6 Healthy Seasonal Drink Recipes: Sip Up and Stay Warm

What’s your favorite thing about the fall season? The foliage, crisp temperatures, football, or warm drinks? Most people like a combination of the four, but seasonal beverages make their comeback in autumn, and places like Starbucks, Panera, and Dunkin’ Donuts couldn’t be happier. Every fall, consumers empty their wallets for overpriced specialty coffee drinks that may or may not contain actual pumpkin.

We don’t blame you for warming up to these sugary drinks, but just in case you want a healthier, more wholesome alternative, we’ve rounded up 6 recipes that will allow you to whip up the coffee drinks at home. You’ll consider yourself a domestic barista in no time.

Source: iStock

Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte

Starbucks stores everywhere are packed with patrons waiting to warm up with Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and its popularity is not dying off anytime soon. The problem, however, is that the drink comes at almost $5 a pop and is full of artificial ingredients. It also contains zero traces of real pumpkin — only “pumpkin sauce” — so if you’re interested in drinking real, wholesome ingredients, the Starbucks version is not the way to go. But have no fear, because you can make your own PSL at home via this recipe from Crunchy Creamy Sweet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee

Directions: In a microwave-safe measuring cup, mix together pumpkin puree, vanilla, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and milk. Stir until all combined. Heat up until it starts to bubble. Remove from microwave. Pour the coffee into a serving cup. Add the pumpkin milk mixture. Stir until well combined. Serve immediately.

Source: iStock

Cinnamon Dolce Latte

Just as pumpkin is a flavor of the fall, so, too, is cinnamon, and many coffee drinkers find themselves gravitating to coffee houses this time of year to get their fill of cinnamon-y drinks like the ever-popular Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks. While this beverage is certainly easy on the taste buds, it’s neither easy on the wallet nor the waistline, and that’s why it’s time to get creative in the kitchen with your own creation, via this recipe from Don’t Waste the Crumbs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1 cup of hot coffee
  • 2 tablespoons cream

Directions: To make a cinnamon syrup, combine combine water and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Heat on very low heat for 5 minutes, whisking often. Remove from heat. Pour cinnamon syrup into a glass jar and store sealed in the refrigerator. To make a latte, combine 1 tablespoon of cinnamon syrup with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup plus remaining ingredients. Add additional maple syrup if you like it sweeter.

Source: iStock

Pumpkin Mocha

We come to this Pumpkin Mocha recipe from 52 Kitchen Adventures. When you combine pumpkin and chocolate, you get a match made in culinary heaven, and this simple, soul-warming drink will prove it.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup strong coffee
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1½ tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Whipped cream

Directions: Combine coffee, milk, pumpkin, spices, and cocoa in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together and heat until warm and flavors are combined. Pour into a mug and add whipped cream if desired.

Source: iStock

Caramel Cinnamon Latte

Caramel is another flavor that many consumers sweeten up to in the fall, and this Caramel Cinnamon Latte from Food Network is certainly sweet. What distinguishes this drink from typical Starbucks beverages is that it is noticeably void of unpronounceable syrups and sugars, and it can come together in your very own kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup hot espresso or strong coffee
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons caramel-flavored syrup
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon-flavored syrup
  • Whipped cream, for garnish
  • Cinnamon stick, for garnish

Directions: In a serving glass or mug, combine the hot espresso, half-and-half, caramel syrup, and cinnamon syrup. Stir gently to combine. Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

Source: Thinkstock

Slow Cooker Hot Spiced Apple Cider

Taking a break from the caffeinated side of things, we come to this recipe for Slow Cooker Hot Spiced Apple Cider from Kitchen Treaty. Those who enjoy warm beverages but hate coffee often find themselves spending too much money on apple cider drinks at Starbucks, but this recipe is the solution to their problems.

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts (8 cups) apple cider
  • 6 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks, plus more for serving if desired
  • 1 medium orange
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • Rum of your choice (optional)
  • Additional cinnamon sticks for serving

Directions: Pour apple cider into a 2.5-quart or larger crock pot. Add cinnamon sticks to cider. With a toothpick, poke holes all around the orange, about ½ inch to 1 inch apart. Carefully poke the cloves into the toothpick holes in the orange. Place orange into the cider in the slow cooker. Cook on low until hot and spiced through, about 4 hours. Ladle into mugs along with an ounce or so of rum if using. Place a cinnamon stick in each glass if desired and serve.

Source: iStock

Salted Caramel Mocha Latte

We’re ending our list on a hot note with this Salted Caramel Mocha Latte from Inside Bru Crew Life. A touch of sea salt pretty much makes anything extra nice, and in this recipe, it’s the key ingredient that puts the fall-flavored beverage over the edge. This formula contains coffee, hot chocolate, sugar, and caramel ice cream, meaning it’s not exactly good for your skinny jeans, but it’s certainly good for the soul.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons hot chocolate mix
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ½ cup strong coffee
  • Cool Whip
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions: Mix together the turbinado sugar and sea salt. Set aside. Heat the milk, 2 tablespoons caramel, hot chocolate mix, and sea salt until it comes to a boil. Pour into a blender and pulse until frothy. Pour into a cup. Slowly pour the hot coffee into one side of the frothed milk. Top with Cool Whip. Drizzle with extra caramel topping. Sprinkle with the sugar and sea salt mixture. Yield: 1 large cup.

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