Modified Foods for a Healthier You!

Who loves Starbucks? Everyone, duh! Starbucks is defiantly a frequently visited place especially for college students. Running all day and needing a little pick me up or it could just be a morning ritual are just a few of the reasons Starbucks puts such a dent in college students’ wallets. Now don’t get me wrong I love Starbucks and I am 100% guilty of visiting more times than I should in a week but what I don’t love is the price and the sugary content in some of my favorite drinks. While those are okay every once in awhile I have some tips, tricks, and easy to follow recipes you can make at home, so you don’t have to give up what you love.

One of the most popular drinks ordered at Starbucks is a Frappuccino, which I also like to call my breakfast milkshake. A Grande caramel Frappuccino consists of 67 grams of sugar that’s way more than what anyone should be consuming in 1 day and is also going to cost you about $5.

This was my go-to drink for YEARS!! It was only brought to light when I discovered my passion for nutrition and decided to make a career out of it and go to school to be a dietitian (best decision ever). After receiving the life shattering news that my beloved caramel Frappuccino had such a high sugar content I took it into my own hands to eliminate this problem without having to eliminate my addiction to caramel Frappuccino’s.

After a few trials and lots of errors I created a healthy version of a caramel Frappuccino that also can be used as a meal. There are so many things that I loved about my new discovery, not only was I making this drink my breakfast, but it was a good base to turn into any type of Frappuccino you see at Starbucks. The best part of my homemade Frappuccino was that is was a dramatic reduction in sugar- only about 9-14 grams of sugar.

Recipe for Frappuccino base

  • 1 ½ cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ¼ cup raw oats
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of espresso powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 5-7 ice cubes
  • Blend!


This is a modification for a cinnamon Frappuccino, but you can alter these ingredients to make a caramel Frappuccino by eliminating the cinnamon and use sugar free caramel or make it your own! I also tried a chocolate version by taking out the cinnamon and adding dark chocolate chips- keep in mind this version will increase the sugar.


On top of the reduction of sugar it also provides actual nutrients to the body unlike the Frappuccino you get from Starbucks. You get vitamins and minerals from the oats and banana and it is also filling, like I said earlier I used it as my breakfast.

Now we all know what fall brings and that’s nice weather and more importantly pumpkin spice lattes and/or pumpkin spice Frappuccino’s! I personally love this time of year simply because it is my excuse to drink and eat anything pumpkin spice but that comes at a cost and a dress size, so I have also created a healthy pumpkin spice Frappuccino.

Recipe for Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino

  • 1 ½ cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup raw oats
  • ½ tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon of espresso powder
  • 3 table spoons of canned pumpkin
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 5-7 ice cubes
  • Blend!


The ingredients in these recipes cost significantly less than getting a drink from Starbucks every day so you’re not only saving money but also your calories and reducing the sugar dramatically.

I hope you give this a shot and enjoy it! let this be your inspiration to make your own modifications on your favorite foods!


By: Tristen Basinger, a senior at Sam Houston State University majoring in Food Science Nutrition

Published by texasdieteticstudents

State-wide organization for dietetics students across Texas! We are a branch of the Texas Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics! Join us in our journey to health and wellness!

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