If you’re like me, starting your day off right includes a great cup of coffee. Fun flavored creamer? Yes please! Sugar? Of course! Healthy? Heck no! So how you can enjoy your favorite cup of java without going overboard on all the calories? Keep reading to find the scoop.
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For a flavor (and smell!) reminiscent of your favorite baked goods, add a few drops of pure vanilla extract to your cup of joe. A little goes a long way: Just one teaspoon will add a subtle sweetness for only half a gram (g) of sugar and 12 calories. Give almond extract a try for a nutty twist.
Another trick for cutting back on sugar, a dusting of cinnamon is a low-calorie way to add natural sweetness to your mug. A teaspoon adds just 6 calories and a miniscule amount of sugar to your beverage, while also adding a warm, slightly sweet flavor. The spice is also a smart choice for those with type 2 diabetes, as research shows it may help lower fasting glucose levels. Most coffee shops have cinnamon available — so make this your go-to add-in when doctoring up your coffee.
While you’re in the spice rack, grab the nutmeg, too. The spice is a great way to add gingerbread flavor to your coffee. With just 6 calories and a negligible amount of sugar per 1/2 teaspoon, it’s a much healthier alternative to grabbing a gingerbread latte from Starbucks, which contains 250 calories and a whopping 35 g of sugar in a grande (and that’s with 2 percent milk and no whipped cream!).
If you aren’t quite ready to give up your iced coffee, give this super simple trick a try: Enjoying your coffee over coffee ice cubes will keep the sip from becoming diluted as the ice melts. You can even go a step further by swirling in vanilla extract, cinnamon, or nutmeg before freezing — as the cubes melt, they’ll infuse even more flavor into your coffee! Having frozen cubes on hand is a hassle-free way to make the beverage feel special when serving up brunch for guests, and it’s a great way to make use of leftover coffee from the pot.
You can still jump on the pumpkin bandwagon without the sugar high (and subsequent crash). It’s super easy to whip up a DIY pumpkin spice latte at home that’s much lower in calories and sugar than Starbucks. Simply combine coffee with your low-fat or fat-free milk of choice, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice. If you need a little extra sweetness, add a touch of maple syrup.
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- Steinhilber, Brianna. “5 Low-Sugar Ways to Jazz Up Your Coffee.” Everyday Health. 29 September 2015. <http://www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/low-sugar-ways-jazz-up-your-coffee/ >.