Fall is finally here and with it comes the…drumroll…pumpkin spice latte! You’ve probably already had your first one, or your second (don’t be ashamed). With sweaters and pumpkin picking right around the corner, with classes starting and careers picking up, the glorious Fall means one thing: “treat yo self!”
Now I don’t know about you, but for me fall is a peaceful season. It’s a cozy season, but it still has that feeling of freedom that summer leaves us with. With autumn, schedules fall back into place, the days become cooler and breezy, and people enjoy being outside raking leaves and taking walks. Fall is a time for pumpkins on front porches, and a time for scarves, sweaters, boots, and cute layers. Fall means warm coffee dates and apple picking adventures. Fall means pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookie and, of course, pumpkin spice lattes. In other words, fall is basically a trap for eating and drinking everything (pumpkin related) in site.
Now I’m all for you splurging at Starbucks for a caffeine boost and a burst of delicious creamy pumpkin satisfaction on the way to work, but there are some delicious pumpkin spice lattes recipes that you can make yourself, and these secret recipes can save you some money and some extra calories. Treat yourself and cozy up with your friends or significant others with these delicious pumpkin spice drink tricks and recipes!
1. Pumpkin Spice Latte: In a small pot over medium-low heat, stir 1 cup skim or 1% milk and 1.5 tablespoons pumpkin puree (until smooth). Add: a dash of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, a pinch of ginger, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, Splenda, or stevia, and 1 tablespoon honey. Poor this mixture over ¾ cup of coffee. Enjoy!
2. Cozy Pumpkin Spice Milk: On medium-low heat, stir the following ingredients in a saucepan until smooth: 1.5 cups vanilla soymilk or almond milk, 1.5 tablespoons pumpkin puree, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, 2 tbsp. of maple syrup or honey (With optional whipped cream for your sweet tooth!)
3. Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa: Stir together: 1 cup microwaved milk (steaming!), 1 teaspoon honey, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
4. Pumpkin Protein Smoothie: This one is great for a quick and healthy (but also tasty) grab & go! Blend 1 medium banana, 1 cup ice, 1 cup milk, ¾ cup pumpkin puree, ½ cup vanilla greek yogurt, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, a dash of cinnamon, and 3 tablespoons honey.
5. Dairy-Free Pumpkin Coffee Creamer: This is a delicious touch to your coffee that you can make ahead of time when you’re in a rush in the morning! Now there are two options – if you are into everything coconut, then try this coconut milk based creamer (which also happens to be richer in flavor and consistency): In a small sauce pan, combine the following ingredients over medium heat: 1 can coconut milk (15 oz., full fat), 2 tablespoons honey or agave, 1 tablespoon stevia, sugar, or Splenda, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 2.5 tablespoons pumpkin puree. OR 2 cups unsweetened soy milk, ¼ cup pumpkin puree, ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons honey
6. Pumpkin Spiced Bedtime Treat: A quick drink that will bring you some peaceful rest and sweet dreams. In the microwave heat up 1 mug of milk (whatever kind you choose) so that it is steaming. Stir in: 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 tablespoon honey.
7. Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Smoothie: Blend: ¾ cup pumpkin puree, 1 cup vanilla soymilk, 1 large frozen banana (or 1 banana and 1 cup ice), 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 tablespoon nut butter (sunflower seed, peanut, almond or soy), 1.5 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (to taste)
8. Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte: In a saucepan over medium heat, boil the following (stirring on occasion): 1 cup water, 2 cups skim or 1% milk, ¼ cup pumpkin puree, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tbsp. maple syrup, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Remove from heat and steep 3 chai tea bags for 3-5 minutes (depending on how strong you desire). Pour into two mugs, and add whipped cream if you choose.