What's Really in Your Pumpkin Spice Latte?

Every fall it's the same old story: Pumpkin Spice Lattes take over the universe. So, exactly what’s in the PSL that makes people willing to pay exorbitant prices just to get a sip? Not surprisingly, the base ingredients for most PSL recipes are espresso and milk, with a heaping splash of pumpkin-spice syrup thrown in for good measure. The syrup is designed to mimic the taste of pumpkin pie, not to be confused with actual, honest-to-goodness pumpkin, with help from common pie spices like nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger and ground cinnamon. Sounds tasty and oh-so-natural, right? Well, although about 10% of the average syrup features natural spices, the rest of it is chock-full of synthetic chemicals, like sabinene to mimic nutmeg, all of which are designed to fool us into thinking we're getting the real deal. Lest you become too dejected, take heart in the fact that the Starbucks version does include a small amount of pumpkin puree. Of course, it also packs 380 calories, including 40% of your recommended daily allowance of saturated fat.