It’s that time of year. The ushering in of a new season. The leaves are changing and the air is crisp. Ok, maybe not in Texas, but… you know what I mean. Thoughts are drifting to campfires, Halloween, Thanksgiving and all things pumpkin. YAY! Pumpkin!
Yes, I’m one of those. I love all things pumpkin – bread, pancakes, lattes, pie, muffins etc. The flavor brings me back to my childhood. To my mom making pumpkin loaves with our Halloween pumpkin and making me deliver them to all the neighbors. I hated it at the time, as often it was raining and cold when I needed to deliver them, but now cherish those memories.
I also have memories of living in Chicago, taking the bus to work and getting off one stop early so I could stop in at the leading chain’s coffee shop. Nothing said “hello fall” or “stay warm and get to work” like a yummy PSL. Almost every day. It was a ritual. It warmed my heart, my tummy and my taste buds.
Then, times changed and I found myself cutting sugar and being much more responsible for what goes in my body. I read what is in one of those PSL’s and it grossed me out! I haven’t had one in years. Yes, they have improved their recipe since I first indulged 20+ years ago, but when was the last time you inquired as to what is in your favorite drink?
Here’s just a few of the culprits lurking in this particular seasonal drink but trust me… this stuff is in most, if not all, of them.
Pumpkin Spice Sauce – (listed as the second ingredient after milk. I’m confused…where is the coffee?). The first ingredient in this mystery sauce is sugar.
Potassium Sorbate – a preservative banned in Europe due to lack of safety studies.
Carrageenan – found by scientists to cause inflammation, digestive problems, bloating, irritable bowel disease and colon cancer.
Natural flavors – derived from plant and animal substances to add flavor. This is still a controversial subject because, sure it's "natural", but arsenic is natural too. Bottom line: you have no idea what this is or what you may be consuming. A special warning to my vegan friends.
Vanilla Syrup – more sugar, more potassium sorbate and more natural flavors.
So, if you’ve been making an effort to improve your food choices by cutting sugar and eating more real whole foods – don’t let the warm drink season ruin your efforts.
Here is an easy at home latte sure to warm your heart and keep it healthy too. 😊
8 oz of responsibly sourced coffee (I prefer organic, decaf crystals, but that’s just me)
1 Tbs. MCT oil (promotes weight loss, good fat for your brain & heart, appetite suppressant and energy booster)
1 Tbs. grass fed collagen (promotes skin & joint health, improves wrinkles and dryness, aids in reducing bone loss & joint pain)
1-3 Tbs. of full fat coconut milk (from the can)
1/8 to 1/4 of Pumpkin Spice seasoning – just depends on how spicy you are
1 or 2 drops of organic Stevia if needed
I add all ingredients to a tall glass measuring cup/small pitcher and use an immersion blender to whip together. Pour in your favorite mug and enjoy. It pairs well with puppy snuggles on the couch with a blanket. But, again, that’s just me.
I hope you enjoy this drink as much as I do. Eventually, in Texas it will even be cool enough outside to take this with when I leave the house. A girl can dream, right?
Until next time, be well friends!