It’s fall, the leaves are turning a vibrant array of oranges and reds, and of course, pumpkin spice season is in full swing.
All you may want to do on a Sunday afternoon is cozy up on your couch with a warm, comforting mug of that iconic fall drink – the Pumpkin Spice Latte. But you’re on a ketogenic diet. Does this mean you can’t participate in this beloved autumn tradition?
Keto Pumpkin Spice Lattes are a thing, and they’re every bit as delicious as their sugary, traditional counterparts.
This low carb take on the classic PSL allows you to enjoy the flavors of fall without disrupting your diet.
Here’s everything you need to know about this low-carb, high-fat twist on a classic fall drink; from its nutritional content to how it fits into your keto diet, and of course, a mouthwatering recipe to try at home.
Why Is It Called Pumpkin Spice Latte?
It’s called a Pumpkin Spice Latte (or PSL for short) because it’s a latte (espresso with steamed milk) flavored with pumpkin spice.
Pumpkin spice is a blend of spices typically used in pumpkin pie, including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves.
But the term “PSL” was made popular by Starbucks when they introduced their iconic drink in 2003.
It has since become a staple of fall and is now offered by many coffee shops and cafes, with each establishment adding their own twist to the classic recipe.
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There are also other variations:
- Pumpkin spice frappuccino – a frozen blended version of the PSL. Made by blending milk, ice, pumpkin spice sauce, and whipped cream.
- Pumpkin spice chai latte – a mixture of spiced black tea and steamed milk with the addition of pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice.
- Pumpkin spice coffee – simply add pumpkin spice to your regular cup of coffee. If you prefer a simpler version of the PSL, this may be the option for you.
- Pumpkin spice iced coffee – a refreshing spin on the PSL, perfect for those warmer fall days. It has all the same flavors but served over ice.
But for all these variations, the star ingredient remains the same – pumpkin spice.
And now with Keto Pumpkin Spice Lattes, you can still enjoy this seasonal flavor while sticking to your low-carb diet.
Is a Pumpkin Spice Latte High In Sugar?
Traditional Pumpkin Spice Lattes are typically quite high in sugar, with a Grande size from Starbucks containing a whopping 50 grams of sugar.
That’s nearly double the recommended daily intake of added sugars for an adult.
The high sugar content is due to the pumpkin spice sauce used in the drink, which is made with sweetened condensed milk and sugar syrups.
Depending on how you like your PSL, you may also add granulated sugar, whipped cream and caramel drizzle on top, further increasing the sugar content.
Also, the standard milk used in a PSL is also high in natural sugars from lactose.
What Is a Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte?
A skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte is a low-calorie version of the PSL, usually made with nonfat milk and sugar-free syrups.
However, these “skinny” versions often still contain a significant amount of carbs and may not be suitable for those following a strict ketogenic diet.
Remember, being on keto means keeping your carb intake low, usually around 20-50 grams per day.
This means that even if a drink is marketed as “skinny,” it’s important to check its carb content before indulging if you’re on a keto diet.
Our guide on Healthy Pumpkin Desserts has tips on making fall-themed treats that aren’t just good for weight loss but also for your health goals.
How Do You Make a Keto Pumpkin Spice Latte?
Now that we know what makes up a traditional Pumpkin Spice Latte and all its variations, let’s talk about how to make it keto-friendly.
First, we need to understand what makes a drink ketogenic diet-friendly. The main idea behind the keto diet is to keep your carbohydrate intake low and increase your fat consumption (2).
This is to keep your body in a state of ketosis, where it burns fat instead of glucose for energy.
Now, to make a keto PSL, all we have to do is swap out the ingredients that are high in carbs with alternatives that are lower in carbs but still maintain that delicious flavor.
- Instead of regular milk, use unsweetened almond or coconut milk.
- Instead of pumpkin spice sauce, use a homemade version made with almond butter and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.
- Instead of sugar, use a keto-friendly sweetener such as stevia or erythritol.
These simple swaps can turn your favorite fall drink into a healthy and delicious keto-friendly option.
You might find keto pumpkin spice cream or a keto pumpkin spice mix at your local grocery store; that will make the process even easier.
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Here’s a simple recipe to help you get started:
Homemade Keto Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe (1)
This pumpkin spice latte recipe is perfect for those chilly fall mornings or cozy evenings at home.
It’s creamy, flavorful, and contains only 2 grams of net carbs per serving. This recipe makes 2 lattes.
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
- 1-2 tablespoons golden erythritol allulose or sweetener of choice, to taste
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 240 ml almond milk (unsweetened)
- 1 tablespoon full-fat coconut milk
- 2 shots espresso
- homemade whipped cream
- pumpkin spice mix
- In a saucepan, combine pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice mix, your chosen sweetener, and vanilla extract over medium heat. Stir them together until they are well mixed.
- Add almond milk and coconut milk to the saucepan. Continue to stir the mixture over medium heat until it’s hot, but not boiling.
- While the milk mixture is heating, prepare 2 shots of espresso in an espresso machine.
- Pour the hot espresso shots into a large mug.
- Pour your heated milk mixture over the espresso, stirring gently to combine.
- Top your latte with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, and sprinkle a bit more of the pumpkin spice mix on top for garnish.
- Serve as is, or add some ice to make it an iced keto pumpkin spice latte.
Our blog about Oat Milk Latte Recipe has more tips on how to make your drinks healthier, including alternatives for dairy and sugar.
Read more: Easy Homemade Keto Bagel Recipe Ideas
What Kind of Milk in Coffee Is Keto?
Keto dieters usually go for low-carb, high-fat milk alternatives in their coffee. Almond milk and coconut milk are popular choices due to their lower carbohydrate content. Both are also rich in healthy fats, which aligns well with the high-fat nature of the keto diet. Remember to pick unsweetened versions to keep your sugar intake minimal.
Is a Latte with Almond Milk Keto?
Yes, a latte with unsweetened almond milk can be a keto-friendly option. Almond milk is low in carbs and high in healthy fats, which is ideal for those on a ketogenic diet. However, you must be mindful of other ingredients in the latte, such as sweeteners or flavored syrups, which can add unwanted carbs.
Which Coffee Powder Is Best for Keto?
There’s no specific coffee powder that’s best for the keto diet. Coffee itself is naturally carb-free, regardless of the brand or type of roast. The key to keeping your coffee keto-friendly is avoiding high-carb additives like sugar and flavored creamers. Instead, opt for low-carb additions like heavy cream or keto-friendly sweeteners like stevia or erythritol.
Our Coffee with Cinnamon Benefits guide illustrates how choosing the right ingredients can enhance your coffee experience without compromising your dietary goals.
What Is the Best Keto Milk Alternative for Lattes?
When it comes to lattes, the best keto milk alternatives would be unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk. They both have a creamy consistency and subtle flavor that pairs well with coffee. Again, you must be sure that any added flavors or sweeteners are also keto-friendly.
Is a Latte with Coconut Milk Keto?
Yes, a latte made with unsweetened coconut milk can be keto-friendly. Coconut milk is low in carbs and high in fats, aligning with the ketogenic diet’s requirements. As always, you need to check that any additional ingredients, like syrups or sweeteners, are also low in carbs.
Is a Soy Milk Latte Keto?
Unflavored, unsweetened soy milk can fit into a keto diet in moderation, but it does contain more carbs than almond or coconut milk. Therefore, if you’re strictly counting your carbs, a soy milk latte may not be the best option. However, if you have room in your diet for a bit more carbs, a soy milk latte could still be enjoyed on a keto diet.
The Bottom Line
Pumpkin spice has become a beloved flavor of fall, and with good reason.
But traditional pumpkin spice lattes can be high in sugar and carbs, making them unsuitable for those following a keto diet.
However, by making some simple swaps and using homemade versions of certain ingredients, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy keto pumpkin spice latte.
Experiment with different variations and find your perfect balance of flavors to create your own twist on this fall favorite.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- (Suuuper Creamy!) Keto Pumpkin Spice Latte 🎃 gluten free & paleo (2020,gnom-gnom.com)
- Ketogenic Diet (2023,nih.gov)