It would seem that the season formerly known as Fall is now called Pumpkin Spice! I have to admit that I am one of those pumpkin spice loving foodies! I have a hard time waiting for Thanksgiving for my first piece of pumpkin pie. Usually, by the second week of September, pumpkin spice makes an appearance in my home. Whether it is muffins, pie, soup, or a hot cup of cozy, pumpkin spice is warmly welcomed by my taste buds.
Pumpkin spice is most often a blend of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. All of these spices have wonderful health properties. Cinnamon is known to add a natural sweetness to foods and help regulate blood sugar levels. It has anti-inflammatory properties and a source of antioxidants. Ginger helps with nausea, digestion and supports the immune system. Nutmeg can improve your breath, improve digestion as well as relieve insomnia due to its magnesium content. As you can see, these spices can, in fact, be supportive to our overall health. What happens though when we order a pumpkin spice latte at the coffee shop?
Let’s look at McDonald’s Pumpkin Spice Latte. There are 40 grams (10 teaspoons) of sugar in a regular-sized cup of the brew.
The World Health Organization or WHO, recommends that adults consume no more than 6 to 9 teaspoons of refined sugar per day. One cup of this stuff and you’ve maxed your daily limit! There are 290 calories in this little sugar torpedo! Normally, I pay little attention to the number of calories because I believe that we should pay more attention to the quality of nutrients and less attention to the number of calories. However, in this case, in one little cup, there are a whole heap of frivolous calories. Have a couple of these per week and you’ll start to notice your pants getting a little tighter!
Next, I would like to draw your attention to the ingredients list. This info is taken directly from the McDonald’s website.
Sugar, water, corn syrup, nonfat dry milk, brown sugar, butter (cream, natural flavour), ethyl alcohol, glycerin, mono and diglycerides, salt, potassium sorbate (preservative), natural flavour
Now, I could go into detail over the ins and outs of each questionable ingredient, but I fear that I would lose you along the way. I will acknowledge that every funny-sounding ingredient isn’t always a cause for concern. There can be very scientific-sounding names for simple ingredients. I will, however, ask you this. How likely is it that you are going to have a jar of glycerin or a bottle of potassium sorbate in your kitchen to add to your recipes?
If you ask me, I would rather skip the preservatives, miscellaneous sweeteners and such and go for the good stuff! Is it still possible to have a pumpkin latte from time to time that tastes delicious and doesn’t take an eternity in the kitchen to create? The answer my friends is, ‘Yes!’
If you are ordering in a cafe, ask for a half sweet option. That means you get half the amount of sweetened syrup in your cup. You still get all the artificial stuff, but at least it is less.
The better option, however, is to simply make your own. It really isn’t that hard. I promise you!
Interested in learning more about what’s in your food? Click here to find out more.
For the Love of Lattes - Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice!
- 2 tbsp pumpkin spice
- 1/2 cup raw or coconut sugar
- 1 cup water
- Whisk and heat on the stove until you have a gentle boil. The syrup will begin to thicken. Remove from heat. Brew a cup of tea or coffee and add 1 tbsp of the syrup along with warmed milk to your mug. Use a milk frother to get the creaminess you are after. Enjoy! You can reserve your extra syrup for about a week in the fridge. Try adding it to warmed milk for a steamer or drizzle your oatmeal.