Growing up in Minnesota, fall was probably my least favorite season. The lazy days of summer were replaced by dreary weather and school. The beauty of leaves changing colors quickly turned into piles of leaves that needed raking. The initial pleasant cool crispness in the morning was fleeting, and before we knew it, snow was on the ground. Goodbye warm weather for the next 8 months!
Now as an adult living in Texas, fall is my favorite season! The weather finally cools down to a tolerable temperature. We no longer sweat within 5 minutes of walking out the door. I can run outdoors again. College football (and tailgating!) kicks off. Sweaters, leggings, and boots weather isn’t too far off in the distant future. And of course, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING!
I know the calendar says the official first day of fall is September 21st, but for me, it’s the day Starbucks releases the pumpkin spice latte. This year, that was August 28th, and even though it was still a sweltering 95 degrees, to me, fall was officially here. I couldn’t stop thinking about that warm, creamy latte… delicious pumpkin and cream frothed to perfection, for the ultimate morning coffee treat.
Unfortunately, at 350 calories, 11 grams of fat, 50 grams of carbs, and 48 grams of sugar in a Grande PSL, it truly is a treat, not coffee. I usually indulge in just one each year, but I want my pumpkin spice fix in the AM way more than that! But 1) I don’t want to gain 10 pounds from PSLs alone, and 2) there’s no way I can justify spending that kind of cash on coffee every day!
So instead of a sugar-laden pumpkin beverage for breakfast, I made my own healthy pumpkin spice coffee creamer. With lots of cinnamon and spice, it still packs the pumpkin spice punch. A tiny bit of maple syrup gives it just a hint of sweetness, and the creamy goodness I associate with a PSL comes from the healthy fat of coconut milk instead of heavy cream. Now I can enjoy pumpkin spice during the cool, crisp fall mornings (or summer mornings, if you follow the Starbucks calendar) without the guilt!
Want an extra boost of protein? Add 1 or 2 scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides! Unflavored and easily dissolved, it transforms this yummy cup of coffee to something you can actually call breakfast. With 18 grams of dairy-free protein per serving and a dose of healthy fats from the coconut milk, it keeps me satisfied for at least 3 hours.
Now it seems like EVERYTHING is available in pumpkin spice flavor (yay!). What’s your favorite way to enjoy this seasonal pumpkin flavor?
Want more pumpkin spice recipes to enjoy at breakfast? Check out my fall breakfast recipes for pumpkin spice pancakes, pumpkin French toast, and pumpkin oatmeal!