Pumpkin coffee and other signs of fall, or where to find hidden dairy in your soy latte

Remember when it use to be the leaves turned colors, you picked apples, you went to the pumpkin patch and got cider donuts and cider along with your pumpkin and started eating more warming foods to know it was fall? Maybe you put your patio furniture away and broke out our cold season clothing to know it was fall.

Well thank goodness that silliness is over and we have coffee shops pushing pumpkin coffee on us. What ever would we do?

First I am not against seasonal coffees at all. I am totally cool with it. It just cracks me up when I am in Starbucks and I see someone who just realized that their Mocha Cookie Crumble Frap is gone till next summer and you think they are going to have a meltdown in front of you. Ok so it was my son who was going to have the melt down but he’s a kid. The 50ish woman really needed to get a grip.

I am actually writing this post to share something I found out. I have a sensitivity to diary and am allergic to HFCS (high fructose corn syrup for those who don’t know). So I avoid anything flavored because usually flavoring syrups have HFCS in them.

The pumpkin latte crazy got me. The smell of my 18 yr old son’s pumpkin latte screamed warm and cozy with a good book. So I went looking for the ingredients.

Starbucks is great at keeping their ingredients hidden. Really good. My son read a bottle in one store and said he didn’t see HFCS listed. Still I didn’t want to take a chance. So I emailed Starbucks and asked them straight out.

I expected a quick response. A few days went by and I was starting to get a little miffed. Was it so hard to answer? Well it turns out that gal who answered my email went over and beyond what I asked and checked all the syrups that flavor the coffee and found that not one has HFCS. Wow! She did say the sauces do have the HFCS in them so avoid those. So in other words skip the pretty drizzle on your flavored coffee if  you’re trying to avoid HFCS.

I got giddy. I thought to myself next time I go I am going to treat myself to a Pumpkin Latte and see what this craze is about.

Then the breaks slammed on my little pumpkin dream. A lovely barista at one of my favorite stores, who remembered (how? Why?) that I don’t do dairy told me that the pumpkin spice sauce has dairy in it!! She’s a vegan so avoids dairy and wanted me to know before she made my drink.

My response was clear disappointment and I ordered my regular latte with soy while my youngest son had a pumpkin spice hot chocolate.

BUT there is a light at the end of the tunnel if you’re wanting a pumpkin goodness sweet coffee treat on these chilly fall days. And it is Starbucks VIA. The pumpkin spice is dairy free! My sweet barista then told me how she makes it as she is not fond of sweet things and said this is pretty sweet. She suggested using only half a tube in your 8oz of milk/milk alternative.

So I finally caved the other day and picked up some Pumpkin Spice VIA at Target. I have to say buy it at a Starbucks and save $2. I mixed my half of a VIA tube with almond milk. My son mixed his with warm milk before heading out to work and he said it tasted just the same as the one he gets at the store. Me, I still found it way to sweet but hey for an afternoon when it’s cold, and my book is calling me from under a blanket an I want something sweet, this just might hit the spot.

Oh and no I am not getting anything for this post. I just wanted to share for those on a new path of eating dairy free. Dairy is snuck into the craziest of things. Like my post on how I found it Salt & Pepper potato chips. Still question that one.

I think honestly, I am going to try this version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Stupid Easy Paleo.

Till next time,


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