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The Best Low-Calorie Fall Starbucks Swaps

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

Fall brings cooler weather, autumn colors, cable-knit sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes. We know and love pumpkin spice lattes, but for those of us who want something a bit lighter, Starbucks isn’t always ideal. The high-calorie, sugary autumn-themed drinks are delicious and finding low-calorie alternatives that taste just as yummy isn’t always easy. My mission this week was to find low-calorie versions of the original drinks without sacrificing taste for calories; listed below are my favorite finds:

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Without modifications, Starbucks’ Venti Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte is 480 calories. A different take on the PSL comes out to just 180 calories. This alternative is not as creamy as the original, but the flavor is just as good! Most of the Starbucks signature lattes can be recreated as an Americano which is what this alternative is.

You can order it by asking for a venti iced Americano with blonde espresso, almond milk, three pumps of pumpkin, three pumps of sugar-free vanilla and the pumpkin spice topping.

Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso

A venti iced brown sugar shaken espresso with 2% milk and no modifications is about 240 calories. This modified version is just as delicious, and only has 117 calories! It is flavorful and filled with the same cinnamon and brown sugar flavors as the original version. This drink has fall written all over it and I have a feeling it would be excellent with cold foam, too. If you want it a bit sweeter, you can add an extra pump of the sugar-free vanilla syrup which has zero calories.

You can order it by asking for a venti shaken espresso with blonde espresso, no classic syrup, two pumps of brown sugar syrup, two pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup, almond milk and cinnamon powder.

Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte

Saving best for last, we have the pumpkin cream chai tea latte. This drink has been a hit this fall but a Grande cup of this drink comes out to 460 calories. Swapping even just the standard 2% milk for almond milk can make a difference in this drink. However, this alternative tastes the exact same as the regular drink and has much less calories. I drank this low-calorie version in no more than three minutes, if that can attest to how good it is. It has only 124 calories if you don’t add cold foam, which I opted not to, but even with cold foam it’s only 134 calories.

You can order it by asking for a Grande iced chai with almond milk, two pumps of chai, two pumps of pumpkin, almond milk, pumpkin spice topping and if you’d like, cold foam.

I found that the easiest way to order these swaps is through the Starbucks mobile app since most of them have quite a few modifications. Of course, an unmodified pumpkin spice latte or pumpkin cream chai every now and then is a delicious and festive treat. For those of us who find ourselves at Starbucks six out of seven days of the week, though, trying these low-calorie swaps can be beneficial if you’re trying to go on a calorie deficit, limit your sugar intake or just want a lighter version.

If you plan on finding low-calorie versions of other Starbucks drinks, many of them can be recreated in similar ways as these were. Lattes can be turned into Americanos with blonde espresso. The sweetness from flavor syrups can be supplemented with one to two pumps of the flavor and one to two pumps of sugar-free vanilla. 2% or whole milk can be replaced with almond milk (or oat milk if you’re allergic to nuts).

Go enjoy the fall flavors at Starbucks regardless of whether you’re drinking the low-calorie version or the regular version. We know the girlies need their pumpkin spice!

Riley is a second-year advertising major. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and the world of business, as well as public speaking. In her free time, she can be found at the local race track, volunteering at her church, and watching horror movies.