This post is really exciting for me, because this might be one of my favorite recipes on this blog. The quest for a healthy pumpkin spice latte started when I had this almost $5 drink at Starbucks about 3 weeks ago. I had never had one before, and I went for it. No sugar-free syrup or fat-free milk - it was the real deal, minus the whipped cream. I normally don't drink milk (or coffee, for that matter), and it definitely did a number on my system! I had a stomach ache for a few hours and felt a general sense of "blah" for the rest of the afternoon. The flavor was great, but the feeling afterwards wasn't so wonderful.
My creative coworker Andrea suggested that I try to make a healthier version of this autumn treat using Teeccino, almond milk, and pumpkin pie spice. It turned out absolutely delicious! You can also do this with espresso if you drink coffee, but I try to stay away from a lot of coffee because of its acidic effects on the system. If you really like the Starbucks version, go for it. Just make sure you truly savor and enjoy it as you drink it. But for those of you who are like me and crave that pumpkin-y cinnamon flavor but can't handle the milk-sugar-coffee combo (or the $4.69 price tag!), this is for you.
First, assemble your ingredients. You'll need unsweetened almond milk, prepared Teeccino, pumpkin pie spice, canned pumpkin, vanilla, and stevia:
Teeccino is a coffee alternative that is made from all natural nuts, fruits, and herbs. It tastes, smells, and looks very similar to coffee and is brewed like coffee, but it has an alkaline effect on the system and is caffeine free. To read more about it, click here.
We make Teeccino at work in a percolator, but it can be made in a regular ol' coffee maker.
Next, heat a saucepan on the stove and add a scoop of pumpkin. You might want more or less depending on how "pumpkin-y" you like things.
Add the almond milk and stir to dissolve the pumpkin in the milk.
Stir well and allow the mixture to blend and thicken.
Next, add the pumpkin pie spice, which is basically a combination of many spices (including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, etc.):
Stir well. Add a few teaspoons of vanilla extract. You can also use fresh vanilla bean if you have it.
Add stevia to sweeten. You can also use agave nectar or raw sugar, but I prefer stevia. Avoid Splenda or other artificial sweeteners.
Bring the mixture to a boil so that it foams a bit.
Reduce heat. Pour mugs half-full with Teeccino, then top with the almond milk/pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.
My coworker Andrea and I REALLY enjoyed our pumpkin spice "lattes":
This was a delicious, comforting, and fall-fabulous treat for a cloudy work day! Plus, it is full of nutrients, naturally sugar-free, and much lower in calories than the original.