Happy Autmun & A Not-So-Happy PSL

I am not a fan of cold weather in the least bit. I am however, I am giant fan of leggings, boots, sweaters, soup, and magical pumpkin everything! ❤ ❤ ❤ I squeal with excitement every time my Washington-born coffee shop releases their autumn menu. With learning more about nutrition and ingredients, I was interested in what actually goes into a Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL, as the hipsters may refers to it. Food Babe is a popular food blog that dissected an American Staple. I was surprised, but not surprised all in the same breath. With a society that is driven by taste over nutrition quality, of course Starbucks would want to make sure their drink surpasses anything you could make at home, and with the ingredients I found, it’s definitely NOT something I can duplicate in my kitchen [[I do have a Healthy Breakfast Challenge PSL Smoothie after all of this that is delicious, includes real pumpkin, and jump starts your day]]!!



What’s In A Pumpkin Spice Latte?

  • Espresso: water, brewed espresso coffee
  • Pumpkin Spice Flavored Sauce: Sugar, Condensed Nonfat Milk, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Annatto (food color), Natural & Artificial Flavors, Caramel Color (Class IV), Salt, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)
  • Whipped Cream: Whipping Cream, Starbucks Vanilla Syrup (sugar, water, natural flavors, potassium sorbate, citric acid, caramel color)
  • Pumpkin Topping: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Sulfites

If you get dairy:

  • Starbucks serves Monsanto Milk – these cows are raised on GMO corn, soy, and cottonseeds and treated with antibiotics

Scary Facts:

  • Caramel Color IV is made with ammonia & considered a carcinogen
  • Absolutely no real pumpkin is used in the drink
  • Starbucks Soy Milk contains “Carrageenan” which is a stabilizer linked to intestinal inflammation and cancer
  • A grande PSL contains over 50 grams of sugar
  • The term natural flavors is ambiguous and can contain anything found on earth
  • The pumpkin spice flavor contains condensed nonfat milk, making this drink not vegan friendly even if ordered with soy milk

You can catch all of Food Babe’s blog on her Starbucks PSL discovery here:


I really try to pay attention to the ingredients that I fuel my body with and make smarter choices as much as possible. Obviously, the ingredients in the Starbucks Staple, PSL, are not ideal on a regular basis. Starbucks in general, has become a very very occasional event in my life. As apart of the Healthy Breakfast Challenge, I wanted to develop a yummy, fall-oriented, smoothie that embodied everything wonderful about autumn.

Healthy Breakfast Challenge PSL


Healthy Breakfast Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie

  • 8-10oz cold water
  • 1 scoop Café Latte Formula 1
  • 1 scoop Dulce de Leche Formula 1
  • Vanilla Protein Drink Mix (made your protein needs)
  • 1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp decaf instant coffee
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • cloves
  • 3 ice cubes

Blend up everything in your blender, and ENJOY! ❤ ❤ ❤


If you try a healthy twist on an autumn favorite, snap a photo and share it – feel free to tag me on facebook! 🙂


I do have 6 more spots available for the 30 day Healthy Breakfast Challenge. Contact me if you’d like to register!



One thought on “Happy Autmun & A Not-So-Happy PSL

  1. Pingback: Healthy Breakfast Starbucks – about food and health

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