PSL=Pumpkin Spice Latte. Which we all seem to lose our collective minds about this time of year, along with pumpkin just about everything else. But what we really love isn't necessarily pumpkin, which is a pretty average tasting squash. It's the spices that go with it, and the sugar...so. much. sugar.
A 16-ounce Starbucks pumpkin spice latte made with 2 percent milk and no whipped cream packs 310 calories and 47 grams of sugar. That's around 10 teaspoons of sugar! It is not a healthy treat, to say the least. But there are ways to enjoy those delicious warm spices without sending yourself on a massive sugar high.
You can even justify it for health reasons: there is some evidence that cassia cinnamon can lower blood sugar, and nutmeg is believed to have antibacterial properties. Just don't have too much of either...nutmeg can cause hallucinations at very high doses and cinnamon can cause skin irritation. Allspice and cloves are also usual suspects in the pumpkin spice blend.
My favorite way to use them is topping a bowl of oatmeal; I sprinkle over pretty generous amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice along with a tiny sprinkle of sugar, sliced almonds and chopped apples. It's warm and very filling.
Try the above spices, plus a little bit of cayenne if you like heat, on sweet potatoes cut into quarters or butternut squash cut into chunks. Toss them with spices and a little oil and roast them on a baking sheet at 425 degrees until done. Even my non-squash-loving kids go crazy for this. You can also mash sweet potatoes with a little bit of milk and spices for an easy Thanksgiving-like side.
You can stir spices into pancake batter as well...it lends a lot of delicious flavor to a nice healthy whole-wheat pancake or waffle batter.
And if you just can't give up your pumpkin spice latte, at least make your own syrup so you can dial back on the sugar and up the spices. The Kitchn's pumpkin spice latte recipe is about the lowest-sugar one I have found. Or, for a more subtle pumpkin spice flavor, you can just sprinkle spices over your ground coffee before you brew.
Are you a pumpkin spice fanatic?