When we moved from Ohio to California, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to stay on board with the community health center I worked for in Ohio, working long distance from California! Naturally, I jumped at the chance. Surprisingly, working from home hasn't changed our dinner cooking patterns much - cooking the evening meal at the end of the day has always been my favorite form of post-work relaxation. What has dramatically improved - besides the luxury of attending conference calls in my workout clothes - is breakfast. And coffee. Especially coffee. Breakfast used to always be whatever I could hastily throw in my bag while flying out the door, often forgotten until nearly lunchtime amidst the chaos of the workday, and while I am enough of a coffee snob to always make my coffee at home before embarking in the morning, the same, plain, black French press coffee was always poured sleepily in a travel mug, destined to slowly get cold on my desk throughout the morning. I have no complaints regarding these circumstances - I am sure they are familier to anyone rushing off to work in the morning.
While I still rush to my laptop at 7am each morning, I now have the luxury of my whole kitchen in which to prepare my coffee rather than a small break room! Such joys! So, while experimenting with new creations in my home coffee-shop, I was inspired to try a healthier, homemade version of the famous pumpkin spice latte, which returns to coffee shops each year at the first sign of September 1st (far too soon for the pumpkin craze to begin, in my humble opinion, but I am always unable to resist for long...). My amazing friend and adopted sister Alyssa, who always sends me healthy cooking inspiration, shared a very tempting pumpkin coffee recipe with me just the other day, which was just the impitus I needed to open the first can of pumpkin of the season...
I am just going to come right out and say it - this latte is amazing. I will admit, it is usually challenging for homemade coffee to compete with the sugar and cream laden creations at commercial coffee shops, but this latte blew them all away. SO full of pumpkin flavor, just the right amount of spice, and oh so easy to make...
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
Vegan, Paleo, and SCD Legal!
Adapted from http://stupideasypaleo.com/2011/09/19/pumpkin-spice-latte/
2 oz. freshly brewed espresso
1 cup non-dairy milk of choice (I used almond milk)
2 Tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
1/8 to 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
Splash of pure maple syrup (for vegan version or honey (for paleo/SCD version) or omit for no added sugar
Splash of pure vanilla extract
~ Brew your espresso. If you don’t have an espresso machine, make some dark, strong coffee.
~ Whisk together the espresso, nut milk, pumpkin, vanilla extract and spice mix. Add a splash of maple syrup or honey if you prefer, and stir to combine.
~ Warm your latte either in the microwave or the stovetop, and enjoy!
* For a quick homemade pumpkin pie spice mix, stir together 1 T ground cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger