Nikki Yelton is an Integrative & Functional Medicine Registered Dietitian Nutritionist serving clients worldwide. She offers a personalized functional medicine approach to helping women with GI distress and autoimmune conditions to get to the root cause of the symptoms holding them back so that they can start living the extraordinary life they dream of with more energy, purpose, and joy!
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Don’t give up your Fall favorite just yet! This AIP pumpkin spiced latte skips the refined sugar, preservatives, and additives so that you can enjoy the flavors and comfort of Fall!
Reading Time: 5 minutes
HOW TO CREATE A HEALTHY, HOMEMADE PUMPKIN SPICED LATTE
As soon as the leaves turn color and the air feels cool and crisp, there’s no denying the craving for a traditional pumpkin spiced latte. However, indulging in one infamous PSL from Starbucks may just knock you on your booty for the rest of the day. Starbucks’ delicious latte contains a whopping 380 calories and 50g of sugar (you can read their disclosed nutrition info here). And keep in mind, that’s just in a Grande!
The good news is you can make a healthy pumpkin spiced latte at home to save money and calories, while ditching the added refined sugar and preservatives all together!
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PUMPKIN & SPICES
I’m a major fan of pureed pumpkin during the Fall season. Not only is it a versatile ingredient for baking, cooking, and drinking, but it’s also rich in many nutrients.
Pumpkin is naturally loaded with high amounts of fiber, vitamin A, and various antioxidants. These nutrients can help decrease inflammation, regulate digestion, and reduce the risk of chronic disease. In the case of gut dysfunction and autoimmunity, pumpkin serves as a fantastic superfood for healing. When it comes to baking, pumpkin is a healthy, versatile replacement for refined oils, like canola or vegetable.
In addition to the health benefits of pumpkin, the spices used in a traditional PSL offer further health boosts, too! Cinnamon and nutmeg are rich in antioxidant properties to aid in reducing inflammation and protecting against oxidative stress. So, load up on those spices!
10 WAYS TO HEALTH-IFY YOUR PUMPKIN SPICED LATTE
By opting for a homemade PSL this Fall, your gut and wallet will thank you. My gut healthy and autoimmune friendly pumpkin spice latte will put this fall favorite back in your reach without all the inflammation-causing ingredients found in the original. Here’s how to make a delicious and nutritious pumpkin spiced latte in the comfort of your own home!
SWITCH THE MILK
Use unsweetened or homemade nut milk, like coconut or almond, as the base.
Due to common dairy sensitivities and intolerances in those with GI disorders and autoimmune conditions, skipping the dairy is a wise choice. With a dairy sensitivity, the digestive system cannot break down dairy peptides and causes a digestive reaction. Alternatively, opt for a homemade coconut whip.
USE REAL PUMPKIN
Using canned pumpkin instead of artificial flavoring or concentrate adds nutrient dense vitamins and minerals to your beverage. This is my favorite canned pumpkin by Farmer’s Market. All Farmer’s Market’s products are sustainably and organically grown, as well as free of GMOs.
MAKE IT ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
Get creative by adding more anti-inflammatory, healing spices, like cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, and nutmeg.
THE TYPE OF COFFEE YOU USE IS KEY!
Use Purity Coffee for a healthy caffeine boost. We frequently talk about the importance of non-toxic living, and unfortunately, coffee is a main source of toxic mold. Purity Coffee provides mold and toxin free coffee that is also delicious! Note: those with active autoimmunity should avoid caffeine. Instead, switch to a chicory root or dandelion root coffee.
ADD A COLLAGEN BOOST
Collagen is known to help heal the gut lining, reduce joint pain, and improve skin, hair, and nails. So, why not reap the benefits of this powerful boost? Read more about collagen here.
ADD HEALTHY FATS AS FUEL
Upgrade your PSL with MCT or coconut oil. Adding 1 tbsp of MCT or coconut oil helps regulate blood sugar and keep you fuller longer. You’ll also get a powerful brain boost if you enjoy this in the morning!
DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST
No coffee drink should ever replace your breakfast, including this PSL. Enjoy a balanced breakfast with high quality protein, fiber, and fat before sipping on your delicious PSL.
ENJOY YOUR PSL AS A TREAT
Treats can and should be enjoyed without a restrictive mindset. Instead of enjoying a PSL everyday, treat yourself a few times per week or only on the weekends. That way you’ll really enjoy every sip and look forward to it in a healthy way.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir the pumpkin, honey, and pumpkin pie spice blend until combined. Slowly whisk in coconut milk. Bring mixture to a low simmer, stirring occasionally and remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract.
3. Transfer milk mixture to a blender and pulse several times until foamy and frothy. (You can also use a hand-held milk frother instead.)
4. Add milk mixture to your hot coffee. You may want to use a spoon to gently hold back the frothy top layer while pouring. Top your latte with this remaining froth.
5. Top with a dollop of homemade organic whipped coconut cream (optional) and sprinkle with additional cinnamon and honey drizzle. Enjoy!
Coffee is NOT completely AIP- friendly. AIP stands for Autoimmune Paleo. If we are being strict for a period of time due to an autoimmune flare, it should be avoided because in its natural state it contains high levels of caffeine which is a no-no for AIP. Coffee is also made from coffee beans which are a type of seed and seeds should be avoided on the autoimmune protocol as well. With that being said, coffee can still be enjoyed for those following an AIP lifestyle on occasion. I personally cycle on and off an AIP protocol throughout the year to keep my autoimmune conditions non-existent (yes, I’m living proof it’s possible to do that).
If you do need to substitute this PSL and make it completely AIP, the best swap for coffee would be roasted chicory root. Chicory is a plant in the dandelion family. Chicory coffee is delicious and a great alternative for this recipe. Another great option would be Teeccino Coffee which is actually made from roasted dandelion.
Lastly, if you aren’t into the coffee flavor at all, this latte actually tastes amazing on its own without the coffee, dandelion root, or chicory. You can enjoy the warm milk with healing spices for an afternoon treat!
ENJOY YOUR FALL FAVORITE!
There’s no doubt that pumpkin spice lattes are a favorite flavor of Fall. But, there are ways to enjoy this delicious treat without sacrificing your health. Making a homemade pumpkin spice latte with nutritious, healthy ingredients will give your body a boost, instead of robbing yourself of essential nutrients.
"When it comes to balancing our body, healing the gut, reversing autoimmunity, and achieving optimal health—we are a lot like a car that won’t run right. In order to fix the problem once and for all instead of relying on jumper cables, we must get underneath the hood, run the diagnostics, and replace the battery so that it runs good as new."
-Nikki Yelton, RD
a note from nikki:
If you are ready to stop wasting precious time, get off the never-ending hamster wheel, and finally surrender trying to figure things out on your own—this is your moment.
You don’t have to settle for just getting by and hoping tomorrow is a better day. We both know you are a woman who deserves better and are made for so. much. more.
are you ready?
Ready to resolve your GI distress, reverse autoimmunity, and live your extraordinary life?