Pumpkin Spice Latte (gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free)

Pumpkin Spice Latte" data-pin-description"A healthier version of everyone's fall favorite! Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Refined Sugar Free #pumpkinspice #latte #glutenfree #dairyfree #homemade #refinedsugarfree #cashew #spices #realfood #healthyswaps #peaknutritionandwellness #nutrition #functionalnutrition

Happy Fall! I love the beginning of the autumn months, with the chilly mornings and lovely warm afternoons. By September, I’m usually ready to put the grill aside in favor of some slow braised stews or comforting soups.

For many, the arrival of fall means just one thing…PUMPKIN SPICE SEASON!

Pumpkin spice seems to dominate everything nowadays…from lattes to candles to snack mixes (just walk into a Trader Joe’s in fall and take a gander at their pumpkin spice offerings!)

But the OG, the latte, is what we are here for! If you’ve been avoiding those Pumpkin Spice Lattes from your favorite barista…well, first of all, good for you! 👏👏👏

At 39g of sugar in just a Tall PSL, you are definitely doing yourself a favor! (That’s roughly 10 teaspoonsful of sugar in that little cup!)

Although the sugar gives the ol’ PSL a bad rap, the spices that make up the warming pumpkin spice blend are pretty darn good for us! Check out the benefits below!

Luckily, we can still keep a little spice in our life and avoid the sugar shock by recreating a healthier version of our favorite fall beverage at home. For my healthier PSL, I use maple syrup (which yes, is still sugar, but it is unrefined. This means it still contains other nutrients). It’s also really easy to adjust the quantity, so we can enjoy a little sweetness without the sugar crash.

I also use Cashew Butter (specifically, I use addJoi’s Cashew Base) which gives the creaminess. I have no affiliation with them, I just really like their products, as they have no additives! Many dairy free milk products contain thickeners or emulsifiers which irritate the gut, affect gut health by increasing intestinal permeability and/or contribute to an overgrowth of the intestinal bacteria. I encourage you to check addJoi out!

You can choose to sub in your favorite dairy free milk alternative, but may have to adjust the strength of the coffee to get the right mix, as the extra liquid will water down the latte a bit. If you enjoy a weaker cup, it might work great for you!

Are you like me and prefer your latte iced? I think my love of iced coffee comes from my pharmacist days where I would sip from the same cold cup of coffee all shift long! To make it frosty, simply blend and pour into a glass over ice!

Let me know what you think! Enjoy! 🍂

Pumpkin Spice Latte

A healthier alternative to the Fall favorite!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 1


  • 1 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 tbsp organic cashew base (I use the one from addJoi)(https://addjoi.com) can substitute cashew butter
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1-3 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice blend (see notes for recipe)


  • Add all ingredients to a blender. Whir it up until frothy and enjoy!
    Note: Start with 1 tsp of maple syrup, you can add more if desired or omit if you prefer a sugar free version.
  • Pour into mug and top with an extra sprinkle of Pumpkin Spice Blend


You can try substituting other nut butters, but I find cashew is the creamiest (less grainy) and works the best.
Pumpkin Spice Blend
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8th tsp ground clove
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, healthy fats, refined sugar free

Spiced Apple Muffins

Jump to Recipe

Okay, I know it’s TECHNICALLY not Autumn yet – in fact, we’ve had a bit of a heat wave here in the PNW. But, September gets me thinking about all those great autumn flavours – cinnamon, ginger, apples..YUM! And heck, if Starbucks can start selling Pumpkin Spice Lattes before summer is over, we can make muffins! At 50 grams of sugar for a GRANDE latte, my muffins are a lot better for you too!

Spiced Apple Muffins (GF, DF)

The inspiration for these, ironically enough, came from a recipe I was trying for a RESTART™ class that I teach. It is a 5 week nutritional education program that I teach to groups (for more info click HERE). It includes a 3 week “sugar detox”, so I was trying a muffin recipe that had NO added sugar. When my husband taste tested one, he said “with a little honey or maple syrup these would be really good!”(insert eye roll here – totally missing the point hon!). But an idea was born!

While definitely not appropriate if you are doing the sugar detox portion of the RESTART™ program. Afterwards, they are certainly something that could be enjoyed once in awhile (maybe even paired with a nice frittata for a balanced breakfast!)

I decided to use coconut sugar as the sweetener (instead of the honey or maple syrup suggested by the hubs) because I like the “brown sugary” flavour it imparts. If you want to use honey or maple syrup, you would have to decrease the amount both sweetener and liquid in the recipe. (Check back for recipe updates once I try this myself!)

Back to the coconut sugar…why not just use brown sugar? Although coconut sugar is STILL sugar, it does have some benefits over regular white or brown sugar. Coconut sugar is much less refined than regular sugar and hasn’t been stripped of all its nutrients. It contains small amounts of minerals like iron, zinc, potassium and calcium, antioxidants and inulin (a fibre that is beneficial for gut health). Granted, the amounts of these nutrients is very small, but it’s better than refined sugar which is completely stripped of ALL nutrients! Another benefit of coconut sugar is that it has a lower glycemic index than its highly refined counterpart. The Glycemic Index of a food indicates how much and how quickly a food raises blood glucose levels. Coconut sugar, having a lower glycemic index than regular sugar, raises blood glucose less quickly and doesn’t cause as much of a “spike” in blood glucose. This makes it less stressful on the body. All that said – sugar IS sugar and even “healthy” sugars can cause inflammation and/or trigger those sugar cravings. So while I still suggest limiting sugar consumption, if you are going to have it – you should definitely consider the less refined options!

The recipe comes together pretty quickly. I started by sautéing the diced apples, cinnamon and grated ginger in the coconut oil for about 5 minutes, or until they just start to soften. (This is when the other people in the house will wander into the kitchen to see what smells so good!!)

Pull the apples off the heat and allow them to cool while you measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, milk and vanilla).

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well until fully incorporated.

Stir in your cooled apples, measure into your muffin tin and pop in a 350 degree oven for 24 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean). YUM!

I think that the next time I make these muffins, I might listen to my husband’s suggestion (don’t tell him!) and try them with honey as a sweetener. Pure, raw honey has pollen, enzymes plus a variety of nutrients and is considered one of the healthiest sweeteners out there (though, remember, it is STILL sugar!). I’d also up the spice game, I like a SPICY muffin – so a little more of everything for me please!

Finally, a note on the apples. Feel free to use whatever variety of apple you like. I actually used 1 Granny Smith and 1 Gala for this recipe, but I found that the Gala didn’t stand up as well and it kind of just melted into the muffin. The Granny Smith are a bit firmer and a little more tart, so they add a nice balance to the sweetness of the muffin.

Happy Baking! If you try them, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Print Recipe
Autumn Spiced Apple Muffins
A gluten and dairy free recipe using apples, cinnamon and ginger to give these muffins a warm, autumn flavour.
Prep Time 25
Cook Time 24
large muffins
For Apple Prep
Muffin Recipe
Prep Time 25
Cook Time 24
large muffins
For Apple Prep
Muffin Recipe
Apple Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin tin with parchments squares or muffin cups.
  2. Peel, core and dice apples; grate ginger if using fresh (see notes).
  3. Melt coconut oil in saute pan, over medium heat; add apples, cinnamon (1 tsp) and grated ginger. Saute until just softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and move onto Muffin instructions.
Muffin Preparation
  1. Measure dry ingredients into large mixing bowl and stir until combined.
  2. Measure wet ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
  3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well, ensuring that all dry ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Add cooled apple mixture to muffin batter and mix to combine.
  5. Spoon muffin mixture into prepared muffin tin, filling cups about 3/4 full (~1/3 cup mixture per muffin).
  6. Place filled muffin tin in preheated oven and bake for 24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Cool on wire rack before storing.
Recipe Notes

Store for 3-5 days in fridge. Store in freezer for 3 months.

Freezing your fresh ginger root and then grating it on a microplane is much easier than grating fresh unfrozen ginger. If ginger is organic, feel free to zest the skin as well.