Guilt-Free Holiday Coffees: Warm Up Your Winter!

November 27, 2012

Guilt-Free Holiday Coffees:  Warm Up Your Winter!


by Bo McCoy, ObesityHelp Member

It's  almost December, the mornings are cold, the fog lays upon the trees, the strong wind blows, and you can see Christmas lights twinkling in the windows. It's that time of the year again! Santa is coming. However, so are those ten to twenty pounds that always seem to coincide with the jolly-old-elf's arrival. There's pumpkin pies, eggnog, and cookies… oh my. Cutting back during the holidays seems almost un-American, but I have found some ways for you to enjoy your favorite holiday drinks without costing you extra calories.

I am an avid coffee drinker, and I have experimented with ways to enjoy my holiday favorites without costing me precious calories in the process. For today, we are going to learn how to make Skinny Eggnog Latte, Pretty Simple Pumpkin Spice Latte, and downright Naughty List Cappuccino (for those nights when the kids have gone to bed).


I can't replace a good old fashioned cup of eggnog, but I can help you make a great tasting eggnog latte with 1/3 the calories of the eggnog drink. You start by looking for the lowest calorie eggnog you can find in the store. A low-fat version is usually the best choice. Once you find the eggnog in the store (don't buy a lot, you only need a little), you are almost ready to make a great drink that will sure to make you happy without the guilt! This one is naughty-free and will keep you on Santa's good side.


• Your favorite coffee cup and coffee

• Splenda to taste (if you like it sweet, go with 2 or more)

• 3-5 tables spoons of eggnog (low-fat or low-cal)

• Sugar-free whip cream

• Toppings: nutmeg, cinnamon, or pumpkin spice (to taste). You can combine all three for holiday flair!

Prepare the coffee as normal (10 to 14oz) in your favorite cup. Take 3 to 5 tablespoons of the eggnog (warm for 5 to 8 seconds in microwave) and stir in like regular cream. This gives the coffee another color instantly and adds that distinctive eggnog flavor.

Now the secret weapon: Take 1 large (heaping) tablespoon of sugar-free whip cream and plop it right on top of the coffee. This can be stirred in if you wish to make the coffee have more “milky flavor right off. But, you can allow this to slowly melt and it will have a more subtle effect on the drink. Finally, sprinkle your favorite spice on the whip topping. This can be mixture of your favorites to give you the powerful “eggnog? flavor. Find a nice place to sit and enjoy. Calories depend on eggnog choice, but shouldn't be more than 100 calories regardless of choice.


I have to admit my favorite holiday drink is a nice pumpkin spice latte and a piece of pumpkin bread. Okay, so now my mouth is watering and I'm at work (blah!). You can accomplish a very nice pumpkin spice by purchasing a pumpkin spice coffee (Keurig has individuals that work in their machines) or you can follow the instructions for my pretty simple pumpkin spice latte.


• Your favorite coffee cup and coffee

• Splenda to taste (if you like it sweet, go with 2 or more)

• Sugar-free liquid cream, plain (hard to find, but does exist) – or sugar free pumpkin spice syrup.

• Sugar-free whip cream

• Toppings: Pumpkin spice and nutmeg together in a small amount (2 pinches of both)

Prepare the coffee as normal (10 to 14oz) in your favorite cup. Take 3 to 5 tablespoons of the liquid creamer and place in the empty cup. Add into that your pinches of pumpkin spice and nutmeg. Stir and then warm for 5 to 8 seconds in microwave. If you have pumpkin spice syrup make sure that it is sugar-free. If you have it, use it in place of the spices. Combine the coffee and the mixture in your favorite cup. Mix the coffee well. Add a dollop (1 heap of tablespoon) of sugar-free whip cream and sprinkle your drink with pumpkin spice.

You can adjust this drink with more spices or less. This drink has about 100 – 110 calories depending on your liquid cream and whip cream.


I have to admit that my coffee love began its journey with cappuccino. I love the foam and froth of it. It is a mainstay drink for most coffee drinkers and can be lots of fun to drink. So what's the catch? The calories. The average cappuccino has a great foam head upon it and lands me on the naughty list every year. So, I learned a way to make a naughty-but-nice cappuccino that will be a hit for anyone and it is fun to make!


• Your favorite coffee cup and coffee

• Splenda to taste (if you like it sweet, go with 2 or more)

• Sugar-free whip topping (in a can)

• Toppings: This one is up to you, but the basics of nutmeg, cinnamon, or pumpkin spice work just fine.

Prepare the coffee as normal (10 to 14oz); larger is okay as it is not hard to adjust this recipe to 20 oz or more. Before you do anything make sure you have your coffee ready and hot and your spray whip topping ready at the same time. This is a two-hand process and requires some practice! While pouring your coffee into the cup, spray your whip topping into the cup at the same time. Count to 3 seconds and stop spraying. If you get to 4 or 5 seconds, you are most likely looking at a huge dollop of cream! Again, this takes some practice, but it is really good. As the coffee reaches the top of the cup, finish the top with a large portion of whipped cream in a circular fashion (like an ice cream cone). This cup has lots of spray whip cream and that accounts for 90 percent of the calories. Depending on how "‘in the mood to be naughty" you are, you should have no more than 110 to 120 calories of whip cream (14 oz or smaller), but for a 20 oz drink you might have to go 150 calories. Still not bad for a great holiday drink. For this one, I recommend a blend heavy in nutmeg and cinnamon sprinkled on the top of the drink.

Special note for Keurig users: I tested this using Keurig and it worked great. I sprayed the whip topping in while it was brewing. Amazing results.

No matter what you do this year for the holidays, remember that allowing yourself to enjoy one or two favorite holiday treats will not destroy your healthy living plan. In fact, I would argue that giving yourself a minor treat will encourage you to work harder day-by-day. The best thing you can do is consider a wise old saying "all things in moderation." If you think you can't make it through the holidays without cheating on your diet, I recommend this as a holiday plan: Get naughty! Naughty Cappuccino that is!

Happy and healthy holidays.

Share your coffee recipes and tips below!

- Feature photo courtesy of antwerpenR

-Second photo courtesy of Rick1j13