And to that I say, "Blah, blah, blah. Ham sandwich."
So when my good friend Michelle came up to me to request a "Healthy Stacey" Pumpkin Spice Latte, I was ecstatic. Being the nerd that I am, I actually dedicated a Saturday morning to the recipe-making process. I lit pumpkin candles, put on John Mayer, and tinkered with all my favorite fall ingredients.
Michelle, my friend, I now invite you to light a pumpkin candle, put on your new knitted UGG boots, and curl up on your porch with a mug and a blanket. This one's for you.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe
Remember the controversy over Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes last year? Remember how ridiculous it was that people would expect a latte from Starbucks to be good for you anyways? Oh, maybe that was just me. Starbucks – I love you. And I have no problem with getting a pump of pumpkin in my coffee during the season. But if you're home on a cool Fall morning, and you've got a little time, THIS recipe is the way to go. It's all whole, real ingredients. Not one thing to feel bad about. In fact, I've listed at least one benefit to every single ingredient (although there was always more than one).
(Tip: Double the recipe without the coffee so you can have pre-made pumpkin spice latte mix for the next day or two)
Contains high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin — the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter. Using a banana also replaces the need for sugar, and adds a subtle sweetness and even more creaminess.
1/4 cup of Coconut Cream (not coconut milk, coconut cream – BIG difference) – I use this brand
Doesn't require bile acids for digestion. Because of this, drinking coconut cream lightens the burden of your immune system so that your body can concentrate more on other critical tasks like repairing cells and tissues.
1/2 cup of Pumpkin Puree – I like this brand
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, you should consume between 20 and 35 grams of fiber each day. But most Americans don't get more than 10-15 grams. Guess what pumpkin has tons of? FIBER. 7.1 grams per serving. 'Tis the season to digest your food more quickly and absorb your nutrients with lots and lots of PUMPKIN!
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice seasoning (contains cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice) – BIG fan of the Spice House
All of these spices are good for you, but most notably cinnamon spice is a superstar (loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties). It's so good in fact that people with diabetes are often prescribed cinnamon pills to lower their blood sugar.
1/2 inch of Ginger Root (I like to give it a little kick; please leave this out if pumpkin & ginger sounds disgusting to you)
I add ginger to as many things as I can, not only cause I like the spiciness of it, but because it is SO good for you. It reduces pain and inflammation, increases circulation, and reduces exercise-induced muscle pain and soreness.
1 cup of Organic Coffee – I love Equal Exchange, and Thrive has it for a great price
As long as it's not consumed in excess, coffee is not bad for you. It is loaded with antioxidants, and if you choose organic, you are eliminating all of the chemicals and pesticides that are part of what makes drinking coffee so bad in the first place.
1/4 cup of Coconut Cream (for froth)
See first Coconut Cream for benefits
- Brew up some strong coffee so it's ready for you when you're ready for it.
- Toss the banana, the first 1/4 cup of coconut cream, pumpkin puree and seasonings (and ginger, if you choose) in your blender.
- Pour your concoction in a pan and heat it up on the stove. Put it on medium heat and stir. Be careful not to overheat and burn it. Eck.
- In another pan, pour in your second 1/4 cup of coconut cream and put it on stove. Take a fork and start stirring furiously to get it nice and frothy. (If you have a frother, that would be much more efficient. Obviously, I do not so this was my work around).
- Once pumpkin mixture is sufficiently hot, and cream is sufficiently frothy, turn off stove and pour in 1 cup of coffee. Stir together.
- Fill up your favorite fall mug with mixture until it's 3/4 of the way full.
- Then pour froth over it.
- Sprinkle a little more Pumpkin Spice on the top to make it pretty.
- Sip and smile. It's fall, y'all.
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