Tis the Season for PSLs


By Dinar Yusufov

You’re rushing to get to campus on time. Your backpack is overflowing with papers and lecture notes, & the cool, windy air is giving way for the orange and yellow-colored leaves to fall onto the ground. In order to stay alert and awake on this windy Monday, you need to have your daily fix of Starbucks coffee, and considering the cool and crisp weather, you opt for a soothing Pumpkin Spice Latte. So warm and comforting, it helps you be able to tackle on the beginning of the week. Now, let’s take a look into what a PSL really contains. This wonderful and indulgent espresso beverage contains notes of pumpkin, cinnapslmon, nutmeg and clove that is like a fall heaven. You can get it with whipped cream and some pumpkin pie spices as well. A common way that this beverage is bought is as a Grande (medium sized) with 2% milk and whipped cream. This certain drink would equal out to be:

380 Calories

14 grams of total fat

8 grams of Saturated fat

240 grams of Sodium

50 grams of Sugar

14 grams of Protein

A snack should typically contain between 150-300 calories, depending on the level of physical activity, how often you snack, and how many calories are eaten during each meal. Also, according to the American Heart Association, no more than 7% of the total daily calories should be coming from saturated fat. So consuming a typical 2,000 calorie diet, saturated fat intake should be limited to 16 grams per day. Now, comparing the nutrition facts of this drink to the standards of the 2,000 calorie diet, it can be kind of alarming. But, no worries! There are endless alternatives to recreate this drink without all of the saturated fat, sodium, and SUGAR, but still the amazing flavor and comfort it brings during cold and windy fall days!

While at Starbucks,

1) Order with a different type of milk. Starbucks just now announced that they will be offering almond milk! So, now with options such as soy milk, almond milk, and non-fat milk, there is a variety of milks to choose from, that are lower in calories, sugar, and saturated fat. Also, if you opt out of whipped cream, that halves the amount of total fat in your drink, making it a bit more healthy!

2) Order a regular coffee with Pumpkin Spice syrup. Yes, I know the pumpkin spice flavor is just heavenly during this time of the year. I want to put it in everything I eat: granola, soup, pastries, drinks, etc. So, why not just get the flavor into it, without all the extra calories and sugars. Just order your favorite roast of coffee, dark, medium or blonde, add some milk and ask for a pump or two of pumpkin spice syrup! You’ll still be getting the caffeine, but with more than half the sugar, fat and calories included. Much healthier and lighter. Trust me, you will love it.

Not a fan of Starbucks, but still love PSLs?

3) Make you own PSL at home! I love re-creating drinks at home that I try at coffee shops. So, here is one that I hope you all will be pleasantly satisfied with:

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or your favorite milk)

3 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 teaspoons of maple syrup

8 ounces of your favorite brewed coffee

Sprinkle of cinnamon

1) Combine all the ingredients in a blender & blend until it is smooth and creamy.

2) Adjust flavor to taste, if needed and serve warm. Enjoy! J

3) Don’t forget to take a picture to document it.

Good luck with your fall coffee endeavors and hope this provided a little insight on the beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte!

References:

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Healthy-Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-35725456 http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/espresso/pumpkin-spice-latte http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Saturated-Fats_UCM_301110_Article.jsp#.V_GEgPkrKUk

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