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A Low Kcal Christmas

I love it when Autumn starts to drift into Winter and presents us with an excuse to drink new flavoured latte's at Starbucks, reveling in flavours reminiscent of Thanksgiving and Christmas. They do tend to somehow add about 200kcal to your average coffee though, so I did a little exploring to see if there were any fabulous alternatives.

OK, the image above is, I will admit, not exactly low kcal, but I can confirm it was a divine meal substitution, thank you Re:Grub (Calgary, Canada). I also apologise if I just made you reach for the nearest pack of oreos.

So to begin with lets all be honest, no one orders the small option, so I will base the following on a medium size (16oz) beverage and where applicable with 2% or semi-skimmed milk. Oh and without whipped cream - those extra calories have to be earned.

Ahh, there's just something about those Starbucks Christmas cups that makes the drink taste even better. Right, for starters (I know it's cold out but) you save around 150kcal by opting for the iced version rather than the hot. For example at Starbucks an Eggnog Latte comes out at 470, but an Iced Eggnog Latte is 'only' 310. So if you're taking it into the office to relish the flavour and aren't using it to defrost your hands whilst standing on the station platform it's a better choice. If you need the heat though a Gingerbread Latte is only 260.

Costa have also introduced Christmas cups this year, and seem to be going with a rather adorable traditional christmas tree ornaments vibe. But back to their coffee, I am dying to try the new honeycomb flavour! If you're after a more seasonal vibe though there is a relatively healthy gingerbread latte (243kcal) with an actual gingerbread cookie in it. If you have just finished a workout and want to treat yourself the black forest hot chocolate (423kcal) is one I'm yet to see anyone else making.

It may not save you calories (they also serve cakes), but if you want to try all the holiday flavours before you buy, Whittards on Regent Street are offering complimentary tastings; no need to book, simply drop in! In the run up to Christmas they are offering a wonderul 'Silent Night' tea; a perfect blend of cinnamon, cocoa and green tea, and comparatively healthy at 18kcal. They don't just do tea though, they also offer coffee and hot chocolate; definitely worth a visit.

I am a little saddened that Twinings haven't made their 'Merry Christmas Baubles' of winter spiced tea this year, however they are offering 'Christmas Tea' and 'Winter Spice'.

Ultimately if you want a hot, milky, flavoursome drink though my best advice is to keep a tub of Drink Me's 'Spiced Chai Latte' at the office. At only 68kcal a pop it is far less than calorific than cafe-bought beverages and far more satisfying than tea. Plus they come in such a range of flavours you will be spoilt for choice.

If you just want to go all out and indulge yourself though, you can't get much more christmassy than this new glitter coffee being served at the Palm Vaults in Fiorucci. The patterns, sparkles and colours they create are pure magic. We haven't deigned to check the calorie count on this one, as the artistic nature of it makes it worth drinking no matter what. Merry Christmas in a mug!

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