The season of fancy coffee drinks has started. Pumpkin spice is everywhere, and other seasonal beverages are starting to appear on menus. Like many other Americans, we get excited for Starbucks’ “red cup season.” This year, it starts November 2. We don’t often drink Starbucks drinks. They are loaded with sugar. And their cost is ridiculous. But we do love the seasonal flavors. And we love that they herald the holiday season.
We love holiday flavors. But we don’t like carbs that can upset blood sugar and health goals. And we understand that not everyone is interested in drinking the caffeine in coffee drinks. October is Caffeine Addiction Recovery Month. While 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is considered safe for adults, some people are sensitive to it and can get headaches, stomach problems, anxiety, sleeplessness or other issues when they consume it. Caffeine is an addictive chemical; some people drink too much of it to be safe. You can use decaf coffee when making copycat Starbucks drinks. But today, we are giving you four tasty recipes that don’t use coffee to help you celebrate the season.
If you love pumpkin spice but don’t like coffee, you don’t have to skip the pumpkin spice latte (PSL) trend. This chai latte is different from the original. First, it uses tea. Second, it is dairy-free and uses almond milk. And third, it has real pumpkin puree, so the drink contains fiber. A medium Starbucks PSL has 390 calories and 52 grams of carbs. This version has 44 calories, two grams of carbs and one gram of fiber. Get the recipe.
If you want a creamy, spicy latte without the pumpkin, this is the one for you. This recipe uses spices you already have in your kitchen and regular black tea, along with vanilla and two kinds of milk. The combination of almond and coconut milk makes it incredibly creamy. This drink also works iced when you are looking for something spicy and delicious that tastes of fall but won’t warm you up. A serving has 133 calories, 4.6 grams of carbs and 0.9 grams of fiber. Get the recipe.
White hot chocolate is more of a drinkable dessert than an actual drink. At this time of year, we reach for those indulgent treats more than others. As the holidays approach, we go to pumpkin patches, start our holiday shopping and run fun but tiring errands. We can feel like treating ourselves with seasonal rewards for checking things off of our fun — but exhausting — to-do lists. The problem is that those “desserts-in-a-cup” drinks can be 500 calories! This creamy and rich hot chocolate manages to pull off being decadent without being quite so high in calories and still low in carbs! A serving has 212 calories, six grams of carbs and three grams of fiber. Get the recipe.
You can buy sugar-free and low-sugar hot chocolate powders. But nothing compares to homemade. However, homemade hot chocolate is so high in sugar and calories that most of us avoid it. This version you can enjoy without worrying about your blood sugar. We love this recipe because it also includes instructions to make a homemade hot chocolate mix that stays good for six months and tastes fantastic. You can’t go wrong with either option! While the drink is high in carbs, it’s also very high in fiber, so you don’t have to worry about them. But it isn’t a low-calorie drink, so this should be treated as a treat. A serving of the drink has 306 calories, 14 grams of carbs and 10.3 grams of fiber. Get the recipe.
We hope these drinks keep you warm and cozy. They should help get you into the spirit as we head into the holiday season. Coffee drinks can tempt anyone but avoiding caffeine is easier when you have options like these!