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It's that time of year again. The pumpkin has landed, pumpkin spice lattes and other products have reached their saturation point and the weather has cooled off.

As much as I enjoy the taste of a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (or “PSL” as they've been calling it – because the kids these days need everything abbreviated) I know that those are unhealthy so I limit them to only a couple per season – no whipped cream – so that I can have the experience without feeling conflicted. The current “PSL” (recently revised recipe), Grande size, contains  380 calories, 14 grams of fat, 240 milligrams of sodium and 50 grams of sugar. That's a lot of sugar. It's less unhealthy than it was before they changed the recipe, but it's still junk food in a cup. Plus, it also gets expensive to drink daily. At $4.95 for a Grande, if you're buying one every day during the “work week” you're spending nearly $25/week on PSLs. That's $100/month. Compare that to your necessary expenses such as cell phone bill.

Instead of drinking the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, I've been making my own pumpkin spice lattes. Not just pumpkin spice, but pumpkin-pumpkin spice. There's a difference. “Pumpkin spice” is a spice blend of sweet-smelling spices that generally makes people think of pumpkin pie. A basic pumpkin spice recipe is ground cinnamon, ground (dried) ginger, allspice and nutmeg, with most of it being ginger. Example:

credit: Daily Dish Magazine.

Credit: Daily Dish Magazine.

4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Adjust to suit your taste. I don't like too much clove.

Or buy it.

 

If something is “pumpkin spice” flavoured assume there's no pumpkin in it. Unless there is. (The new Starbucks recipe does have real pumpkin in their syrup.)

In my lattes, there's pumpkin.

Here are two lattes that I've been making recently. The first is the “butter latte” (you could do it the Bulletproof way), the second uses coconut milk, no butter.

Pumpkin Spice Latte #1, inspired by Bulletproof Coffee

  • Brew 1 cup (8-12 oz.) of coffee using filtered water, just off the boil, with 2 1/2 heaping tablespoons freshly ground coffee beans. You can use your favourite beans or Bulletproof® Coffee Beans. I recommend brewing either in a French Press or an Aeropress but if you have an espresso machine, go ahead and use it.
  • Put it in a blender
  • Optional: Add 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (NOT light, and scan the ingredients for thickeners. Keep it pure.)
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter that's grass-fed, or organic. (Even in Toronto grass-fed is hard to find. I've started buying organic.)
  • Add 2-4 tablespoons canned 100% pumpkin (not pie filling) – to taste
  • Add 2 tablespoons of collagen. You can use the Bulletproof Collagen Protein or Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate. I find that collagen makes my latte frothier.
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Raw (unpasteurized) honey or maple syrup to taste
  • Blend it up! Pour into your favourite mug and, if desired, sprinkle with some more pie spice.

Pumpkin spice butter latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte #2 (butter-free, dairy-free)

Same except as #1:

  • No butter
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

Hold the whipped cream on both.

Pumpkin is full of fiber so this would make a good breakfast. The Bulletproof coffee idea is that it's a meal in a mug anyway. I sometimes eat canned pumpkin straight out of the can.

Products in the photo above include:

  • Aroy-D Coconut Milk, which I prefer because of the ingredient list: coconut extract 60%, water. No added thickeners. That said, there are rumblings around the internet that the ingredient list might be false, because the milk doesn't separate in the can and instead remains thick. Use coconut milk or coconut cream.
  • Liberte organic butter. As indicated above, I've been having a hell of a time finding grass fed butter in Toronto recently. When I googled “grass fed butter”, I found a post by nutritionist Sarah Ramsden that moved me towards organic as my second choice.
  • Focus + Java Elixir
  • Great Lakes Gelatin, Collagen Hydrolysate
  • Bee's Universe raw cinnamon honey. They're a local company that sells honey products at farmers' markets.

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