Now that summer is officially over, we're all peeling that last tab off of our Pumpkin Spice Latte advent calendars.
At BuzzFeed Health, we love a seasonal coffee drink as much as the next person. But we couldn't help but notice that the #PSL packs a not insignificant amount of added sugar.
A tall PSL made with whole milk and no whipped cream has 37g of sugar.
Now some of that sugar is from the naturally-occurring sugar in whole milk. For example, a tall whole milk latte made from Starbucks has 13g of sugar. Since a latte is an unsweetened and unflavored version of a PSL, it makes sense to assume that a PSL of the same size has 13g of natural sugar.
Which means that a tall PSL has 24g of added sugar.
(We checked our nutrition math with registered dietitian Abby Langer of Abby Langer Nutrition.)
This means that a PSL has the same amount of added sugar as a Hershey Bar.
And, look, some added sugar is not the end of the world.
But if you're interested in a less sugary (just as delicious) version, we have just the thing.
BuzzFeed Food editor Christine Byrne has developed the ultimate recipe for a healthier PSL. Bonus: It's cheaper, too!
It has about a third less added sugar (13.25g total) and it's made with brewed coffee (as opposed to espresso), which means it's easy to make at home.
And it's still a delicious, cozy, seasonal drink that's perfect for crisp fall mornings. Or warm and still-humid fall afternoons. Whichever.
Here's how to make it:
And here's the full recipe:
• 8 ounces (1 cup) hot coffee
• 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
• 2 teaspoons maple syrup
• 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
• 2 ounces (1/4 cup) whole milk
Pour the coffee into a 12-ounce mug, then add the pumpkin puree. Stir until it's dissolved and totally mixed in. Add the maple syrup and the pumpkin spice and stir. Pour the milk into a small, heatproof mug or bowl and heat in the microwave until steaming (or, heat it in a small pan on the stove).
If you're feeling fancy, you can use a milk frother (like this $7 one) to make a super legit, foamy drink, but it's isn't essential.
Pour the milk into the coffee and serve with a little more pumpkin spice sprinkled on top!