Ah, it's that time of year again...my favorite time, I think...when summer looses it's hold and fall starts to slowly take over. Halloween stuff is already for sale in the stores, the evenings are finally dark enough to fire up candles, my bathroom mirrors and windows are coated in a layer of steam, after I shower, and my nose is either running like a faucet or is so dry that it cracks. Yes, all of this confirms that fall is well on its way!
I brewed a pot of coffee, the other morning, and it turned out to be a hazelnut brew...just delicious and tasted like the season! It reminded me that it's also the time of year that so many of us tote a steaming cup of java around like a security blanket. Sorry, to my Starbucks aficionados, in advance, for what I'm going to say! Considering the addition of lots of extra calories to your diet...calories that don't do a lot for you, including keeping you full and away from their pastry case...and the wads of pocket change it costs for these drinks, can you find another way to satisfy your Starbucks habit?
If you're a daily user, please tell me you at least go for skim milk, rather than whole? As a fan of the Pumpkin Spice latte, it's hard to avoid the syrupy treats, but do look at swapping out for sugar-free syrups. I drink only soy milk, but it is generally the full-fat and sweetened kind that is used, and it costs more to substitute it for the regular milk options...stupid, for those of us lactose-intolerant peeps, but true...so go back to the skim milk option, if you can. Better yet, suck it up, and drop the whole $40 (less than the cost of 10 Venti Caramel Machiatos) to make your OWN pot of fresh brew each morning to enjoy at your leisure! You don't need a fancy one or even one that's any more complicated than: lift the lid, pour in 8 cups of water, using the measuring guide etched onto the coffee pot, put a filter in the basket, add 3 scoops of whatever grounds you want (Dunkin' Donuts is good, and we order Kona coffee from Hawaii, which can be surprisingly economical and comes in fabulous flavors like vanilla and chocolate...you can even blend decaf with regular to lighten your buzz), push the start button, and within moments you have 2-3 cups of piping hot coffee! Prep all of this the night before, and it's even less work for you in the morning. Splash with natural sweeteners, low-fat or soy creamers, or non-fat or soy milk, and you have a very good stand-in for the sugary, fattening, and pricey versions found at your local coffee joint.