not quite fall yet, but it sure feels like it today. The temperature was 28°C yesterday but only 14°C today. One of the best ways to turn a cold day into one that warms the body and the spirit is with a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Skip the chemical laden coffee shop drinks and make this at home in five minutes.
Years before I started studying nutrition, I was leery about the contents of popular coffee shop drinks like flavoured lattes and iced coffees. I have long felt that those tall bottles of flavoured syrup are like perfume that is ingested. Don’t be fooled when you read “natural flavour” on the ingredients list. Natural means that at one time they started as something natural, but natural flavouring can also contain synthetic chemicals, all able to remain nameless because of proprietary secrets. According to David Andrews, senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, natural flavours can actually contain more chemicals than artificial flavours.
The primary goal of flavours created by food scientists working in labs at large corporations is to increase the company profits by making the taste addictive. Artificial and “natural” flavours are chemically designed to keep us coming back for more.
The food industry is driven by sales and profits, not health, not nourishment. Scientists apply several factors including vanishing caloric density and orosensation always with the goal of maximizing the pleasure so you’ll keep coming back for more. Vanishing caloric density tricks the brain into thinking that calories have not been consumed, leading to a desire for even larger servings sizes to feel full, aka “supersizing”. Orosensation refers to the feel of the food in your mouth.
In addition to the mysterious “natural flavours”, a grande Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte also contains 50g of sugar. That is more than 12 teaspoons of sugar! The recommended daily intake of sugar is 24g for women, so that one drink is double the total recommended grams of sugar per day.
So, let’s skip the junk, the additives, flavouring, piles of sugar and expense, and make this Pumpkin Spice Latte in your kitchen for a fraction of the cost and this latte only has 6g of sugar in a serving. You can even make your own almond milk for your latte.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
- ½ cup water or use 1/2 cup strong coffee and omit Dandy blend
- 1 tbsp Dandy blend
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 ½ cups coconut milk
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Coconut cream
- In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil.
- Add Dandy blend and pumpkin pie spice and stir to dissolve.
- Add coconut milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk together and heat over medium heat just until it begins to bubble.
- Remove from heat. Pour into two mugs and top each with coconut cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.