I read an article written several years ago about the pumpkin spice phenomenon. Besides being an entertaining read, it contained a link to a recipe for homemade pumpkin spice sauce. I clicked over (because I am obsessed with pumpkin spice anything!!), but I was surprised to see the ingredient list did not contain the number one ingredient in Starbucks’ proprietary pumpkin spice sauce – sweetened condensed milk.
So! I set out on a quest to create a low(er) calorie pumpkin spice sauce. I also wanted to avoid all the artificial flavors and ingredients in Starbucks pumpkin spice sauce (see the full list here – Sorry, kids, there is no actual pumpkin listed).
The culprit, as mentioned previously, of the high calorie count of pumpkin spice sauce is essentially sugar. Part of the reason sugar is so plentiful in many grocery store and fast food staples is that it is derived from beets, which are among the most common GMO crops on the market. In many other countries where GMO disclosure is required, food manufacturers will use sugar cane instead and reduced sugar content to cut costs. This article does a great job of explaining the issue in depth.
So, to reduce the calorie count of pumpkin spice, while maintaining flavor, I did a 50/50 split of Stevia baking blend (cup for cup to sugar) and powdered sugar. I used real pumpkin pie filling for the pumpkin flavoring and evaporated milk, instead of sweetened condensed milk, as the base.
- 1 1/2 cup fat free evaporated Milk
- 1 tablespoon McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice mix
- 3/4 cup Stevia in the Raw sugar substitute (cup for cup baking blend)
- 3/4 super fine or powdered Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Sugar
- 2 Generous Tablespoons Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Filling
Whisk all of the ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Allow to cook 8 minutes, whisking occasionally, until mixture begins to thicken and boil. Immediately remove from heat. Continue to whisk intermittently as the mixture cools (to avoid gloppy bits). Store in an air-tight container for up to a month.