We love a refreshing frappuccino so much that it doesn’t bother us if it’s tropical temperatures or snowing outside. What we don’t love so much is that they can contain almost a full day’s worth of calories in one hit.
Coffee-chain frappuccinos look really tempting but some can pack in over 600 calories and 20 teaspoons of sugar – the equivalent of a packet of biscuits! For example, the Starbucks peppermint mocha frappuccino will set you back 540 calories. But it doesn’t stop there; the drinks are also loaded with saturated fat, artificial flavours, colours and other ‘enhancers’.
On a side note, don’t assume that the fruity options are any better. Starbucks strawberry and cream frappuccino contains a staggering 76.2 grams of sugar, that’s more than 18 teaspoons! It also has almost 500 calories, which is more than a Big Mac! But it’s not just Starbucks at it, Costa’s strawberry cooler is 653 calories – equivalent to a Big Mac and fries and Nero’s caramel frappe latte is 455 calories.
There is simply no justification for including these drinks into our diets. Most people don’t alter their eating habits to accommodate these drinks; they just drink them on top of their usual diets. Essentially it’s adding around 500 extra ‘empty’ calories. This not only plays havoc with our waistlines but these ‘empty’ calories use up vital nutrients as they need to be processed in our bodies which can result in deficiencies and illness.
I am totally astounded by the large mocha cookie crumble frappuccino containing 105.6g of sugar – or 26 teaspoons. About ten percent of that is naturally occurring milk sugars but the rest is added sugars and syrups. At 695 calories, this particular drink contains more sugar than three Mars Bars and a ton of saturated fat.
Do we have to deny ourselves the pleasure from these drinks? Well, although we can’t justify the shop bought options, homemade frappuccinos take under five minutes to make, are healthy and filling and tick a number of nutritional boxes. Our favourite recipe uses quality ingredients, adds in some fruit and veg and is antioxidant-rich thanks to the nuts, cacao and coffee.
Interestingly coffee has been touted as the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet, which is a worrying state of affairs but a good bit of propaganda for coffee lovers like us – we can argue the benefits of coffee all day long (we recently wrote a post on the pros and cons of coffee which you can read here). If you don’t like coffee, or want to enjoy this drink later in the day, simply leave it out and enjoy a creamy chocolate shake instead.
You can use almond milk from a carton but we really recommend you try making your own, it is literally so simple and the taste is totally different from anything you can buy. It is the richness and creaminess of the fresh nut milk that makes this drink so delicious and adds to the nutritional value.
We hope you enjoy this recipe, let us know how you get on in the comments below or on our facebook page and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to receive more recipes, nutrition tips and expert advice.