It will forever irritate me how many “pumpkin spice” flavored foods do not contain even the smallest amount of pumpkin. I don’t get it. If it’s just cinnamon and other spices, why not call it “spiced BLANK” instead. Most irritating is the fact that Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes are always fixing to suck me in. From time to time, I find myself in a weakened state, tempted and really thinking about ordering one! Ultimately, I simply remind myself how much sugar (a Grande contains over 50 grams of sugar) it contains. Then I think about the fake coloring (Class IV Caramel Coloring), the creepy “natural” and artificial flavors and the hidden dairy in the syrup by way of sweetened condensed milk (so vegans, you are getting hit with dairy, even if you order it with non-dairy soy milk). The list of reasons not to order one just goes on and on. I myself haven’t had one of these drinks in well over 5 years, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t think about it from time to time.
So, what’s a fall-loving, pumpkin-craving girl to do about all this scary Starbuck stuff? Well, she has to make one for herself. (OK, I will stop talking about myself in the third person now! Sorry.) I opted to first make a tasty homemade Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk, using my tried and true method of making delicious nut milks at home. Though this delicious, seasonally-inspired treat is super amazing on it’s own, in smoothies or as a creamer, it’s even better served warm and added to a steamy latte, like this.
You guys should definitely know by now that I am not one for overly sweet things and this latte is definitely on the not-too-sweet side, so you may want to add more sweetener to the almond milk before blending or to the coffee, before serving, depending on your personal tastes. For a real treat, you can also top with a homemade whipped coconut cream.
- 1 cup raw organic almonds (soaked overnight)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean (soaked with the almonds)
- 4 cups filtered water
- ½ cup organic pumpkin purée (canned or fresh)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg*
- pinch of ground ginger*
- pinch of ground cloves*
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup or a couple of soft medjool dates (optional)
- Pinch of sea salt
- Soak the almond and vanilla bean, if using, in enough filtered water to be covered – overnight in the refrigerator, for at least 8 hours.
- Discard the soaking water and rinse the almonds and the vanilla bean.
- Place soaked nuts, the whole soaked vanilla bean (you can chop it up or split it open if you wish) or vanilla extract, honey (or other sweetener), the pumpkin puree, your spices, a dash of sea salt and 4 cups of filtered water into a high speed blender. Cover and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. It will be milky and have a bit of foam on the top.
- Strain milk through a nut milk bag** and squeeze into a bowl. Discard the pulp or saving for another recipe.
- Store in a covered glass jar, bottle or pitcher in the refrigerator, it’ll be good for about 4-5 days.
- Separation is totally natural with homemade nut milks, just be sure to shake it up just before serving.
I personally do not recommend using the cheesecloth, strainer or pantyhose methods, they are messy and require multiple passes to strain all the bits out. It is never quite as creamy as when I use a good nut milk bag.
You can also substitute 2½ teaspoons of a pre-blended pumpkin pie spice mix
- 8 ounces strongly brewed hot coffee (or two shots of espresso)
- ½ - ¾ cup Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk (see above)
- Ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
- Additional sweetener, if you'd like it a bit sweeter
- Warm up the pumpkin spice almond milk in a small saucepan over medium heat on the stove until hot, but not boiling. Using a hand blender, a regular blender or a milk frother (I use this or more recently this brother), blend the milk until it is nice and frothy. Pour the hot coffee into a mug and top with the hot frothy milk. Adjust the sweetness to your liking, if necessary. Top with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg, if desired. Enjoy.
- Optional: to really go all out, top your latte with some whipped coconut cream, maybe with a little cinnamon up in it.