Diabetes, Food

The Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Latte

pumpkin spice latte recipe - low carb pumpkin spice latte - how to order low carb pumpkin spice latte at starbucks - starbucks keto pumpkin spice latte - starbucks low carb pumpkin spice latte

Behold The PSL

That’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, for those of you haven’t yet met the autumnal man or try to (wisely) stay far away from any mixed beverages on the Starbucks menu.

There are over 500,000 #pumpkinspicelatte posts on Instagram; news sources heralded the PSL’s earliest return ever this year; it has its own season (aka Fall).

But I’d never delved into this side of Fall. Because a tall (small) Pumpkin Spice Latte contains 40 grams of carbs. That’s 12 ounces of liquid that I can down in about 3 minutes that contain my entire day’s worth of carbohydrate consumption. 🤔

Nope, I’d rather save my carbs for the pizza. 🍕

Enter the Macro Barista Man

But my PSL celibacy came to an end when I came across @themacrobarista (IRL: Alex Moe).

This guy takes all those delicious-sounding, carbo-loaded Starbucks drinks and tells you how to order them (or even make them!) low carb.

So, on a brisk September morning I decided I’d try Alex’s version of the PSL. I was skeptical for sure - how in the world could he come up with a recipe that was both low carb and still worthy of the PSL title?

Because this dude knows a thing or two about coffee drinks (he’s a barista!) and low carb. All his posts take the most popular drinks on the menu (all of which are supremely high carb) and turn them into low carb, blood sugar-approved amazingness.

Here’s how he says to order a Pumpkin Spice Latte, plus the nutrition breakdown:

1️⃣ Ask for a TALL BLONDE Americano
2️⃣ Ask for it in a GRANDE CUP
3️⃣ Ask for ONE (1) pump of pumpkin sauce
4️⃣ Ask for THREE (3) pumps of sugar free vanilla
5️⃣ Ask for STEAMED ALMOND MILK
6️⃣ Ask for EXTRA pumpkin spice topping

Nutrition Facts: 

Pumpkin Sauce: .5g P/ 10g C
Almond Milk: 1g P/ 4g C/ 3g F
SF Vanilla: <1g C (this comes from maltodextrin, which the body treats like glucose)

Alternatively, you can also hand your Starbucks barista your phone with these order images from Alex's original post pulled up (images 2 & 3 in the post):

starbucks pumpkin spice latte - low carb pumpkin spice latte - keto pumpkin spice latte - how to order pumpkin spice latte keto version from starbucks

But Does It Work?

Claims like a low carb Pumpkin Spice Latte alternative are great in theory, but rarely work for those of us with diabetes and our blood sugars. 

So you can imagine my delight when (based on the nutritional value given) I did only have to give myself 1U of Humalog and -- surprise! -- my blood sugars were golden hours later. 

I started at 123 mg/dL at 11:17am. I walked to my friendly Starbucks on Broadway and Bond in Manhattan and showed the (super friendly, ready, and willing) barista the order screen above.

I completely spaced and forgot to give myself any insulin (because I'm so used to my usual black coffee and cream order). Then, I headed to CVS to pick up my (coincidentally) insulin prescription while sipping on my latte. 

starbucks pumpkin spice latte recipe - how to order low carb pumpkin spice latte - keto pumpkin spice latte - healthy starbucks pumpkin spice latte recipe

Once back in the office, I dosed that 1U of fast-acting insulin. By 11:53am, I was sitting at a very steady 107 mg/dL. Then again, at 1:55pm (still sipping on my PSL with no lunch yet), I rocked a nice 137 mg/dL. This definitely passes my blood sugar approval test.

Not to mention how delicious it was! It was a chilly and gray day in the city, so the most quintessential time to enjoy my very first Pumpkin Spice Latte. I don’t exactly recommend ordering this daily -- I’ll stick to my coffee and cream -- but for a fall sweet treat, this is now my go-to.

Check out the rest of @macrobarista’s recipes! Let us know which ones you like best and how they work for your blood sugars.

Link copied to the clipboard. ×
Mary Elizabeth Adams
Sep 09, 2019

Additional Reading

real life with diabtetes - diabetes prevention - diabetes treatment - life with type 1 diabetes - LADA diabetes - diabetes awareness - type 1 diabetes - type 2 diabetes - prediabetes

One Droppers: Meet Jeff

My Journey With Diabetes At age 46, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I went into the doctor’s office and I received an insulin...

Read more >
One Droppers: Meet Rachel

One Droppers: Meet Rachel

Diabetes: My Story I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was just 7 years old! It was October 4, 1994, I was in...

Read more >

Visit our store

Gorgeous gear. Supplies shipped to your door. On-demand support from diabetes experts.

Shop Now