Oct 7, 2016 2:00:00 PM | holistic health Ditch the Chemicals in Starbucks: Enjoy a Holistic Pumpkin Spiced Latte

If you are concerned about the Food Babe’s report on the ingredients in your Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte and want to make a healthy change, here is a yummy recipe for a holistic, natural pumpkin spiced latte.


By Heather Baley and Renee Long
Autumn is here, and if you’re like many of us around the ACHS offices, you love a toasty latte sprinkled with fall-spices and steaming with deliciousness in the morning. And we have to admit, we have a bit of a weakness for Starbucks’s famous Pumpkin Spice latte. But with Starbucks's PSL packing a whopping 50 grams of sugar and 380 calories (even though they recently changed their recipe, cutting out caramel coloring and adding real pumpkin), we just love this alternative recipe for a natural pumpkin spice latte. 

I (Heather) made a creative and healthier version of a pumpkin spiced latte and tested the recipe on my co-workers…they were thrilled! After all, we are a holistic health college, and we tend to care about what goes into our bodies. So if you are concerned about your Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte and want to make a healthy change, here is a yummy recipe for a holistic, natural pumpkin spiced latte. Or even if you’ve always steered clear of Starbucks, this recipe is still a tasty, holistic treat for any fall or winter morning:

Ditch the Chemicals in Starbucks: Enjoy a Holistic Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Ingredients for a Natural Pumpkin Spiced Latte 

  • Espresso: 1 shot
  • Organic pumpkin puree[1]: 2 tablespoons 
  • Organic almond milk[2]: ¾ cup
  • Organic agave: 4 teaspoons
  • Dry pumpkin spice blend[3]: 1/8 teaspoon
  • Organic vanilla extract: ¼ teaspoon
  • A pinch of black pepper


1. Blend the agave, pumpkin spices, and vanilla extract into the pumpkin puree and put aside. Reserve some of the pumpkin spices to sprinkle on top of your latte.

2. Brew your espresso shot. (Don’t have an espresso maker? You can easily find a reasonably priced stovetop espresso maker at your local grocery store. Or, try making a strong coffee using extra ground coffee and only a small amount of water in your French press. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! 

3. Steam the almond milk. We use the Nespresso milk frother, but you can easily steam milk in a pan on the stove (check out these directions here).

4. Pour your espresso shot into your favorite coffee mug. Add your pumpkin puree blend to the espresso.

5. With a large spoon, hold back the milk foam and pour your steamed milk over the espresso. Spoon out the foam and place gently on top of your latte.

6. Optional: Add organic whipped cream. Who doesn’t love a dollop of sweet whipped cream on top of their latte? But we know you don’t want that junk from the can. Here’s a quick recipe for delicious homemade whipped cream:

  • Organic heavy whipping cream (we love Organic Valley’s brand): 8 ounces
  • Raw organic sugar or Stevia: 3 teaspoons (or keep adding to taste)
  • Vanilla extract (optional): ½ teaspoon

Directions: Pour heavy whipping cream into a mixing bowl. Use a hand held or standup mixer to whip the cream—we know everyone loves a reason to whip out the Kitchen Aid! Add the sugar and optional vanilla. Whip until light and fluffy.

7. Sprinkle extra pumpkin spice on top of your natural pumpkin spiced latte.

8. Enjoy a natural, homemade cup of toasty deliciousness!

After you’ve curled up with this latte and a good book, I’d love to know how you enjoyed this recipe in the comments! 

Looking for more healthy yet delectable drinks to put in your favorite mug this winter? You’ll love this eBook from ACHS, Preparing Herbal Teas.

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Editors Note: This blog post was originally published in October 2014 and has been updated for accuracy. (October 2017)

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

[1] I used Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin puree, but you can easily make this from a whole organic baking pumpkin. Remove all the pumpkin seeds and insides—then rinse well. Slice your pumpkin in half or quarters, then place the halves face down in a large Pyrex or casserole dish with about an inch of water. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45-minutes to an hour or until your pumpkin meat is tender. Peel the skin, and then puree in your Vitamix, blender, or food processor until smooth. Be sure to use the rest to make a tasty pumpkin pie or freeze for making future pumpkin spiced lattes or tasty treats. Here are two step-by-step recipes you can try: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-i-make-peeling-pumpkin-a-little-easier-196151 and http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/10/make-your-own-pumpkin-puree/

[2] Or your preferred milk substitute; coconut milk also tastes great.

[3] I used the dry Salt-free Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend from the Spice Hunter. The spices in this blend are: Cinnamon, Ginger, Lemon peel, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cardamom, Star Anise, Fennel, Black Pepper.


Heather Baley

Written By: Heather Baley

Heather joined the American College in late 2001. She has a background in the hospitality industry, social services, and accounting. Heather graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Sociology and attended graduate school at Central Michigan University. Today, Heather has immersed herself in aromatherapy. She has completed the Certificate in Aromatherapy program and enjoys making blends for herself and friends. Heather enjoys spending time with her dog Maya, and remodeling her 1913 home. She actively participates in many of the cultural programs offered by the local community college in Portland.