Listen I’m gonna tell you how I really feel. This whole pumpkin spice latte thing, or I’m sorry #PSL – which gets more than 3,000 tweets per day and has it’s own Instagram account (with 35K followers…PSL teach us your ways)…well it makes me feel like I’m taking crazy pills. I get the appeal of a warm, sweet, frothy bev. I do. But this drink has taken on a life of it’s own. I’m honestly surprised it doesn’t have a mascot or a face that we can link to it’s addictive allure. But I’m not here to hate, I know it’s a ‘thing’ and from a former Starbuck’s soy chai latte aficionado, I’m just here to give some perspective to this whole PSL craze.
Starbucks has sold more than 200 million of the pumpkin spice latte. This thing isn’t going anywhere but I’ll still get on my soapbox and preach a bit of the reality behind this drink. Each grande (that’s Starbucks for medium) packs in 380 calories. How would you like 50 grams of sugar with that? Great, because that’s in there too, and that’s 11 grams more than in a can of Coca-Cola.
The ingredients aren’t heart warming either. Food Babe (love that babe) did the grueling work of getting Starbucks to not only be more forthcoming about the ingredients, but played a role in getting them to ditch the harmful caramel coloring. Check out her post here, it lays out some of the less than desirable ingredients in the PSL, including but not limited to:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Excessive sugar
- Artificial flavors
- Carageenan – linked to gastrointestinal inflammation, stomach pain and cancer
- Preservatives & sulfites (can contribute to allergies and DNA damage)
- Non-organic coffee – has one of the highest pesticide residues of crops globally
This isn’t even touching on the quality of the milk they use (non-organic, GMO fed cows), the non-dairy alternatives that have their own laundry list of ingredients, and the optional whip cream because apparently we need more sugar.
Listen. We all have our holiday indulgences, and god bless them. But if our indulgences are a daily habit that last for 3 months, then we are literally playing with our health. At what point is it worth it? It’s important to know these things in order to make informed decisions. So here’s my thoughts: get an upgrade. Get your pumpkin fix elsewhere. Check out this mini pumpkin recipe roundup that will give you that Fall spice fix but without giving you IBS symptoms or a spare tire. Amiright?
Pumpkin Spice Latte with Salted Pumpkin Spice Syrup – The always inspiring Oh She Glows
One Bowl Pumpkin Bread – LOVE this recipe by Minimalist Baker
Pumpkin Oatmeal – From our fave Edible Perspective
Pumpkin Pie Caramel Bars – Can you handle these? Green Kitchen Stories
Prescribe Nutrition’s very own: Pumpkin Turkey Chili | Serves 5-6
This soup is a meal in itself. We adapted this from one of our favorite food bloggers, Smitten Kitchen. The beans and pumpkin provide a ton of fiber which will keep you full and your digestive tract happy. If you want to you can mix in a few handfuls of greens before serving, to up your veggie game. Make ahead tip: This soup stores well in the fridge for 5-6 days, and freezes very well for months.
- 2 15-oz cans black beans
- 1 15-oz can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped (or 4-5 medium tomatoes)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 shallots, minced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chile or ancho chile powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flake (more for extra spice)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 pound ground turkey
- 32 oz (4 cups) organic veggie or chicken broth
- 1 16-oz can pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) for garnish
- In a food processor or blender coarsely puree the beans and tomatoes, don’t over-blend, you want to leave some texture.
- In a large, heavy saucepan heat the olive oil over low-medium heat. Add onion, shallots, garlic, cumin, chili powder, red pepper, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally until onion is softened and begins to brown, about 6-8 minutes.
- Stir in the ground turkey and saute until turkey meat browns, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add in bean puree and stir, then add in broth, pumpkin and and stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. The soup will get thicker as it cooks.
- Once thickened, add vinegar and simmer for 1 additional minute. Season soup with additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve sprinkled with pumpkin seeds and serve.