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Low-Carb Starbucks Hack

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A super-quick way to make your Starbucks low-carb and delicious! This works for THM and Paleo (if you choose to drink coffee). SO easy and delicious!

I get a surprising number of questions about coffee. Before last year, I hated coffee. After 14 years, my husband converted me – now I desperately need, can't live without um…I just really like it now. 

I have a Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe here, and I like it a lot, but my favorite is the minty, chocolatey goodness of a peppermint mocha. I've developed an AWESOME recipe for a homemade version, which I'll be sharing soon (sorry, don't hate me, I just haven't had time to take pictures yet!), but while I'm working on that I thought I'd share a quick low-carb hack (that works for Trim Healthy Mama diets as an “S”!) for when I'm out and about. If you follow a Paleo diet and allow yourself to have coffee (I know it's one of those “personal choice” items), you can try this idea, too!

This is super simple – just order an Americano with heavy cream, or bring your own unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk, because I'm pretty sure Starbucks serves coconut milk with sugar in it. By the way – why is it called an “Americano”? We are IN North America. Why can't we just call it an “American”? Is it from South America? I'm so curious! Then you add Chocolate Sweet Leaf Stevia Drops and Peppermint Sweet Leaf Stevia OR a drop of peppermint extract to taste. You could always skip the peppermint to make a mocha, or use another flavor to experiment.  SO easy! And low-carb! And (if you're in the camp that thinks coffee is healthy for you), it's healthy! 

You'll want to be careful – too much peppermint will ruin the coffee (same goes for too much stevia!), so start with a tiny amount (I'd recommend just one drop of each) stir and taste, then add more from there as needed. Sweet Leaf also makes a Peppermint Mocha that I can't wait to try!

The Sweet Leaf Drops are supposed to stay refrigerated, so if I'm just running a quick errand I'll take the bottles and put them in my car cupholder and refrigerate them when I get home. If not, I'll pre-portion the drops (now that I know how many I like) into a mini salad dressing plastic Rubbermaid container and take it along with me. 

You could also bring some packets of stevia and cocoa powder, but I found that to be pretty messy and took a lot of experimentation. 

Another super-quick random tip: If you keep a silicone muffin cup in your car cupholder, it keeps it from getting yucky and will cushion your glass stevia containers if you're taking them along. 🙂 What's your favorite Starbucks drink? Le me know in the comments, and maybe we can try to make it healthier!

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  1. My favorite is caramel mocha. Btw, my Starbucks has Stevia packets along with the other powdered sweeteners now.

    1. I have a homemade caramel mocha recipe I’ve been working on! Hopefully I’ll have a chance to take pictures and post it soon. I’ve got my 5 kids with me 24/7 since we homeschool, so I had no idea Starbucks has stevia packets because I never go inside, lol! It’s so much easier to hit the drive through.

  2. Hi Jen. I want to thank you for taking time to share your thoughts, ideas, and experiments with us all. I appreciate it. Every once in a while I like to order from Starbucks a mocha frap: soy milk, extra shot of espresso, light ice, protein powder, no whip creme. Any possibility of making that healthier, lol?

    1. That sounds pretty healthy! I think the syrups are what cause problem. I try to avoid soy, which is why I usually get heavy cream…but I also try not to have dairy, so that makes it hard!

  3. I see that there is also a Peppermint Mocha flavor of the Sweet Leaf brand of Stevia drops. Have you tried that with both flavors combined? Wondering if it’s as good or if you’d rather control the amount of each?

    1. I haven’t tried that! I’m still waiting for my Peppermint Mocha flavor to come in the mail. I’ll let you know how it goes when I get it!

  4. The Caramel Macchiato is my favorite! And the pumpkin spice latte! (I make the shrinker with 1t caramel extract and 1 vanilla and I kind of think it tasted like a caramel frap even though it is tea…just fyi)

    1. Thanks Kathryn, I have caramel extract so I’m going to try that today! I have to admit…I’ve never had a real caramel macchiato! I’ll have to get one to see if I can duplicate it.

  5. Answer to why it’s an Americano according ton Starbucks barista. Europeans call this diluted exoresso “American style” because it is similar to brewed coffee.

  6. Oh no. My sweet leaf bottle doesn’t say refrigerate. Does yours? Is my rouined? Thanks for all your efforts.

    1. Hi Chrystal! If your bottle doesn’t say to refrigerate it, I wouldn’t worry about it at all! Mine said to, and I’m a rule-follower, so although it’s probably totally fine without refrigeration I did it anyway.

  7. Just for the record the Starbucks Almond Milk is plain and unsweetened, so I usually just get a latte made of that and then either go with a sugar free sweetener (although I don’t like them) OR 1/2 pump of whatever syrup I really want since I find their syrups too sweet anyways.

    1. Thanks for letting me know, Stacy! I heard they were getting almond milk last month, but I haven’t tried it yet.

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