How do you know when fall is here? Pumpkin spice everything! But is the classic PSL gluten free?
Pumpkin spice lattes have had differing ingredients over the years. Sometimes they did not contain gluten ingredients, and other times, they have. At no point have they been certified as gluten free. Always check the ingredients in pumpkin spice lattes and be aware of cross-contamination risks.
Pumpkin spice lattes are a great treat, but I also love my apple spices too! There are a few things to be aware of when looking at whether Pumpkin Spice Lattes are gluten free.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes – Gluten or Gluten Free?
When discussing Pumpkin Spice Lattes, otherwise abbreviated PSL, the reference point is usually Starbucks. Still, as it is a classic blend of spices, you may find this in many coffee chains.
I’ve physically looked at the ingredient list on the additive at Starbucks when considering whether to get this drink. I have found it to contain barley or wheat and unlisted spices and natural flavorings, which may also contain gluten.
However, I have also thoroughly checked it other years to find that it does not include any ingredients that contain gluten.
What this means is that over the years, they have changed their recipe. Always check the ingredients list every single time.
If you are not at Starbucks, the additive they use may contain gluten. Always check the ingredients and know about the risks of cross-contamination and its risks.
What do they serve that contains gluten? Could it have contact with your food?
If they serve any other drinks containing gluten, it is not a good idea to order any drinks made using the same equipment. As difficult as that is, it includes Starbucks.
Starbucks And Gluten Free
Starbucks has introduced a drink to their menu that contains malt.
They have introduced malt to some flavorings for both iced and hot beverages. Making some drinks with malt puts people with Celiac Disease and severe gluten intolerance at a considerable disadvantage.
Using malt in some beverages means the cups used to mix all drinks are now getting cross-contaminated with gluten.
It used to be that the main concern at Starbucks was the food. But as baristas prepared the food and drinks in a separate area, it was not a huge issue.
But putting malt flavorings into some drinks has a huge impact.
The new craze of adding Oat Milk to everything hasn’t helped either.
Oat Milk is made from oats. Oats that are not certified gluten free are grown in the same fields that wheat has been raised in and processed on the same equipment. These practices mean that there is a chance of wheat grains mixed into the oat grains.
Oat Milk made from oats that are not certified gluten free poses a considerable risk to people with Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance.
Starbucks uses Oat Milk in many of their beverages and uses a powder with malt in it. Source
All Coffeeshops And Gluten Free
So the coffee shop chain Starbucks uses malt and Oat Milk in their drinks which poses a risk to people who need to remain gluten free. But what about other chains or independently owned shops?
The question of if the drinks are gluten free gets even more convoluted. These coffee shops could be using any brand of drink additives.
Always check ingredients before getting a Pumpkin Spice Latte at other chains as well as Starbucks. And don’t forget to look into it further for cross-contamination issues.
The one coffee chain that I feel comfortable recommending is Dutch Bros. I don’t believe they are nationwide yet, however.
They opened in Oregon and have minimal food options. The only food I have seen served is made offsite, with no possibilities to heat it onsite. So the gluten available is served inside a package.
They do not use gluten ingredients in any of their drinks. I have seen the most significant caution is food coloring in their smoothies and other beverages. However, this is rarely a concern in their coffee.
If you have a Dutch Bros nearby, check them out for your gluten free coffee needs, but always be cautious and ask because they could change their policies and ingredients at any time.
If you want to get entirely away from the risks that these shops come with and make your own, you can find recipes online for great Pumpkin Spice coffee creamer to make your own. You can verify the ingredients going into it are safe.
If you want to follow the recipe I developed, you can find it here.
Is Pumpkin Spice Gluten Free
Pumpkin spice is ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. These spices are all naturally gluten free.
Check their ingredients labels if you are getting the spices ground and not as whole ingredients you grate as you use them. There is always the possibility of cross-contamination with any ingredients you use.
But pumpkin spices themselves should be gluten free! This is excellent news because it means that we can make these up ourselves to use at home or even make Pumpkin Spice Lattes at home.