Drinks

7 Festive Low-Sugar Lattes to Cozy up With This Season

Indulge in your favorite seasonal sips without the guilt.

By: Lexy Parsons

PSL’s kicked off the first of the cozy latte season, and it’s safe to say we had our pumpkin fix. Now it’s time to broaden our horizons and tempt our taste buds with more delicious blends! We’ve officially entered holiday latte season, and this year feels more delicious than ever. Think: Gingerbread lattes, Eggnog, Peppermint Mochas, Golden Milk lattes, and more. The best part? We’ve transformed all your favorite treats into healthier blends! Enter: low sugar holiday lattes that are equally as tasty, just as satisfying, and much better for your waistline and fitness goals.

Quick Tips On How to Make Healthier Holiday Lattes 

Before diving into the delicious healthier holiday recipes, here are some quick tips for when you want to quickly whip that healthy holiday latte with some simple swaps.

Dairy-free lattes: Use a creamy dairy-free base like oat milk or coconut milk, and swap dairy-based whipped cream for a plant-based alternative (like our DIY Coco Whip!)

Vegan lattes: Read the ingredient labels to avoid dairy and eggs. Choose dairy-free beverage bases like coconut or oat milk.

Low sugar lattes: Always opt for unsweetened dairy or dairy-free milk, and avoid sneaky processed sugars found in creamers and toppings. If you want to sweeten your beverage, choose natural sweeteners.

Protein-packed lattes: Give your latte a protein boost by adding in a scoop of collagen (without changing the flavor or consistency). To keep it plant-based, use dairy-free milk higher in protein like hemp or soy milk.

Stress-reducing lattes: Give your latte a stress-reducing boost by incorporating antioxidant-rich superfoods like cacao and cinnamon, and stress-busting adaptogens like reishi mushroom or ashwagandha powder.

RELATED: 4 Stress-Fighting Ingredients to Uplevel Your Morning Coffee

3 Simple Ingredient Swaps to Make A Healthier Holiday Latte 

#1 Dairy-Free Milk VS Dairy Milk

Even if your body can handle dairy, consider making a healthier holiday latte by going dairy-free.  It’s often higher in calories and saturated fat than plant-based alternatives. Opting for unsweetened non-dairy milk is a great alternative! 

Here are the best non-dairy milk swaps based on texture and consistency:

  • For a creamier option similar to half-and-half or heavy cream, try full-fat (canned) coconut milk.
  • For a non-dairy milk replacement that’s most similar to whole milk, try oat milk.
  • For a lighter option that’s similar to reduced-fat milk, try swapping with almond milk! 

RELATED: We Tried 5 Different Ways to Drink Oat Milk & One Was Our Favorite 

#2 Natural Sweeteners VS Refined Sugar 

A small-sized holiday latte can contain upwards of 30 to 50 grams of sugar! If that’s a size small consider the sugar content found in some of their larger cups! And, consider what size you typically order. No judgment! But, knowledge is power. The truth is that most cafes and store-bought lattes are full of sneaky sugars that are often refined. 

By utilizing natural sweeteners, you can make tasty low sugar holiday lattes that are still flavorful yet much healthier. Natural sweeteners like dates, maple syrup, and honey contain powerful nutrients like minerals, vitamins, and fiber that support everything from digestion to overall health.

RELATED: 11 Ways to Order a Healthier Starbucks Holiday Drink

#3 Whole Food Flavoring VS Artificial Flavorings & Syrups

Why use peppermint or vanilla-flavored syrup when you could flavor your cup with the real thing? Instead of using artificial flavor enhancers, opt for whole food flavor add-ins like vanilla, peppermint, or almond extract. Still need a touch of sweetness? Give it an all-natural boost with a touch of honey, date syrup, or maple syrup for sweetness.

7 Low-Sugar Seasonal Latte’s That Will Keep You Satisfied All Winter

#1 Healthy Hot Cocoa

healthy hot chocolate

Creamy, decadent, chocolatey, and… healthy! Made with unsweetened cocoa and a small spoonful of pure maple syrup, indulge in this better-for-you option to get your cocoa fix.

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy non-dairy milk (cashew milk, almond milk, oat milk)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao, unsweetened
  • ½ – 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

To serve:

Dairy-free coconut whip (optional) 

Directions:

Step #1 Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium-high heat, using a whisk to stir until smooth. 

Step #2 Continue stirring until hot, then pour into a mug and serve warm with optional coconut whip

Note: You can also pour heated mixture into a blender to froth, or use a handheld frother to blend.

#2 Peppermint Mocha 

healthy peppermint mocha

‘Tis the season… for low sugar lattes like yummy Peppermint Mochas! Made with creamy dairy-free milk, a hint of sweetener, and a splash of vanilla to complement the decadent notes of cocoa, peppermint, and coffee. Yum.

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 shots of espresso or ½ cup coffee or cold brew
  • 1 cup full-fat oat milk or creamy non-dairy milk 
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened 
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp peppermint extract, to taste
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

To serve:

  • Dairy-free coconut whip (optional) 

Directions:

Step #1 Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan over high medium heat, using a whisk to stir until smooth. 

Step #2 Continue stirring until hot, then pour into a mug and serve warm with optional coconut whip

Note: You can also pour heated mixture into a blender to froth, or use a handheld frother to blend.

#3 Gingerbread Latte 

healthy holiday latte

This cozy latte is like a hug in a mug, and we just can’t get enough. The touch of molasses gives this festive drink its gingerbread taste, while the drizzle of maple syrup enhances the already delicious flavors. Low in sugar, dairy-free, and made with just a few simple ingredients, you’d never guess this latte was healthy. 

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
  • 1 shot espresso (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp molasses 
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves

To serve:

  • Dairy-free coconut whip (optional) 

Directions:

Step #1 Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium-high heat, using a whisk to stir until smooth. 

Step #2 Continue stirring until hot, then pour into a mug and serve warm with optional coconut whip

Note: You can also pour heated mixture into a blender to froth or use a handheld frother to blend.

#4 Pumpkin Spice Latte 

pumpkin spiced latte

Because we couldn’t make a healthy holiday latte guide without the OG Pumpkin Spice Latte! This yummy blend is our go-to recipe, and believe us, it will be on repeat for the remainder of the year.

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
  • 1-2 shots of espresso or 1 cup strong coffee or cold brew
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened pumpkin puree 
  • ½ – 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves

Directions:

Step #1: Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium-high heat, using a whisk to stir until smooth. 

Step #2: Continue stirring until hot, then pour into a mug and serve warm

Note: You can also pour heated mixture into a blender to froth or use a handheld frother to blend.

#5 Eggnog

Eggnog

Classically, eggnog is made with eggs, dairy, and loads of sugar. In an attempt to make this latte healthier without changing the taste, we created a coconut-based blend that’s free from eggs and lower in sugar. Now all can indulge in its creamy goodness! Spread the cheer.

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy dairy-free milk (we recommend full fat cashew, almond, or oat milk)
  • ¾ cup full-fat canned coconut milk, unsweetened 
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon 
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg 
  • ⅛ tsp ground cardamom 
  • Dash pink sea salt 

To serve:

  • Dairy-free coconut whip (optional) 

Directions:

Step #1 Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium-high heat, using a whisk to stir until smooth. 

Step #2 Add all of the above ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend on medium-high for 1-2 minutes until creamy, smooth, and slightly frothy.

Step #3 Pour into a mug and serve warm with optional coconut whip

Note: You can also use a whisk or a handheld frother to blend.

#6 Spiced Chai Latte

healthy spiced chai latte

Mhmm, cinnamon-spiced chai lattes. A cold-weather favorite! With warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, what’s not to love about this comforting blend? We’ll tell you — the hidden loads of sneaky sugar! Lucky for you, we’ve recreated the classic sugar-bomb blend into one of the tastiest low-sugar holiday lattes. Sip without guilt.

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 1-3 tsp raw honey
  • 1-3 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch ground cardamom

To serve:

  • Dairy-free coconut whip (optional) 

Directions:

Step #1: Add the non-dairy milk and tea bags to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and let the tea bags steep for 3-5 minutes. Once the tea has steeped, remove the tea bags from the saucepan.

Step #2: Add the remaining ingredients into the saucepan. Heat over medium heat, using a whisk to stir until smooth. 

Step #3: Add all of the above ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend on medium-high for 1-2 minutes until creamy, smooth, and slightly frothy.

Step #4: Pour into a mug and serve warm with optional coconut whip

Note: You can also use a whisk or a handheld frother to blend for step 3.

#7 Golden Milk Latte 

golden milk latte

Don’t let the addition of turmeric trick you into thinking all golden milk lattes are healthy! Keep in mind: many store-bought blends or pre-made mixes are full of sugar and other additives. One of the best ways to avoid this? Make your own! Get your golden fix with this low-sugar turmeric latte recipe. 

Serves: 1-2

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups dairy-free milk (we love using a blend of almond and coconut, or coconut and oat milk)
  • ¾ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-3 tsp maple syrup
  • Dash of black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp coconut oil, optional 

To serve:

  • Dairy-free coconut whip (optional) 

Directions:

Step #1: Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium-high heat, using a whisk to stir until smooth. 

Step #2: Add all of the above ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend on medium-high for 1-2 minutes until creamy, smooth, and slightly frothy.

Step #3: Pour into a mug and serve warm with optional coconut whip

Note: You can also use a whisk or a handheld frother to blend.

**Turmeric may stain your blender! To avoid this, use a handheld frother

Bonus 3-Ingredient Coconut Whipped Cream Recipe

coconut whipped cream

Because whipped cream is a must-have, and homemade is that much better (and healthier). This 3-ingredient coconut whipped cream requires no straining, and takes minutes to make. Keep in mind, this must be full-fat canned coconut milk! Low-fat or light options won’t work.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
  • 1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 

Directions:

Step #1: Chill the canned coconut milk in the fridge overnight and any mixing materials (such as your mixing bowl and beater) for at least 30 minutes prior to making your whipped cream. This is crucial to getting your coconut cream to whip and form a peak. 

Step #2: Once you’re ready to start, remove your mixing materials and canned coconut milk from the fridge. Be mindful not to shake the canned coconut. 

Step #3: Remove the lid from the canned coconut and scoop out the thick white layer of coconut cream on top. Add the thick cream to your chilled mixing bowl. Option to discard or reserve the leftover canned coconut water.

Step #4: Whip the cream until a peak forms and continue until the whipped cream is fluffy.

Step #5: Add the vanilla and maple syrup, then whip again for 1 to 2 minutes.

Step #6: Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. 

Healthy Add-ins & Toppings

Dairy-free chocolate chips — we love Enjoy Life, or Lily’s Stevia-Sweetened Chocolate Chips

Additional spices such as ginger and cinnamon

A drizzle of raw honey

Dairy-free coconut whipped cream (see our recipe above!)

Bonus Tip: How To Make Your Latte Extra Frothy

Now that you know how to make the healthiest low-sugar holiday lattes, we’ll let you in on one more secret: how to make your latte extra frothy! 

The secret to success? It’s all about your base! Heating your liquid of choice before you froth it and choosing a non-dairy (or dairy milk) higher in fat are the two most important steps. Add-ins like coconut oil, ghee, and collagen also increase the frothiness, though these are optional. 

All that’s left to do is blend away! For best results use a high-speed blender or handheld frother. Then, sip away and enjoy the holiday season! 

Cheers!!