I promised to wait. But…
It’s all your fault. Okay, maybe not, 50/50?
The constant Facebook posts on fall, boot sales, apples, and pumpkin spice lattes can really mess with a gal’s head. So here I am, totally caving in to the fall season and it’s still ninety degrees outside. Peer pressure? Yep, totally caved to peer pressure at the ripe old age of twenty-nine. Embarrassing, but true.
Once you give fall an opening into your life, you don’t just decorate the bookshelf with a couple of fake, happy pumpkins. Nope, once fall enters your brain and takes over your every thought pattern, you must completely surrender. Within just hours I went from popsicle-making to baking apples and sprinkling them with cinnamon (maybe it’s the cinnamon’s fault?). The apples and cinnamon led to fall playdough and fall gardening. And soon, homemade caramel apples were being dunked and pumpkin spice lattes were made. Oh my! I’ll stop at the boots since it’s still warm enough for bathing suits and AC.
I realize the only word you probably caught in all that fall talk was “pumpkin spice lattes”. More like three words, one delicious thought. And if not, let’s stop and just meditate, “pumpkin spice lattes.”
Pumpkin spice lattes are the quintessential fall drink (thank you, Starbucks). At $6 a cup, this drink will have you broke before fall ever makes her debut and leave you with endless tummy aches from questionable ingredients. Real pumpkin? I don’t think so!
I’m all for enjoying special treats (without going broke). Real food is about more than salads (thank heavens!). Real food is about finding better alternatives to the food so many of us love and enjoy. Pumpkin spice lattes can still be enjoyed, but instead of spending loads of money on a questionable drink, we can make a homemade version with a few simple (and cheap) ingredients that are actually decent for our bodies. Imagine that!
Pull up a seat. I don’t bite. I’ll brew the coffee and whisk the milk and pumpkin, adding a few spices for flavor and homemade whipped cream for that extra special touch. It’s going to be good, homemade good! Trust me, you’ll want to stay. We’ll talk about fall and maybe even try on boots. Too far? Okay, we’ll just stick to the sipping.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 TB honey or maple syrup
Brew the coffee. You may desire more coffee, so make a little extra if desired. Set the coffee aside.
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, warm the milk, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin. Whisk the ingredients until the milk begins to bubble on the sides. Turn off the heat and add the vanilla extract.
Pour the warm milk in a large bowl or work in the saucepan. Use an immersion blender (like this) to create the milk froth. This is the secret to creating a homemade latte without an expensive machine. This little gadget is also perfect for pureeing homemade soups in the winter. If you don't have a immersion blender, vigorously whisk the milk in the saucepan as the bubbles begin to form (while heating the milk). This method won't create the same froth or texture of the immersion blender method, but it will still create a tasty coffee drink.
Pour the frothy milk into a large coffee mug. Carefully pour the coffee into the frothy milk.
For the homemade whipped topping: In a stand-mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or hand-mixer) whip the cream, vanilla, and honey/maple syrup for 2 minutes, until the mixture forms whipped cream.
Spoon the whipped cream over the top of the pumpkin spice latte. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice.
This recipe makes one serving, but can be doubled to serve two.
To make this recipe dairy-free, use canned coconut milk (shake first before opening) or cashew milk instead of whole milk. Coconut cream (skimmed from the top of the coconut milk, don’t shake the can) can be used instead of heavy cream.
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