Organic Homemade Starbucks Frappuccino

Wonder why companies like Starbucks don’t list all their ingredients on their website? How many consumers are really willing to call, email and ask busy baristas about the ingredients? I don’t know too many, and Starbucks is betting on us not to ask. When a company makes a decision to release all their food product ingredients on their website, but not the major portion of their product line – their drinks, you’ve just got to wonder why. Are they purposely trying to hide things?

After repeated visits to Starbucks locations and exchanging several emails, I found out the ingredients of their famous frappuccinos and figured out why they want to make it hard for the consumer to get this information.

Just take a look at the ingredients:

Coffee Frappuccino Syrup: Sugar, Water, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Xanthan Gum (E415), Preservative: Potassium Sorbate (E202), Citric Acid (E330), Caramel Color (E150d)

Light Coffee Frappuccino Syrup: Water, sugar, Erythritol (E968), Natural Flavors, Salt, carrageenan (E407), Xanthan Gum (E415), Maltodextrin, Preservative: Potassium Sorbate (E202), Citric Acid (E330), Reb A, Color: Caramel (E150d, E150b)

Mocha Sauce: Corn Syrup, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Cocoa (processed with alkali 13%), Potassium Sorbate (preservative E202), Artificial Flavor.

Sugar, being the first ingredient in any product is a huge warning sign. A Grande Mocha Frappuccino has 60 grams of nutrition-less sugar. But that’s not all. It contains a seriously alarming ingredient called caramel color.


This type of caramel isn’t the stuff you make at home by cooking sugar. The caramel color Starbucks uses is manufactured by heating ammonia and sulfites under high pressure which creates carcinogenic compounds. The same caramel that has been proven to cause liver tumors, lung tumors, and thyroid tumors in rats and mice. The Center for Science in the Public Interest concluded earlier this year that dangerous levels of caramel coloring in soda could be contributed to thousands of cancers in the US!

And if you think you are saving yourself calories from sugar by getting the light version of the Frappuccino, you are replacing that sugar with yet another carcinogen called carrageenan that I’ve discussed before.

Substances like caramel coloring & carrageenan are slowly poisoning us. Are you willing to take the risk? I am certainly not.

There is good news though. You can actually make a delicious and sweet icy coffee drink just like a frappuccino but with no carcinogens and made from nutritious natural sugars.

Make my Homemade Organic Frappuccino and you’ll never have to go on that Starbucks run again!

FB OF
3.0 from 5 reviews

Food Babe’s Homemade Organic Frappucino
 
Prep time

Total time

 

Serves: 2

Ingredients
  • 1 and ½ cup coffee
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 10 ice cubes

Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend well

Notes
***Please buy all organic ingredients***

 

The best ingredient here is Raw Cacao Powder, one of the highest concentrated antioxidants on earth. The antioxidants have been clinically proven to literally dissolve plaque built up in the arteries which helps in reversing heart disease and causes naturally lower blood pressure. Also, Raw Cacao contains several amino acids that give you an overall sense of well-being, bliss, pleasure and pure happiness. I don’t think any Starbucks Frappuccino can promise that!

Navitas Naturals is my favorite brand of Raw Cacao Powder – check them out.

Cheers!

Food Babe

P.S. Read my whole investigation “Sabotaged at Starbucks” on 100 Days of Real Food.

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72 Responses to “Organic Homemade Starbucks Frappuccino”

  1. Kassie

    Thank you so much for all the work you do. It is not easy to find out this stuff, but I know it is so important and vital for us to know in order for us to change and get healthy. I was wondering if you know of any Chai that would be a good alternative to the Starbuck’s Chai latte…not sure if there is one. That is my very favorite beverage. (I know it is full of sugar usually, so there may not be an alternative.)

    Reply
    • Morgan (to Kassie)

      Actually, it’s honey. Tazo is the one who makes the chai concentrate and there is no crap in it. I was a Barista for three years and I made sure to keep up on the ingredients. As long as you use a safe dairy or alternative (stay away from the soy if you can), you’re golden. If you find you don’t want as much sweet, ask for less of the concentrate.

      It consists of water, black tea, cardamom, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, sugar and honey, ginger juice, vanilla and citric acid (crystallized lemon juice). I hope I didn’t miss anything.

      Cheers :)

      Reply
      • Morgan (to Morgan)

        However, it’s still rediculously expensive. Sorry Starbucks, but the prices are highway robbery.

      • Kassie (to Morgan)

        Thank you SO much!

    • Food Babe (to Kassie)

      I know Tazo makes an organic chai tea bag – this would be a great alternative to use at home. Add your milk of choice and a little honey/coconut palm sugar and viola! A lot less sugar than the SB version. Have fun!

      Reply
      • Delaine Allen (to Food Babe)

        I’ve made my own chai concentrate – it’s inexpensive and delicious.

        After bringing a pot of water to a boil, I steeped tea bags, a chunk of ginger, several cloves, cinnamon stick, and pieces of vanilla pod (I didn’t think of using black pepper or anise). Take out the tea bags after a few minutes. The next thing to go is the ginger after maybe an hour. I leave the rest in for a few hours. Then warm slightly and stir in honey to taste. Store in fridge.

      • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to Delaine Allen)

        Sounds delicious!

  2. Sonja Barber

    I love your website! Would love to add you to mine as well!!!

    Reply
  3. Christine

    I’ve never had a frappucino but yours sounds to delicious not to try.

    Reply
  4. amber b

    i second the question about the chai…i was wondering the same thing – it’s my favorite!

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to amber b)

      Check the answer above… Also to make your own chai at home it’s super easy. I take one black english tea bag and steep it with 1 tsp grated ginger, 2 cardamon pods and add milk, a little coconut palm sugar to sweeten it and voila!

      Reply
  5. Allyson

    EWWW!! EWWW!! EWWW!! I don’t drink this and now I NEVER will!

    Reply
  6. Katie

    I am wondering about the carageenan stuff. I just read on Choosing Raw that it is simply raw seaweed and that studies on it actually having any negative attributes are spotty at best. I have read your article on it as well, and you didn’t mention the conflicting research findings. So I’m wondering, how is a person supposed to know? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Katie)

      I think I answered your question on Facebook… but again, I stick by the Cornucopia study which is super comprehensive. The amount of people who have told me they have had reactions is alarming to say the least… the weird part about it is that we don’t know what these denatured substances do once they are digested… carrageenan unfortunately isn’t the raw state of the seaweed, it’s processed and refined with alcohol or potassium chloride.

      Reply
      • Katie (to Food Babe)

        Yes, these two replies definitely helped. Thank you so much dear!

  7. Victoria @ Green Plate Rule

    Thanks so much for posting this! I have so many friends that “just can’t live without Starbucks.” Hopefully this can help change their mind.
    Have a great day.

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Victoria @ Green Plate Rule)

      You are welcome Victoria – happy to help. I don’t know if this will stop some of my friends, so good luck!

      Reply
  8. Paul

    To add insult to injury, people pay decent money for these “gourmet” drinks. Yet because they may actually taste good (can’t say personally) I wonder how many people would even care about the contents. I run into too many people for whom such revelations don’t even raise a brow.

    Reply
  9. Wendy

    Sounds so yummy! I can’t wait to try it.

    Reply
  10. Molly

    i just made the drink for an afternoon treat. the taste was great, but the consistency was not. do you have any tips? it might just be my blender, but i do have a good one. thanks!

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Molly)

      What kind of blender do you have? Try blending it real well before you add the ice and banana, so the dates emulsify in the mixture. What was the consistency like? Maybe if you describe it, I can help you better. Glad you liked the taste at least :) http://foodbabe.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php#comments-form

      Reply
      • Molly (to Food Babe)

        super! thanks for the tip! i did that and i used crushed ice instead. so yummy!! thanks!!!

  11. Natalia

    I came home from a day at the pool with my 2 daughters & saw this recipe, perfect timing! I made it right away & it totally hit the spot! I used unsweetened coconut milk instead of the almond milk and regular cocoa powder, but I will have to look into the raw one you mentioned. Thank you, it is SO yummy & blended together perfectly! The frozen banana really made it super creamy & smooth. I made my daughters the same thing, but no coffee & extra coconut milk, they LOVED it too! Thank you for all the great research you did on Starbucks, I never get frappucino’s anyway, but I was wondering about those refreshers, now i know I won’t be getting one!

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Natalia)

      Love the coconut milk! So happy you enjoyed it!

      Reply
      • Lynn Winters (to Food Babe)

        How about also using liquid Stevia (NON Alcoholic brand) in place of the dates?

      • Lynn Winters (to Food Babe)

        Just watch ALL of the milk/dairy replacements; there are VERY FEW that do NOT contain Carrageenan. If they are flavored and sweetened, they ALL contain Carrageenan. Very few Organic ones, either.

  12. Jack

    Homemade Organic Frappuccino without pesticides, carcinogens and refined sugars? Sorry to disappoint you, but (1) also in organics certain pesticides are used, incl. a limited range of synthetic ones, (2) in organics carcinogens like mycotoxins are found at higher levels than in conventional produce (because the pesticides that can be used are not so effective and on organic produce fungi infestations occur more easily), and (3) refined sugars are just empty calories, so they do not really bring any benefits but as long as your diet is balanced and you don’t eat too much it doesn’t do any harm, either. But feel free to disregard this information and continue to peddle ***all organic ingredients*** if it makes you feel happy or a better person… This is a free country. (I do not go to Starbucks very often but if people like it…)

    Reply
    • Bob (to Jack)

      Jack, enjoy your McCoffee from your desk at Monsanto’s while we all embrace a healthier America. Keep up the good work Food Babe!

      Reply
      • Jack (to Bob)

        @Bob: I wrote that my post can be disregarded if it makes people feel uneasy… But now that you brought such a powerful argument as an obviously unfounded claim that I work for Monsanto, I must admit that you won, you simply must be right! I’m overwhelmed by the logic of your reasoning and awestruck in the face of your brilliant intellect. Or does this simply reflect upon your own personality that apparently you yourself can be bought that easily?! Or do you suggest that Food Babe works for Whole Foods or may have any commercial interest in this organics business?! As for myself, I’m working in the public sector, no commercial links or conflicts of interest on my side. (This is not me, but a good blog entry on your argument nevertheless: http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2012/07/thoughts-from-shill-for-monsanto.html )

      • Food Babe (to Bob)

        Bob – Thanks for the encouragement! There will always be haters :-)

    • Mary Beth (to Jack)

      Thanks for wasting your time… In fact I think Food Babe’s website can also be disregarded if it makes YOU feel uneasy. Pretty sure she isn’t going anywhere, and for that I am very grateful.

      Peace & blessings.

      Reply
      • Food Babe (to Mary Beth)

        Nope. Not going anywhere. And I’m just getting started :)

        Thanks Mary Beth!

  13. Lyndsay

    Love your blog! Completely and utterly shocked that the oatmeal still has all that junk in it…gross. That just blows my mind and another reason I love people like you who research and inform us all. I will now pack my own oatmeal when traveling to guarantee that its 100% rolled oats! Thanks again! :)

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Lyndsay)

      That was the most shocking fact for me too. How can they call their oatmeal “perfect” – it’s so ridiculous!

      Reply
  14. Ich weiß nicht,

    How well would with work without the cacao,( I cant eat chocolate at all unless I feel like having hives for a week )?

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Ich weiß nicht,)

      Probably great – I would try it! Also if you like other flavors like mint, you could use mint extract, or vanilla extract would be nice too! Good Luck.

      Reply
  15. Colleen Grossner

    Dear Vani,

    What a great website! SO cool that you are working with 100 Days too — another awesome site! I love your visuals, like the way you showed the ingredients for this recipe, and the way you showed the unhealthy Starbucks ingredients in an image! You have a bunch of delicious looking recipes here that I want to try! You probably saw my comment over on Lisa’s blog, but anyway, to say it again, your research and attention to detail is very impressive! The time you must spend on your posts! Thank you! I do not exclusively eat organically, but I admire the dedication you put into what you’re eating to maintain such a diet. I will be frequenting your blog for sure! Keep up the good work! Oh, and I thought I would show you the post I did after reading your Starbucks post — I was so excited about those darn refreshers, and the ingredients list is so depressing! At least I know :) Thanks again and have a great weekend!!

    Sincerely,
    Colleen Grossner Here is the post: http://fresh-you.blogspot.com/2012/07/rewind-on-starbucks-refreshers.html

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Colleen Grossner)

      Colleen – This is great! Thank you so much for sharing with me. I am always glad to have someone like yourself with high qualifications following along.

      Those refreshers make me so mad, I tell ya!

      Take Care!
      Vani

      Reply
      • Colleen Grossner (to Food Babe)

        Hi! Thank you so much for what you said — made my day! I just left a post on one of your posts from Koh Samui — I CAN’T believe we both went there!! So far across the world! What an amazing experience! You are so lucky to travel so much! Thanks for sharing all of your detailed research! Also, I love your new years habits posts! Good night, Vani!

  16. Anna

    What’s in their smoothies?

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Anna)

      Not all real fruit. White grape concentrate is the main ingredient in the “puree.” Also in their chocolate smoothies they use mocha sauce that contains high fructose corn syrup. I don’t think any of their smoothies are worth consuming.

      Good Luck!

      Reply
      • Anna (to Food Babe)

        What would be the best non-caffieine choice?

  17. Reanna

    Hi Food Babe!
    Poor Starbucks – just goes to show you about everything can be corrupted. I am not at all surprised though. I haven’t watched the special about the “natural flavoring” yet but I plan to. I have been following Lisa’s blog 100 Days for a while now and love it, and thanks to her featuring you I will now keep track of what you are up to. And here’s a huge shout out to being Democrat! Woo-hoo!!!

    Thanks for the research you do and possessing the computer skills to put this stuff out there. We are a very political family and believe strongly in voting, including with our food dollars. When my family gathers we all sit around sharing the latest we’ve learned about how disgusting and depressing the US food industry is getting. Beaver Butt Juice aka natural flavoring is our latest gross out :)

    Since I’ve gotten serious about eliminating the crap from mine and my 14 year old son’s diet I’ve noticed an inability to properly digest food I don’t make myself. I have a severe tree nut allergy so the real food transition began a while ago but it’s just getting more and more intense. I probably have the only teenage boy who gets pissed at the number of foods with HFCS and/or natural flavoring in them. Cracks. Me. Up.

    Thanks for all you do – looking forward to following you!

    R

    Reply
  18. Jackie

    How disappointing that it’s impossible to go to a restaurant and eat real food. The options are few and far between…makes me sad!
    Can you tell me what brand of almond milk you use, or do you make your own? I’m kinda new to this blog so if you’ve discussed this in the past, sorry!
    thanks :)
    j

    Reply
  19. Maryann Goldman

    I gave up Starbucks bottled frappes earlier this year. I now make my own too:-)
    http://maryanng.blogspot.com/2012/06/frappuccino-remake.html
    Thanks for your informative information on Starbucks. I no longer buy products from them, and your research reminds me why.

    Reply
  20. Tab

    I read your recent post about starbucks and this article as well and as an avid coffee drinker I am very alarmed! Could you recommend a brand of coffee that doesn’t have as many harmful pestacides as the Starbucks brand?

    Reply
  21. Cyndi Graham

    The mocha powder actually does not contain any kind of corn syrup. It is sweetened with sugar only. I work at Starbucks and make it all the time. I’m also not denying that this stuff is bad for you.. it definitely is. but I at least want it to be represented truthfully.

    Reply
  22. Sandy Summers

    This recipe is so good, and it’s become my daily afternoon treat. Almond milk and dates weren’t even on my radar until reading your blog. I did make a few modifications for a thicker 1 portion smoothie. I use 1 cup of the vanilla almond milk, 2 teaspoons of organic instant coffee (Mount Hagen), 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, 1 tablespoon of cacao powder, 1 tablespoon of cacao nibs, 1 frozen banana, 2 dates, and 5 or 6 ice cubes.

    Reply
  23. Jaci

    I’m not a fan of dates or raisin tasting things. What could I sub for them or can I just leave them out? I’ve seen loads and loads of “healthy chocolate snacks” that have tons of dates in them. But to me it taste like eating a big handful of raisins and called it a brownie? I get my chocolate fix with some organic chocolate bars with almond pieces in it but would love to make this for those hot texas days!

    Reply
    • Lynn Winters (to Jaci)

      Use Liquid Stevia (without alcohol) in place of the dates for sweetener.

      Reply
  24. Lynn Winters

    Food Babe~~I left a praise report here earlier about giving me reasons to give up Star Bucks. I am back to ask if you have done any research about Bolt House drinks, in particular: Mocha Cappuccino? The questionable ingredient that I notice is: Dipotassium Phosphate…and others.
    Thanks for al your hard & diligent work♥
    Lynn

    Reply
  25. Kellie Ryan

    Another reason to avoid starbucks, watch the documentary Black Gold. Eye opening.
    Love your blog and recipes!

    Reply
  26. kim

    I am surprised buy what is in the fraps… I have been a big fan of Starbucks fraps. and I was excited to see your recipe.. but I am allergic to bananas and nuts.. is there a substitute for those ingredients?

    Reply
  27. Trish

    Love your posts! I am not a fan of bananas, any recommendations for altering the recipe?

    Reply
    • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to Trish)

      The banana is hard to replace in this recipe – it gives it some sweetness and thickens it. I think you should try it – it is not going to taste much like banana. If not, you could add a few more dates or another sweetener of your choice and leave out the banana. Good luck!

      Reply
      • Lynn Winters (to Assistant to Food Babe (Krista))

        Also, another post above used Chia seeds for thickness, and Liquid Stevia (NON Alcohol) could replace the banana, although you won’t taste banana in this.

  28. Viv

    Hi!,, if I were to make a few cups to keep in freezer how many days would you recommend? I love my iced and frap coffees and have everyday. Love your website!

    Reply
    • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to Viv)

      Hi Viv- I think it would be fine in the freezer for several weeks at least but it may freeze solid. You will probably have to let it thaw out some. It could change the texture. I would let it thaw a little and they try putting it back in the blender to get a good texture back. (maybe add a couple more ice cubes) That is how I do it with leftover smoothies.

      Reply
  29. Alyssa Braun

    Do you know if this is true of their non-coffee frappucinos as well? I.e. vanilla bean, strawberries n cream, chocolate chip….

    Reply
    • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to Alyssa Braun)

      I would bet they are all terrible but we encourage you to contact Starbucks and ask for a list of their ingredients for specific products.

      Reply
  30. Melissa

    Wow tried this drink this morning without the dates and it definitely needed sweetener! Love the idea of it though…organic dried pitted dates are hard to find in our little town…but I will keep looking and ask for someone to order it if I cannot locate it. Who knew these would be hard to find! :)

    Reply
  31. Molly

    This looks good but unfortunatey I dont have dates. Could I replace them with raisins? If so, how many?

    Reply
    • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to Molly)

      Raisins should work fine. I think about 2 heaping tablespoons would equal 2 dates. Let us know how it turns out.

      Reply
  32. Kathy

    Hi, love your site!!! But did you know there is ” natural flavors” in almond milk? Which almond and coconut milk do you suggest?
    Thanks so much :-)
    Best Regards,
    Kathy

    Reply
  33. Ana

    what brand of coffee do you recommend and what should I look for. I usually drink Spanish coffee “bustelo” which has expresso so something similar would be great!!

    thanks for all you do.

    Reply
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  35. Joni

    I hear about coconut oil so much but isn’t that really full of Sat. fat?
    What is the best oil to cook with, Bake With?

    Reply

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