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How To Make Healthy, Natural And Gourmet Fall Pumpkin Drinks

Image source: VIAwomen.com

Image source: VIAwomen.com

Watching football with friends? Check. Jumping into leaves? Check. Sipping a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks? Check. These are a few of my favorite things about fall.

But if you’re like me, you probably don’t go to Starbucks – or similar coffee shops – all that much. After all, some drinks cost $5-$6. And for that price, you could probably make an entire meal for your family.

Not to mention, these coffee drinks are full of sugar. A Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte (grande) has more than 12 teaspoons of sugar. And a Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino (venti) has 23 teaspoons!

You could give up those pumpkin spice drink things altogether — but why not just make your own? For just a fraction of the cost of a fancy coffee, you can make your own.

Here are my favorite sugar-free, low-carb coffee recipes.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

This latte makes a cozy drink for those cold autumn days. If you want it sweet but don’t want your blood sugar to spike, try adding a few drops of stevia.  I like Sweetleaf Liquid Stevia. Or try a teaspoon or two of organic erythritrol to sweeten. My favorite is 100% Pure Erythritrol. If you don’t mind natural sweeteners, try one to two tablespoons of raw honey or maple syrup. It will add some carbs and sugar to your coffee, but it will still be healthier than the Starbucks’ version!

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Yields: 1 Serving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend
  • ½  teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strong coffee or shot of espresso
  • Stevia (sweeten to taste or use favorite sweetener)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Directions

Warm milk in a small saucepan until frothy. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and vanilla until smooth. Add desired amount of sweetener to your coffee and pour into the steamed milk mixture. Sometimes the pumpkin settles to the bottom of the coffee cup. So if you don’t want it to taste gritty, pour the coffee through a strainer or cheesecloth. Top with whipped cream and enjoy.

Nutritional info (sweetened with stevia)

Each serving has around 50 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber.

Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino

Try this cold drink after a long workout. Sometimes I add a frozen, ripe banana and a scoop of protein powder to add some potassium and protein. Just make sure that you don’t use pumpkin pie filling — it’s full of sugar!

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of instant coffee
  • Pinch of salt
  • Stevia (sweeten to taste or use 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite sweetener)

Directions

Put all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth, and pour into an ice cube tray. Freeze. Remove the ice cubes and let them thaw slightly or until they are able to blend in a blender. Add ice cubes to the blender to blend until smooth. Add extra sweetener if needed, but don’t add ice! It will only dilute the flavor.

Nutritional info (sweetened with Stevia)

Each serving has around 60 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber.

Chai Tea Latte

Okay. Chai tea isn’t coffee, but it’s one of my favorite fall drinks! My friend, Shalini, from India introduced me to chai tea made with cardamom. This chai tea latte is packed full of ginger, cardamom and black tea flavor. Why spend money at Starbucks when you can make it at home?

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
    Stevia (sweeten to taste or use 1/4 cup raw honey or pure maple syrup)
  • 4 inches ginger root, grated
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 3 black tea bags
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Whipped cream (optional)

Directions

In a small sauce pan add water, ¼ cup raw honey or pure maple syrup (if using), grated ginger, cardamom pods and black tea bags. Bring to a boil, drop the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add milk. Warm until mixture is frothy. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer (or strainer lined with cheesecloth). Add a few drops of stevia (if using). Top with whipped cream and serve piping hot.

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Nutritional info (sweetened with stevia)

Each serving has around 40 calories, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, and 1 gram of fiber.

Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha

Can’t decide between sweet and salty? Try this cozy drink. I like to make mine with Eight O’ Clock Caramel Macchiato to add flavor, but any coffee will work.

Image source: Culturemob

Image source: Culturemob

Yields: 1 Serving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of strong coffee
  • 2 tablespoons caramel sauce (see recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • Pinch of sea salt (for sprinkling on top)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Stevia (sweetened to taste or 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite sweetener)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Directions

Mix 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa to ground coffee. Brew strong coffee. Place caramel sauce and sea salt in a mug. Heat milk on the stove until it’s frothy. Pour coffee into mug and stir to combine. Add milk to coffee. Taste and add stevia or favorite sweetener if needed. Top with whipped cream, caramel sauce and a pinch of sea salt.

Nutritional info (sweetened with stevia)

Each serving has around 176 calories, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber.

Sugar-Free Caramel Sauce

Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup grass-fed butter
  • 1 cup organic whole milk (you can also use canned coconut milk)
  • Stevia (I use 2 teaspoons. Or use 1/3 cup of raw honey or pure maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup organic heavy whipping cream

Directions

In a medium saucepan add the butter, milk and stevia (or your favorite sweetener). Stir often and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer, whisking often for 20 minutes. The caramel sauce will begin to thicken.

Do not cook for longer than 20 minutes or it will harden. Turn the heat off and whisk in heavy whipping cream. It makes about 8 servings of caramel sauce, or two tablespoons per serving.  And will keep in the refrigerator for a week.

Nutritional info (sweetened with stevia)

Each 2-tablespoon serving has around 121 calories, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein.

What is your favorite fall coffee drink? Write your answer in the comments section below:

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