#BuckeyeBites: Sugar-free pumpkin spice latte


It’s officially pumpkin season! You see them in the doughnut case, you see them as pies and you see them in coffee mugs in the form of gourmet coffee. The only downside to those delicious pumpkin-flavored treats is the negative impact to your waistline. Until now!

You can make your own pumpkin spice latte at home, without adding any sugar – and that’s a big win, says Lori Chong, RDN, LD, a registered dietitian with Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.

Chong says she recently saw a 14-ounce bottle of pumpkin spice latte containing a whopping 42 grams of added sugar. The World Health Organization recommends that you limit added sugar to 5 percent of your total calories. On a 2,000 calories/day diet, that equates to no more than 25 grams of added sugar!

Before we get to the recipe, what’s so bad about added sugar?

Chong says there are numerous problems with having too much sugar in your diet. Those include:

  • Sugar increases calorie count, so a diet high in sugar can lead to unnecessary weight gain.
  • Sugar causes rises and dips in blood sugar, which in the short-term can contribute to poor energy and an irritable mood.
  • In the long-term, prolonged overconsumption of sugar can make your body resistant to insulin, eventually leading to type 2 diabetes.
  • Excessive sugar intake contributes to inflammation – a root cause of many chronic diseases, including heart disease.

Don’t overdo it even with this recipe

Chong cautions that just because there is no sugar added to this pumpkin spice latte isn’t permission to binge on the coffee drink.

“Balance in the diet is a good thing! A person cannot live well on pumpkin spice lattes alone.” 

Recipe: Sugar-free pumpkin spice latte

How much this recipe makes:

Most people mix it half and half – half coffee or tea and half the pumpkin spice mixture.  So this would make 1 large 16-ounce mug. Some may prefer less – or more. 


1 cup of unsweetened vanilla soy milk

3 tablespoons pumpkin puree (pumpkin should be the only ingredient)

1 teaspoon of erythritol*

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Spice options:  

  • Option 1: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon plus a pinch of nutmeg, cloves and ginger


  • Option 2: 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

*Erythritol is made from corn so a person allergic or sensitive to corn should choose another sweetener  



Combine all ingredients in a blender until mixture is completely smooth. Stir into coffee, tea or grain-based coffee alternative.


Nutrition Information:

Calories: 112

Carbohydrate: 8g

Fat: 4.5g

Fiber: 5g


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