Pumpkin Spice Not So Nice? Avoid Artificial Ingredients With DIY Solutions

Healthy Recipes Tuesday, October 7, 2014 Written by

There’s something magical about the smell of pumpkin spice in the fall. Like the changing of the leaves and the first hint of wood smoke in the air, the delectable combination of cinnamon, ginger and cloves means fall is here.

One of the first places pumpkin spice makes an appearance is on the coffeehouse menu. The pumpkin spice latte — so famous it goes by its initials in some places — is one of the most popular seasonal beverages. But with one quick look at the ingredient list, it becomes clear the latte is more like dessert than a beverage.

With over 50 grams of sugar — a whopping 11 teaspoons — a 16-ounce pumpkin spice latte can clock in at over 300 calories. That doesn’t even count the whipped cream!

For those who must get their pumpkin spice fix each fall, it’s easy to recreate a much healthier (and more affordable) drink at home. The latte recipe uses only a small amount of pumpkin puree, so to make use of the remainder we’ve provided a few more pumpkin recipes to spice up your fall.

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Blend

DIY Pumpkin Spice LatteObviously, this is a key ingredient in your latte Instead of store-bought spice blends, which can be dull and lose flavor quickly, you can easily grind your own blend in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder. The difference is astonishing!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 whole cloves (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves)
  • 4 allspice berries (or 1 teaspoon ground allspice)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a spice grinder (or clean coffee grinder) and pulse until finely ground. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe: DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

DIY Pumpkin Spice LatteUnlike the coffeehouse version, this pumpkin spice latte uses real pumpkin puree instead of artificial flavoring.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups low-fat or skim milk (almond, soy or refrigerated coconut milk also work well)
  • 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice Blend (recipe above)
  • 2 tablespoons plain pumpkin puree (Note: not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 shots espresso or 1/2 cup extra strong coffee

Directions:
Heat milk in small saucepan until hot, but not quite boiling. Remove from heat, and whisk in sugar, pumpkin puree and spice blend until dissolved. Stir in espresso. Makes 2 servings.

Recipe: Caffeine-free Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

DIY Pumpkin Spice LatteMake this pumpkin spice hot chocolate for a caffeine-free treat!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups low-fat or skim milk (almond, soy or refrigerated coconut milk also work well)
  • 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plain pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice blend (recipe above)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder

Directions:
Heat milk in small saucepan until hot, but not quite boiling. Remove from heat, and whisk in sugar, pumpkin puree, spice blend and cocoa until dissolved. Makes 2 servings.

Craving that pumpkin spice flavor outside the mug? These healthy pumpkin recipes will use up the rest of your pumpkin puree and give you something seasonal and delicious to much on: