As thanksgiving break approached, I was getting very excited to go home and spend the majority of my time in the kitchen. Being at home gives the feeling of having an endless supply of ingredients and materials, which mean the possibilities are endless! Unfortunately I came down with a pretty nasty cold that drained all of my energy. I also have a slight “germaphobe” for a father so I was essentially banned from any food preparatory activities.
Eventually I started feeling better and made it back to my apartment with a strong desire to sit on my couch in some cozy blankets with a warm drink. I haven’t had a taste for my usual cup of black coffee, and I’ve probably gulped down about 50 cups of tea (no joke) this week so I was looking for something else to satisfy my craving.
I remembered seeing a recipe for a “Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte,” (originally found here) and knew that it would fit the bill. I have made it a few times before with a couple different results. With my low energy, I did make a couple modifications to my usual routine. Here’s what I’ve learned so far from my other versions of the same recipe…
If you like strong coffee, I suggest using espresso. If you’re like me and don’t own an espresso machine, I would brew some coffee in a french press with about 1½ times the amount of grounds you usually use. Also, if you’re using a french press, I suggest adding the bulk of the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, or whatever you choose) in with the beans so it steeps into drink rather than leaving a weird texture at the bottom of your mug.
After combining and heating all of the ingredients in the pan, I suggest running it through a strainer before either blending it or frothing it. I haven’t tried this yet since I don’t have one *hint, hint Christmas is coming* but there’s always a sort of thick pumpkin residue at the bottom of the mug. It’s definitely a nonessential step, but I think it would add a nice touch. If you like froth, you should definitely throw this into a blender. I personally can live without it on most drinks, so I skipped that step.
The recipe that follows is exactly how I made it today, but based on the little notes above, you can really throw it together however you’d like!
- 8 ounces brewed coffee
- ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 3 Tbs. pumpkin puree
- ½ tsp. instant espresso (optional)
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 2 tsp. honey
- sprinkle of cinnamon on top
- In a cup or sauce pan, mix together almond milk, pumpkin puree, honey, spices, and instant espresso. Cook on medium heat on the stove top or (microwave for 30-45 seconds).
- Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and place in a cup. (Use a frother or blend the liquid for 30 seconds to foam the milk)
- Add spices into a mug. Pour brewed coffee over spices.
- Pour pumpkin mixture over coffee. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!
I must admit, this wasn’t the most beautiful version, as it has a orang-y/brown color, but it felt like drinking a cup of fall. I needed a little moment of peace, and this really delivered. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the chaos that can fill this time of year, I suggest you make yourself one of these, grab a blanket and a book, and curl up on your couch. It’s worth every second, every penny, and most certainly every calorie.