You guys may not know this about me but I’m really into fall. You know, the season. Upon moving to LA, one of my major concerns was the lack of seasons to be had in this city but I was determined to keep fall alive no matter what the weather gods had in store. As I sit here, recovering from the heatwave of 100+ temperatures that we had last week, I am not discouraged. Summer got its last hurrah and now it’s fall’s time to shine. What better way for fall to make its annual debut than in a delicious drinkable milky treat?
I used to be a big Starbucks girl. I’m embarrassed to say that I made many a pit stop in downtown Chicago on my way to my high school to spend six bucks on a something sugary in grande size. In my older age, I rarely find myself at the coffee chain, largely because I realized that there is so much better coffee to be had for my money. While I have numerous independent coffee shops that I frequent for quality beans, these places don’t typically offer the fun seasonal drinks for which Starbizzle is known.
Being the paleo girl that I currently am, the thought of buying myself one of these drinks, even as a treat, kind of repulses me. All the sugar and weird chemicals in those flavored syrups make even the tastiest of seasonal beverages so much less appealing. It occurred to me that the best way to deal with this situation was to hit up the kitchen….
This recipe is super simple, requiring just a few ingredients and a little time. The great thing about it, like most homemade versions of things, is that you can customize it to your tastebuds. I tend to like my lattes on the creamy side, without too much sugar so that the flavors of the coffee come through. This recipe caters to these preferences but feel free to adjust ingredients as you see fit. It’s also vegan and paleo friendly.
1/2 brewed coffee of your choice (I used this amazing snickerdoodle flavored decaf that I got from the farmer’s market)
1/2 C coconut cream (or milk. I used cream because it’s thicker and creamier, like I prefer)
1/4 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I use the Trader Joe’s brand)
1.5-2 TBL pumpkin puree (I used the one from Trader Joe’s)
1 tsp raw honey* (or more if you have an intense sweet tooth but remember there’s sugar in the chocolate too!)
1 TBL dairy-free chocolate chips
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 T vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cocoa or cacao power for sprinking on top
*For strict paleo version, use agave or another vegan-friendly sweetener. You could also omit all together and add another TBL of chocolate chips.
1) Brew coffee if not yet brewed.
2) Add coconut milk, almond milk, pumpkin puree, honey, and chocolate chips to a small saucepan over medium/medium-low heat.
3) Stir regularly until all ingredients have combined, chocolate chips have melted, and mixture is well heated.
4) Keeping the saucepan over the heated eye of the stove, turn off heat and add pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract. Stir until combined and dissolved.
5) Pour mixture into the bottom of your coffee mug and pour hot brewed coffee over top.
6) Sprinkle cacao power and more pumpkin pie on top.