The recent red cup debate was intense. But it’s not the first time consumers have given Starbucks’ holiday beverages the side-eye: When it was revealed earlier this year that the famous and highly sought-after Pumpkin Spice Latte contained a heck of a lot of sugar—and not even one iota of real pumpkin—conscious eaters everywhere were aghast.
Don’t panic. You can get in the holiday spirit without chugging a high fructose corn syrup–filled sugar bomb, so save the five bucks and make your own customized version at home.
The easiest way to make seasonal coffee? Spice your coffee beans or grounds before you brew (versus adding spices directly into a hot cup of joe, which can result in a nasty, coagulated mess at the bottom).
Doing so makes your house smell incredible, too. If you’re a fan of gingerbread lattes, try adding cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. [Author’s note: After making your coffee this way you may never go back to regular grounds. Consider yourself warned!]
Here are three delicious, healthy beverages that make the most of seasonal spices.
Cinnamon Hazelnut Latte
Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until creamy. Top with cinnamon and serve.
Peppermint Cacao Mocha
Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender until frothy. Top with crumbled peppermint chocolate and enjoy.
Gingerbread Detox Vanilla Shake
Props to our friends at Sun Potion for inspiring this detoxifying holiday treat. Tocos (no, not tacos), a bran powder derived from brown rice, is super high in vitamin D and E and fiber—and it tastes like a vanilla milkshake. Mix all ingredients in a blender with some ice and enjoy an upgraded, good-for-you version of your favorite Frappuccino!
Photo credit: Alicia Cho