Pumpkin spice lattes are to fall what good ol' hot cocoa is to winter – you can't get through either season without indulging at least once.
And while pretty much every major coffee shop from Starbucks to DD to Peet's serves their own version (even La Colombe is getting in on the deal), PSLs are notorious for being loaded with sugar. But what if there was a way to make these drinks taste more like milkshakes, while also being relatively healthier? Bring in the smoothie.
Jamba Juice is bringing back their Pumpkin Spice smoothie starting Sept. 7, and it definitely beats a Starbucks PSL in terms of protein, sugar, and fat.
A 16-ounce Jamba Juice Pumpkin Protein Spice smoothie has 280 calories, 23 grams of protein, 29 grams of sugar, and 4.5 grams of fat
A 16-ounce Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte (with 2 percent milk and whipped cream) has 380 calories, 14 grams or protein, 50 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of fat
Jamba's smoothie is made with almond milk, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, chia seeds and whey protein, making it a little more filling than a latte, though the sugar content is still pretty dang high. You could switch out the PSL's milk and ditch the whipped cream to make it a bit healthier, but the protein isn't really adjustable.
BUY NOW: Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice K-Cups, $19; amazon.com.
Smoothie King has offered a protein-filled Pumpkin Spice smoothie in recent years as well, though in 2016 a pumpkin shortage caused them to switch their seasonal product to a Cinnamon Latte Protein smoothie.
While Smoothie King hasn't yet confirmed if the pumpkin smoothie will be back this year, previous versions were made with all-natural pumpkin pie filling, non-fat milk, vanilla protein blend, Greek or Frozen yogurt, an immune enhancer and Turbinado, according to a press release.
Their drink falls somewhere between Jamba's and Starbucks health-wise, with a skinny Pumpkin Spice Smoothie with Greek yogurt containing 250 calories, 15 grams of protein, 45 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of fat for a 20-ounce smoothie.
It's too soon to tell if other smoothie shops will follow Jamba Juice's suit and offer their own pumpkin beverages, but judging by the never-ending barrage of pumpkin products available seasonally, we wouldn't be surprised if they do.
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