I often joke, the only way we know it’s Fall in Los Angeles is because Starbucks tell us by launching their infamous pumpkin spice latte. Although both major coffee chains, Starbucks and Dunkin, could offer these flavors year ’round, they don’t. Waiting for its launch each year is like Linus waiting for the great pumpkin to arrive. Simply waiting for the coffee giants to announce the date their drinks will drop is an event itself, I consider it the unofficial 5th season of the year, the PSL season.
While these drinks are fun and festive, think cozy sweater vibes, they are also packed and I mean packed with sugar! It’s something all the fancy ads don’t mention and I can’t blame them, who would actually order one knowing a grande (Starbucks fancy term for medium) PSL with 2% milk has 52 carbs! Yes, 52! It’s an alarming amount for any drink, especially when you consider it’s about the same as drinking a piece of apple pie.
So, how do we still have our cake, I mean PSL, and drink it to without regrets?
Step 1: switch to almond milk, as dairy is looked with sugar. Starbucks and Dunkin offer other non-dairy options, like oat and soy, but those, too are packed with carbs. At both coffeeshops, their almond milk is the best choice.
Step 2: dial down your flavor shots, these drinks are way too sweet they way the are made anyway…if you need it a little more sweet, add a stevia and ask for extra cinnamon or pumpkin spice seasoning on top.
Step 3: size matters here, a lot! Order the small and drink it slowly.
I’ve been crafting my order at both Starbucks and Dunkin for year and here’s exactly what I order:
Tall, almond milk, 1 pump pumpkin spice, no whip cream, extra almond milk foam.
Note: The hot version is better here.
Small, almond milk, 1 pump, no whip cream.
Note: I order this one iced.
If 3pm or later, I order decaf.
Note: I don’t get these very often, I’d say may 1 or 2 a month. But, when I do, I want to enjoy it and for me, enjoyment comes from knowing I’m not drinking a sugar bomb. I’d rather eat my big carbs and calories, how about you?