There are so many signs that autumn is finally here - the cooler air, the leaves changing colors, and of course let’s not forget the return of Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte. I have to admit that I used to buy this drink religiously over the past few years, but I haven’t bought one this season. Mostly because I’m trying to cut back on eating or drinking anything with too many artificial flavorings and added sugars. Don’t get me wrong, I still crave the taste of this pumpkin-y delight, but I’m trying to make better choices for my body.
Another reason I haven’t bought this drink is because I recently read a blog post from the Food Babe that questioned some of the ingredients in Starbucks’ drink. After I did a little research, I decided that I needed to take a step backwards to reevaluate my drink options. Of course, I don’t know if the Food Babe post is accurate, but I am equally concerned regarding the amount of sugar used in the latte and the chemicals used in Starbucks’ signature pumpkin spice syrup.
So when I found this Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie recipe, I knew it was going to be my favorite treat. It’s filled with real pumpkin, which is a great source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, making it a healthy addition to your diet. This smoothie that has less sugar and fewer calories than the traditional Starbucks latte, but will still tackle that fall pumpkin drink craving. Check out the recipe below to get your Starbucks fix at home with infinitely more nutritional value. If you decide to try it, let me know what you think. Happy blending!
Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
[Inspired by this pumpkin spice smoothie from Lululemon.]
1 cup of canned pumpkin
1 cup of almond milk
1 or 2 frozen bananas (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger, to taste
1 scoop of protein powder (optional)
A handful of ice cubes
Makes 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Blend all ingredients together until you achieve the desired consistency. Adjust flavorings as needed and add more almond milk or water if it’s too thick. Pour the drink in a glass and Enjoy!