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Swap the Starbucks: 17 Skinnier Recipes Worth Sipping

By , SparkPeople Blogger
The modern coffee house has become the de facto office space for thousands of work-from-home Americans, including yours truly.  When I need to change of scenery or to interact in-person with other human beings, my local java joint is my go-to option.  The people-watching is decent and I will often bump into a friend, which approximates the traditional water-cooler conversation. It’s also a place for nutritional choices and I often find myself struggling to stick to the program. Whether it’s the sweet aromas or the attractive displays, many of the items in the forefront are loaded with calories and easily put me over the top on my daily sugar intake. not to mention how terrible I feel later.  Even worse are the hidden calories in my original favorite drink, the latte. I thought I was being so healthy, because there was no minimal sugar, only to find out how many calories are in the deceptively large servings. I am happy to share, however, that I have learned a lot over the last year to take control of the coffee house menu to make it work for me and my health needs. 
  • Grab a cup of tea instead of coffee. Mix multiple tea bags to create a unique flavor. My favorite blend is green, mint and chamomile.
  • Try an Americano, which is espresso and hot water, instead of espresso and milk (a latte). My go-to holiday choice is an Americano with a splash of eggnog. 
  • Order a small (Starbuck's calls this "Short") or kid’s size serving of your favorite drink. That way you get all the flavor, but with fewer calories.
  • Try sugar-free syrups or using non-fat milk instead of full fat milk.
  • Order a mini or petite size dessert. 
I also took the challenge to find my favorite coffee house recipes made from home with healthy ingredients. If you go to a coffee shop regularly like I do, these recipes will save you money and will help you reach your health goals. Grab your favorite book or journal and warm up with one of these recipes. 

Iced Coffee

Faster, cheaper and just as rich and delicious but so much more healthy than the restaurant versions. Try substituting the unsweetened chocolate Almond Breeze almond milk.

CALORIES: 58.4  |  FAT: 3.5g  |  PROTEIN: 1.3g  |  CARBS: 10.5g  |  FIBER: 1.2g

Mock Frappuchino or Mocha Latte

Easy way to enjoy coffee and chocolate without leaving the house.
CALORIES: 150.5  |  FAT: 1.4g  |  PROTEIN: 8.6g  |  CARBS: 22.7g  |  FIBER: 1g

Simple Spiced Chai

This is how I make chai when I need something warm that makes me feel enveloped in comfort without the added calories of my former addiction: hot chocolate. It's spicier and lighter in taste than any chai from a coffee shop.
CALORIES: 91.1  |  FAT: 2.7g  |  PROTEIN: 4.4g  |  CARBS: 13.3g  |  FIBER: 1.4g

Low Cal, Low Fat Eggnog

CALORIES: 70.1  |  FAT: 2.3g  |  PROTEIN: 5.9g  |  CARBS: 7.7g  |  FIBER: 0g

White Chocolate Peppermint Latte

Try this delicious 70 calorie decadent treat and celebrate the season.
CALORIES: 63.6  |  FAT: 0.8g  |  PROTEIN: 0.4g  |  CARBS: 13g  |  FIBER: 5g

Skinny Caramel Macchiato

Simple way to enjoy a coffee shop specialty.
CALORIES: 77.5  |  FAT: 1.6g  |  PROTEIN: 3.2g  |  CARBS: 12.8g  |  FIBER: 0.1
Fat Free Vanilla Coffee Creamer Substitute

A homemade coffee creamer substitute free of fat and lower in calorie than store bought. It has protein and there is nothing artificial.

CALORIES: 14.5  |  FAT: 0g  |  PROTEIN: 0.5g  |  CARBS: 2.8g  |  FIBER: 0.1g
Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Latte

There aren't a whole lot of nutritious warm pumpkin beverages. I'm not a coffee fan, but this is delicious.

CALORIES: 123.6  |  FAT: 0.5g  |  PROTEIN: 8.7g  |  CARBS: 19.5g  |  FIBER: 0.5g

Homemade Baked Goods

Espresso Biscotti

CALORIES: 149.4  |  FAT: 7.2g  |  PROTEIN: 2.7g  |  CARBS: 19g  |  FIBER: 0.8g

Cranberry-Almond Oatmeal Cookies

Pumpkin is subbed for butter in this lowfat treat! Cranberries and almonds add flavor and nutrition.
CALORIES: 64.3  |  FAT: 1.2g  |  PROTEIN: 1.6g  |  CARBS: 14.4g  |  FIBER: 1.3g

Chai-Spiced Banana-Nut Muffins with Candied Ginger

These spicy banana-nut muffins are packed with flavor but not sugar. Candied ginger stands in for sugar.
CALORIES: 183.5  |  FAT: 10.1g  |  PROTEIN: 3.1g  |  CARBS: 24.6g  |  FIBER: 3.2g

Oatmeal Scones

Oatmeal-brown sugar scones.
CALORIES: 155.6  |  FAT: 8.3g  |  PROTEIN: 2.4g  |  CARBS: 24g  |  FIBER: 1.7g

Raspberry-Lemon Scones

Scones are perfect for weekend house guests, hostess gifts, or picnics. Traditionally made with loads of butter and cream, mine use far less butter--and whole-grain flour.
CALORIES: 180.3  |  FAT: 5.3g  |  PROTEIN: 5.7g  |  CARBS: 30.1g  |  FIBER: 4.9g

Apple Coffee Cake

Apples and raisins provide the moistness, which means less oil can be used in this low saturated fat, low cholesterol, and low sodium coffee cake.
CALORIES: 182.3  |  FAT: 4.6g  |  PROTEIN: 2.8g  |  CARBS: 33.8g  |  FIBER: 1.9g
Quick & Simple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

A simple and easy coffee cake.

CALORIES: 126.7  |  FAT: 5.1g  |  PROTEIN: 2.2g  |  CARBS: 18.1g  |  FIBER: 0.4g

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Indulge your sweet tooth by biting into crisp mini chocolate cookies packed with melted pockets of chocolate chips.
CALORIES: 41.8  |  FAT: 1.7g  |  PROTEIN: 0.7g  |  CARBS: 6.5g  |  FIBER: 0.4g

Mint Chocolate Chip-Oat Cookies

You'll never know these cookies are lower in fat! Customize your cookies by using any flavor of "chips" you prefer.
CALORIES: 69.2  |  FAT: 2.9g  |  PROTEIN: 0.8g  |  CARBS: 12.5g  |  FIBER: 0.3g


Low Fat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This is inspired by Starbucks' low fat chocolate chip banana bread and is great with coffee. Although many of the ingredients are low fat, the bread comes out very moist.
CALORIES: 149  |  FAT: 4g  |  PROTEIN: 2.8g  |  CARBS: 27.2g  |  FIBER: 1.3g

What is your favorite coffee house recipe? 
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