Don’t you think Starbucks and Panera should serve healthier versions of their coffees? I sure do! I made healthier versions of Starbucks & Panera Apple Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice, & Cinnamon Crunch, made with date syrup which is highly nutritious, and half the sugar of shop bought coffee drinks (using natural whole food sources).
If you’re not a fan of pumpkin flavored drinks, this healthier alternative to Starbucks Apple Crisp Macchiato will meet your desires. It features a blend of classic flavors for the cozy season including apple, cinnamon, cardamom, all spice and nutmeg. These flavor combinations will remind you of eating warm apple pie at a thanksgiving meal or fall family gathering.
This recipe is only 4 ingredients, it’s simple to make, and what’s amazing about these drinks is that they are all refined sugar free, gluten-free, and can be made vegan by using a dairy free substitute for the whipped cream. Our version doesn’t contain any coffee, however if you want a caffeine boost you can add a shot of espresso.
Other flavor recipes are linked below:
- Panera Cinnamon Crunch Latte Syrup [Healthy Copycat]
- Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup [Healthy Copycat]
If you want to know more about the amazing benefits of cinnamon, here is an article for you! 5 Health Benefits of Cinnamon, The Most Loved Autumnal Spice! Also, consider checking this article if you would like to find out more about the benefits of apples!
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Ingredient Selection Tips
Date syrup is a caramel-colored, thick sweetener. You can find it at better-supplied health food stores. If you have time, you can make it at home, too. Here you can find an easy recipe to make it.
Apple concentrate is juice juiced from the fruit, then filtered through a processor that extracts water. If you have a juicer, you can use it, but if not, you can buy pure apple juice concentrate from your local grocery store.
Noteworthy Health Benefits
Dates are the fruits of the palm tree, and they are grown mostly in the Middle East. They are very sweet, but also nutritious. They are not just simply sugar bombs or empty calories. They are full of vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, copper, B vitamins, and manganese.
Dates are rich in fiber and antioxidants, which are very beneficial for our health.
Here are some of the health benefits of eating dates:
- They can prevent constipation.
- They can help prevent high blood sugar.
- They may help prevent the development of certain chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.
- It may help improve brain function.
- They are an excellent substitute for white sugar.
- Dates may help ease natural labor.
Dates are high in sugar, one date contains around 6gr, and they are also high in calories, so don’t overeat!
- When made into a syrup, some fiber and nutrients are stripped away, but this brand still retains some fiber, which helps reduce a blood sugar spike.
- Another alternative with even less sugar is Monk fruit sweetener, but it’s more processed and I can’t guarantee it will reduce blood sugar like this syrup. If you try this alternative sweetness, let us know in the comments!
Diet Preference Tweaks
Vegan / Fully Plant-Based
For a fully vegan version, use non-dairy milk whipped cream such as coconut cream.
This recipe is paleo-friendly. Just check the ingredients on apple juice before purchasing, as they can sometimes have added sugars.
Apple Crisp Macchiato Syrup
- Put apple concetrate into the small sauce pan.
- Add two cups of water.
- Add apple pie spice.
- Add date syrup.
- Simmer it until it reduces to a syrup, which usually takes around 40min. Make sure you are standing next to it as it needs to be stirred from time to time.
- Use a funnel to place it in a mason jar.
- Mix a shot of espresso with 2 or 3 ounces of syrup, for 12oz coffee.
- Add some light whipped cream on top, add one dried apple slice and sprinkle it with cinnamon. Enjoy!