Bariatric-Friendly Pumpkin Spice Protein Drink Recipes

Pumpkin spice drinks have become synonymous with Autumn, and you may be wondering how you can still enjoy these beverages after bariatric surgery. The bariatric diet can make it challenging to find a healthy option from a coffee shop, as they often come laden with espresso shots and absurd amounts of sugar. However, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your favorite seasonal flavor. You can make your own pumpkin spice drinks that provide the pumpkin spice taste you crave without the empty calories.

Low Carb, High Protein Pumpkin Spice Latte

Caffeine won’t be your friend early in your recovery after bariatric surgery. Caffeine is a natural diuretic, which dehydrates you faster than usual. Dehydration is the primary reason people find themselves back in the hospital after their initial discharge. Caffeine can also disrupt and rush digestion, which can be problematic for patients with recently altered digestive systems.

Thankfully, you have options. You can incorporate caffeine back into your diet around one month post-op. Until then, decaf coffee is perfectly acceptable if you miss the flavor or morning ritual of drinking coffee. Depending on where you are in your recovery, you can decide if decaf or regular coffee is right for you while making this bariatric-friendly pumpkin spice latte.


  • 1 scoop unflavored, zero-carb protein powder
  • 1 C unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk*
  • ¼ C black coffee of decaf coffee
  • 1 TBSP pumpkin puree**
  • ½ TSP stevia or another sugar substitute
  • ¼ TSP pumpkin spice

*Despite the name, coconuts are not nuts. Coconut milk is the preferred option for individuals with nut allergies.

**Make sure you buy pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.


  1. Combine the almond milk, pumpkin puree, and stevia. Heat the mixture on the stove and blend until smooth.
  2. Remove from heat once it starts to steam. Add your coffee and pumpkin spice.
  3. Wait for the beverage to cool slightly, then add the protein powder. Protein powder tends to clump in hot liquids. You can use a milk frother, blender, or whisk for a smoother finish.

Nutrition Information

This recipe yields one serving and contains the following:

  • 150 calories
  • 5g fat
  • 2g carbs
  • 25g protein
  • < 1g sugar

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

If you prefer smoothies or want to enjoy a bariatric-friendly dessert, this pumpkin spice protein shake delivers. Protein shakes are a common go-to for bariatric patients in the early stages of recovery and beyond as they pack a lot of protein into a single serving. Bariatric patients need 60-80g of protein per day, which can be difficult when eating fewer calories. This pumpkin spice protein shake is delicious while helping you reach your protein goals.


  • 1 scoop vanilla or unflavored, zero-carb protein powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 TSP stevia or another sugar substitute
  • 1/8-1/4 TSP pumpkin pie spice


Protein shakes are quick and easy to make, which is great if you’re not sure what to eat for breakfast. It’s a convenient and healthy way to start your day, or you can freeze it for a healthy dessert or treat. To make this smoothie, add all your ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. You can sprinkle more pumpkin spice on top for an extra punch of flavor.

Nutrition Information

This recipe yields one serving and contains the following*:

  • 165 calories
  • 3g fat
  • 10g carbs
  • 27g protein
  • 3g sugar

*The nutrition information assumes you use a zero-carb protein powder.

If you’re considering bariatric surgery, you may wonder about the diet and lifestyle changes. While successful long-term weight loss does require a commitment to a healthier lifestyle, it doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods and drinks. By making smart substitutions and mixing in some protein powder, you can make delicious and healthy versions of your favorite fall beverages. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of weight loss surgery.


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