With the start of fall just a few days away, it's time to bust out our favorite fruit of the season. You guessed it, pumpkin! I was really getting into the swing of “seasonal” blogging about this time last year, so there is no shortage of healthy pumpkin recipes on the site. However, recently I had a reader make a request for a pumpkin spice latte.
The coffee shops are boasting a sugar-filled pumpkin latte, so it's only fitting I come up with a healthy version. We'll start with making a sugar-free Pumpkin Spice Syrup and then from there we will have the makings of a Pumpkin Spice Latte or in my case a seasonal version of “bulletproof coffee”.
Phytonutrients & Pumpkin
Phytonutrients are neither vitamins nor minerals, however, these naturally occurring plant substances have protective, disease-preventing properties. The main phytonutrient found in pumpkin is carotenoids.
Carotenoids are responsible for the beautiful orange color of the pumpkin. There are three main functions of carotenoids, (1) prevent vitamin A deficiency, (2) enhance immune function and (3) promote proper cell communication. Carotenoids are fat-soluble, which means in order to properly absorb the beneficial compounds, dietary fat must also be present. “Preliminary research indicates that phytochemicals found in pumpkin may favorably affect insulin and glucose levels in laboratory diabetes models.”
Other common phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables include:
- Indoles, found in broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, activate cancer-fighting enzymes.
- Allicin, found in garlic and onion, reduce the risk of blood clots and lower cholesterol.
- Curcumin, found in tumeric, is a very potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
- Lycopene, found in tomaotes, protects against prostate cancer.
- Lutein, found in green leafy vegetables, protects against oxidation in the eyes.
- Anthocyanidins, abundant in red wine, fights cancer and cardiovascular disease.
To learn more: List of Phytochemicals in Food
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Makes: 1 3/4 cup
- 1 1/2 c. Filtered Water
- 1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. Smart Sweet Non-GMO Erythritol Granules
- 1/4 c. Organic Pumpkin Puree
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
- 1/4 tsp. Ground Ginger
- 4 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1/4 tsp. NuNaturals Pure White Stevia Extract Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Bob's Red Mill Xanthan Gum (see recipe notes)
- In saucepan over medium heat, dissolve erythritol in water.
- Whisk in pumpkin and spices, then drop in cinnamon sticks and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat, take out cinnamon sticks and whisk in stevia.
- If using xanthan gum, sloooooowly whisk it in now.
- Pour in heat-proof glass jar.
- Once cool, cover and store in refrigerator.
If you are using this syrup only for flavoring coffee or tea, the xanthan gum is not necessary. If using the syrup for coffee/tea AND to drizzle over pancakes, then go ahead and thicken the syrup with the xanthan gum.
Pumpkin Spice “Bulletproof” Latte
- 8 oz. French Press Coffee
- 2 tsp. Ghee or Organic Unsalted Butter
- 1 tsp. Nutiva Extra-Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Pumpkin Spice Syrup
- Add all ingredients to high-powered blender.
- Whiz on high for 15 seconds or until frothy.