Starbucks is a reliable companion no matter the season, whether it’s the cozy peppermint scents of winter or the refreshing cold brews of summertime.
Most drinks you get at coffee chains like Starbucks come loaded with calories and sugar. They’re delicious, but not the healthiest of choices. Luckily, Starbucks has more than a few low-carb ingredients, and if you get creative, you can invent your own diabetes-friendly drinks. All of the choices below are low-calorie and low-carb and won’t leave you worrying about your blood sugars (or your favorite jeans fitting).
Sugar-Free Snickerdoodle – This is made by tweaking a Sugar-Free Vanilla Latte by adding one pump of Sugar-Free Cinnamon Dulce syrup. You can add 1-2 packets of Splenda sugar-free sweetener if you need. Caramel Macchiato – This is a favorite of many but is still loaded with calories and sugar since it contains milk and caramel sauce. Try it cold and swap out the milk for almond milk and hold the sauce. It is still rich with flavor and will get you energized! Cinnamon Dolce Latte – These are delicious and the cinnamon is a great spice to add flavor without adding in any carbs. Ask for an Americano with ½ water and ½ steamed heavy cream and a few pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup. Frappuccino – These can be easily transformed into a low-carb drink by avoiding their classic syrup and replacing it with sugar-free and 3 pumps of heavy whipping cream, blended Frappuccino style. Keto Ice Shaken Espresso – This is a refreshing way to start your heart summer day. Order this by substituting the 2% milk with almond milk or heavy cream and add either a shot of sugar-free vanilla or cinnamon dolce syrup and if you desire, add a sugar substitute of your choosing. All this goodness is only 4g net carbs! Ombre Pink Drink – The popular drink of the moment is the Ombre Pink Drink which contains their Strawberry Acai Drink, coconut milk, and freeze-dried strawberries, all of which contain sugar. To lighten up the carbs, opt for whipping cream, passion tango ice tea and four pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup.
Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew – For those of you that love the chill in the air and in your coffee during the fall season, Starbucks now offers Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. This refreshing pumpkin-flavored treat usually contains 31g carbs but can easily be made low-carb by opting for 2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup instead of the regular one. This drink is topped with a tasty pumpkin cream foam and pumpkin spices, both of which are virtually carb-free. Enjoy this delicious limited-time-only beverage while you can! Pumpkin Spice Latte – I think people get over their summer blues with just the thought of ordering their first Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. Just opt for almond milk, hold the whipped cream and ask for one pump of their pre-sweetened pumpkin-flavored syrup. Hot Peppermint Kiss – This is Starbuck’s Peppermint hot tea with 2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup making it a sweet and minty treat. Peppermint Mocha – This creation is a delicious seasonal treat but be sure to order it with almond milk, no whipped cream, and only one pump of their peppermint-flavored syrup to keep this gem blood sugar friendly. I will leave it up to you on whether you add the dark chocolate curls! Keto Caramel Cappuccino – This is a small quick fix of caffeine that will give you a nice frothy topping. Make sure to order this with half and half and one pump of sugar-free caramel. This drink will give you energy and a ‘tis the season taste for only 14 carbs. Chestnut Praline Latte – This is one of the lowest-carb on the list, coming in at just 2g total carbohydrates. Order a Grande Caffe Misto with one pump of Chestnut Praline Syrup. Add heavy cream, 2 packets of stevia, and light Chestnut Praline Topping. I wasn’t expecting to like this one but the taste isn’t too overpowering. Cinnamon Dolce Vanilla Chai – If you are a tea lover but still want to drink up some holiday this is a great option containing only 24 carbs this is a great option for the non coffee drinker. Order a Venti Chai Tea Latter with 2 pumps of Chai, almond milk and 1 pump of sugar-free cinnamon dolce and 1 pump sugar-free vanilla and top with some cinnamon for extra seasonal goodness.
If you prefer tea to coffee, there are still plenty of ways to get creative! Many sugar-free options are just waiting to be turned into a low-carb creation, whether it’s Black Tea, Green Tea or Passion Fruit Tea. Here are a few such options:
Passion Fruit Tea Drink – This one is very popular in the diabetes community. Be sure to try sugar-free vanilla syrup in Passion Fruit Iced Tea for a refreshing and tasty treat. Low-Carb London Fog – A London fog is typically a combination of Earl Grey tea, steamed milk and vanilla syrup. Replace the milk with whipping cream and use sugar-free vanilla to create this low carb goodness. Low-Carb Chai Tea Latte – The original Chai Latte is made from milk, water and chai tea concentrate which has added sugar and honey. You can easily turn this into a low-carb treat by using their brewed chai tea bags, heavy whipping cream and sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup.
Living with diabetes makes us more aware of what we are eating and drinking. Thanks to these low-carb tweaks, we can enjoy while not worrying about our blood sugars.
Have you discovered any great low-carb drinks at Starbucks recently? Share and comment below!