Recipe from our chefs: How to make your own sugar-free pumpkin spice latte

Sugar-free pumpkin spice latte

It’s officially pumpkin season! And that means one thing: Pumpkin spice flavor is showing up everywhere, from doughnuts to ice cream and, of course, coffee drinks. The only downside to those delicious pumpkin-flavored treats is the negative impact to your waistline … until now.

You can make your own pumpkin spice latte at home without adding sugar — and that’s a big win, says Lori Chong, MBA, RDN, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The World Health Organization recommends limiting added sugar to 5% of your total calories. On a 2,000 calories/day diet, that equates to no more than 25 grams of added sugar. Chong says a 14-ounce bottle of pumpkin spice latte can contain a whopping 42 grams of added sugar.

What’s so bad about added sugar in your diet?

Chong says there are numerous problems with having too much sugar in your diet. Those include:

  • Sugar increases calorie count, so a diet high in sugar can lead to unnecessary weight gain.
  • Sugar causes rises and dips in blood sugar, which can contribute to poor energy and an irritable mood.
  • In the long term, prolonged overconsumption of sugar can make your body resistant to insulin, eventually leading to type 2 diabetes.
  • Excessive sugar intake contributes to inflammation — a root cause of many chronic diseases, including heart disease.

Don’t overdo it, even with this healthy pumpkin spice latte recipe

Chong cautions that just because there is no sugar added to this pumpkin spice latte, it isn’t permission to binge on the coffee drink. “Balance in the diet is a good thing!” she says. “A person cannot live well on pumpkin spice lattes alone.”

Sugar-free pumpkin spice latte recipe ingredients:

  • 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla soy milk
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree (pumpkin should be the only ingredient in the puree)
  • 1 teaspoon of erythritol*
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Spice options:

  • Option 1: ½ teaspoon cinnamon plus a pinch of nutmeg, cloves and ginger
  • Option 2: ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

* Erythritol is made from corn so a person allergic to corn should choose another sweetener.

Recipe steps:

Combine all ingredients in a blender until the mixture is completely smooth. Stir into coffee, tea or a grain-based coffee alternative.

Nutritional information:

Makes one large 16-ounce mug

Calories: 112
Carbohydrate: 8g
Fat: 4.5g
Fiber: 5g

Nutrition Services at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center offers nutrition counseling, classes and more for patients and the community

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