This healthy pumpkin spice latte recipe is a vegan and gluten-free alternative to the infamous Starbucks drink. Our recent update gives options for those who include dairy in their diets! Packed full of clean and nutritious ingredients including real pumpkin, it’s easy to make at home and is perfect for fall!
This post is sponsored by Thrive Market. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Root + Revel to provide free content and healthy living inspiration.
UPDATE: This post originally appeared in October 2016 and has been updated in October 2022 with timely information + fresh content.
It's no secret that we're all about a balanced lifestyle here on Root + Revel.
We're all for enjoying treats and desserts, but sometimes, you're indulging without even realizing it.
You should know what you're consuming so you can make the choice if that's what feels good to your body–or not! And if not, find an alternative that still satisfies your taste buds while livin' it up with all those celebratory seasonal vibes.
Which brings us to the Fall season, when pumpkin spice flavors abound. Pumpkin has inundated the food and drink landscape over the last decade, and while we're ALL about it, we also wanted a way to enjoy a healthier, more balanced approach to the mainstream, questionable pumpkin spice flavors out there.
Wait what?! You might be wondering… what's wrong with pumpkin spice flavors?
Unfortunately, there's almost nothing natural about most store-bought products flavored with pumpkin spice.
Why you should ditch Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Take Starbucks' ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte (PSL), for example. Up until 2015, their famous PSL wasn't even made with pumpkin. How messed up is that?!
Though Starbucks has since gotten rid of the artificial caramel color–their sauce is now colored with “fruit and vegetable juice”, though we have no idea why this coloring is needed at all–and now uses real pumpkin…but it's still VERY FAR from clean and healthy.
Today, Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte still contains:
- artificial flavors
- a huge dose of sugar (while Starbucks' PSL contains a whooping 51 grams of sugar, this recipe contains just 6 grams of sugar–plus this recipe uses a real food source, maple syrup!)
- ‘Monsanto' Milk (GMO and filled with one of the worst toxic offenders out there, glyphosate)
- Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)
- Mono and Diglycerides (artificial trans fats which the Center for Disease Control has linked it to an increase in death rate and The Institute of Medicine says have “no known health benefit” and that there is no safe level to eat!) (source)
- Carrageenan (which can cause digestive problems)
Alright, now that we're aware of the problem, let's focus on the solution!
The good news: you can create a homemade healthy pumpkin spice latte at home in less than two minutes and you'll still get all of those delicious pumpkin spice flavors, without any of the negative additives, excess sugar and the expense (we haven't even mentioned the absurd price of one of these PSL's!).
(If you want to recreate another Starbucks favorite at home, try my favorite Creamy Matcha Green Tea Latte recipe!)
How to Make a Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte at Home
Not only are homemade pumpkin spice lattes a breeze to make, but they're also way cheaper than buying a latte at Starbucks, and most importantly, they're way healthier.
Do you have a blender and access to groceries? Then you can make a DELICIOUS pumpkin spice latte at home!
Seriously, with just a few real food ingredients and either coffee or espresso, a quick, easy and affordable pumpkin spice latte is in your future.
It's also super customizable, so if you prefer espresso to coffee, great, use that! If you want to make it more or less sweet, no problem. If you prefer to use ghee instead of coconut oil, that works too!
Simply toss the ingredients into a blender, and give it a whirl. Seconds later, a delicious, homemade, healthy and clean pumpkin spice latte is yours!
Pumpkin Spice Latte Ingredients
If you want to make this recipe without leaving your house, we recommend shopping online for groceries. One of our favorite places to shop online is Thrive Market, an online retailer selling healthy foods at wholesale prices.
We've been shopping here for years! If you compare the prices at Thrive to mainstream grocery stores and retailers, Amazon and even Instacart and we’ve found that overall, most items are several dollars less at Thrive (especially on their in-house Thrive Market line of products, of which there are hundreds!).
There is an annual membership fee–think of Thrive like a healthy, digital Costco membership–but after a couple of orders, you’ll likely have out-saved the cost of the membership. They make it easy to shop, especially if you have preferences like wanting all organic, or vegan, gluten-free, paleo, etc. since you can shop by category.
Plus, right now they’re offering $60 in FREE groceries when you purchase a Thrive Market membership! So basically they're paying for your membership!
You’ll also get free shipping over $49+ order
Here's what we used from Thrive Market in this recipe:
- Organic canned pumpkin puree
- Organic coconut oil
- Organic vanilla extract
- Organic maple syrup
- Organic coffee (we love this regeneratively grown Breakfast blend!) or Organic espresso
- Organic pumpkin spice
You'll see in the link that it's not a Thrive brand of spice however you could easily make your own blend using their baking spices.
Here's a quick Pumpkin Pie Spice recipe:
(Makes 3 1/2 Tbsps)
- 2T ground cinnamon
- 1.5 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1.5 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Blend all ingredients together and store in an airtight container!
Homemade + Organic Pumpkin Spice Latte
As you can see: this entire recipe is 100% organic! (Obviously, you can go non-organic to save some money, and it will still be healthy!)
Using real pumpkin gives this latte a big Vitamin A boost, while the coconut oil adds a healthy dose of healthy fats.
The coconut oil also replaces dairy in this recipe, making the latte creamy and frothy without any of the risks of dairy for those who are sensitive to it, or for vegans who choose not to eat dairy.
If you do include dairy, you can replace the coconut oil for grass-fed butter and for an extra bit of creaminess, add 1 Tbsp of half-n-half!
So what are you waiting for? Toss that Starbucks PSL for good and embrace Fall with this clean, at-home alternative!
And remember: sign up now for Thrive Market to get a FREE gift, up to $60 value, when you purchase a membership with this link! (1 year and 1 month memberships available)
If you try this Homemade Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe, let us know what you think! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag the recipe #rootandrevel/@rootandrevel on Instagram.
Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe
- Make your coffee as you normally would--we recommend using a French Press. If we're in a pinch, we also use instant coffee and a cup of boiling water.
- In a blender (we recommend Vitamix) combine coffee with remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. The coffee will look like a latte with foam at the top.
- Pour into a coffee mug and enjoy!