Here's How to Order Healthier Fall Drinks at Starbucks
While we absolutely love all the amazing autumnal flavors of Starbucks’ new fall drinks, we don’t necessarily love all the excess sugar and calories. Choosing healthy fall Starbucks drinks is definitely possible, though, with just a few small changes.
Swaps, like a lighter milk option such as unsweetened almond milk in place of low-fat (2%) or whole milk, cut down on calories and fat. Withholding sugary syrups or opting for sugar-free alternatives is also an easy fix for an otherwise indulgent drink.
One of the easiest ways to make a drink lower in calories is to opt for a smaller size. Since 16 ounces is the equivalent of a Starbucks medium, or “Grande,” we’ll be using the Grande as our reference point for total calories and sugar count. In Starbucks lingo, that means choosing a “Short” or “Tall” size to instantly reduce calories without changing any of the ingredients.
That being said, we want you to have options for lower-calorie Starbucks fall drinks so you can get your fall flavor fix! Here’s a list of eight delicious Starbucks fall drinks and how to make them healthier.
1. Pumpkin Spice Latte
Pumpkin Spice Lattes are such a ubiquitous staple of fall, they’re in practically every meme. But a traditional 16-ounce Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks has 390 calories, 9 grams of saturated fat, and a whopping 50 grams of sugar! Yowza. To make it healthier, choose a lighter milk option, such as almond milk, skip the whipped cream, and ask for only one or two pumps of the pumpkin flavoring instead of the usual four.
If you want to know how to make a Starbucks Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte that’s healthier, just go ahead with the above recommendations and ask your barista to pour it over ice.
2. Chai Tea Latte
Chai tea lattes are famously comforting and soothing. Unfortunately, Starbucks’ Chai Tea Latte is also cloying, registering 42 grams of sugar per 16-ounce serving. Of course, you can make it lower in calories by reducing the number of chai pumps and swapping out 2% for nonfat milk — but you could also try another trick.
Order a basic chai tea from Starbucks: it has 0 calories and 0 grams of sugar. Then, you can add a splash of your favorite lower-calorie milk option, like nonfat, almond, or oat milk, and sweeten it with a bit of Stevia. The chai tea bag will still give you those warm clove, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger notes you crave, but the DIY latte element helps you control the amount of added sugar and calories. It can also be a vegan fall Starbucks drink if you use a non-dairy milk.
3. Hot Apple Crisp Macchiato
While we love fall apple picking (and apple-flavored everything), we don’t love that the Starbucks Hot Apple Crisp Macchiato has 300 calories and 45 grams of sugar in a 16-ounce cup. You can easily make it healthier by reducing the number of Apple Brown Sugar Syrup pumps to one instead of three, and choosing nonfat or almond milk instead of 2%. Choose a short or tall size as well, as this can help cut down on calories and fat.
4. Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
Easily make the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew lower in calories by switching out the vanilla syrup for sugar-free vanilla syrup. You’ll still have the vanilla notes and the pumpkin spice topping that gives this cold brew that delicious fall twist you crave.
5. Skinny Hot Chocolate
We love a cozy hot chocolate by the fireplace. Luckily, Starbucks makes a Skinny Hot Chocolate alternative to the traditional version that uses nonfat milk and sugar-free syrup alternatives that cuts the calories in half, reduces the sugar by 20 grams, and brings saturated fat down 90 percent. Choose this option next time you’re craving a chocolatey drink treat.
6. Caramel Apple Spice
The Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks is steamed apple juice with cinnamon syrup, whipped cream, and a caramel sauce drizzle. To make this healthier, opt for a Steamed Apple Juice and spice it up with dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Go for a smaller size here, if you’d like to cut down even more on total calories.
7. Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte
The Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte does the work of seeking out healthy fall drinks at Starbucks for you. The default formulation contains nonfat milk and sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup. It has 130 calories per 16-ounce cup, so just be sure to consider this when evaluating your overall calorie consumption for the day.
8. Vanilla Latte
Rather than a traditional Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte, try the Skinny Vanilla Latte instead! 1. Opt for a non-dairy milk to make this vegan fall Starbucks drink, 2. Ask your barista to steam the cinnamon and nutmeg into your milk, and 3. Add a few dashes of cinnamon powder on top to create an even more fall-inspired warm beverage.