It’s that time of year again, the allure of pumpkin spice and everything nice suddenly takes over your summer vibes. I am not a coffee drinker, but each season I grow more envious of those who are. In the summertime, everyone has their refreshing cold coffee concoctions and each fall I entertain the idea of trying a pumpkin spice latte but never get the guts to follow through.
Most drinks you get at coffee chains like Starbucks come loaded with calories and sugar, making these delicious drinks not the healthiest of choices. There are, however, plenty of low-carb substitutions and creations for you to try. All are low-calorie and low-carb and won’t leave you worrying about your blood sugars or your favorite jeans fitting.
Here are some of the most intriguing diabetes-friendly drinks I found at Starbucks:
- Sugar-Free Snickerdoodle – This is made by tweaking a Sugar-Free Vanilla Latte by adding one pump of Sugar-Free Cinnamon Dulce syrup. You can add 1-2 Splenda sugar-free sweetener if you need.
- Skinny Mocha – The regular version contains about 20 g of carbs, but with a few small tweaks you can make it blood sugar friendly. Replace the milk with heavy whipping cream and opt for the sugar-free mocha syrup.
- Caramel Macchiato – This is a favorite of many but is still loaded with calories and sugar since it contains milk and caramel sauce. Try it cold and swap out the milk for almond milk and hold the sauce. It is still rich with flavor and will get you energized!
- Cinnamon Dolce Latte – These are delicious and the cinnamon is a great spice to add flavor without adding in any carbs. Ask for an Americano with ½ water and ½ steamed heavy cream and a few pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup.
- Frappuccino – These can be easily transformed into a low-carb drink by avoiding their classic syrup and replacing with sugar-free and 3 shots of heavy cream, blended Frappuccino style.
- Ombre Pink Drink – The popular drink of the moment is the Ombre Pink Drink which contains their Strawberry Acai Drink, coconut milk and freeze dried strawberries, all of which contain sugar. To lighten up the carbs, opt for whipping cream, passion tango ice tea and four pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup.
Also, here are some seasonal drinks to consider:
- Pumpkin Spice Latte – I think people get over their summer blues with just the thought of ordering their first Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. Just opt for almond milk, hold the whipped cream and ask for one pump of their pre-sweetened pumpkin-flavored syrup.
- Hot Peppermint Kiss – This is Starbuck’s Peppermint hot tea with 2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup making it a sweet and minty treat.
- Peppermint Mocha – This creation is a delicious seasonal treat but make sure to order it with almond milk, no whipped cream, and only one pump of their peppermint-flavored syrup to keep this gem blood sugar friendly. I will leave it up to you on whether you add the dark chocolate curls!
If you prefer tea to coffee, there are still plenty of ways to get creative! Many sugar-free options are just waiting to be turned into a low-carb creation, whether it’s Black Tea, Green Tea, White Tea, or Passion Fruit Tea. Here are a few such options:
- Passion Fruit Tea Drink – This one is very popular in the diabetes community. Be sure to try sugar-free vanilla syrup in Passion Fruit Iced Tea for a refreshing and tasty treat.
- Low-Carb London Fog – A London fog is typically a combination of Earl Grey tea, steamed milk and vanilla syrup. Replace the milk with whipping cream and use sugar-free vanilla to create this low carb goodness.
- Unsweetened Peach Citrus White Tea – A refreshing option is to modify it by adding a splash of heavy cream, a few pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup, no water, and ice.
Living with diabetes makes us more aware of what we are eating and drinking. Thanks to these low-carb tweaks, we can enjoy while not worrying about our blood sugars. I can’t wait to join in on the seasonal fun!
Have you discovered any great low-carb drinks at Starbucks recently? Share and comment below!