Saturday, October 13, 2012

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Lattes

In theory I love the concept of a pumpkin latte; coffee and pumpkin are two of my favorite flavors, so putting them together should be akin to personal nirvana.

Even in my pre-paleo days, though, I found the coffee shop drinks too cloying and fake-tasting. I got to the point where I would sometimes get one at Starbucks, made with soy milk and only one pump of syrup, but even then it just wasn't quite right.

I follow so many blogs and different food posters on Pinterest that have shared their own homemade version of the fall treat, and I finally couldn't resist taking a stab at it myself. My recipe is sort of an amalgamation of various recipes and techniques, and you can likewise customize it to suit.

I have made three different batches of this latte this week, each time altering the milk and sweetener slightly. I think the bottom line comes down to personal taste. I wasn't happen with the one I made with all coconut milk, but then I have never liked the consistency of it for coffee (it was the torturous part of the Whole30 for me). I think the best batch was the one I made with half unsweetened almond milk, half coconut.

For sweetness, I loved using maple syrup but it was definitely a little "heavier" than the two batches I made with different types of stevia. In the one I enjoyed best I used a few drops of liquid vanilla stevia. I think my next experiment will be with palm sugar.

You can also fiddle with the type of coffee that serves as the base of your beverage. I have a Nespresso machine, so I can make a true, strong latte from espresso. I also made one batch using a traditional Starbucks k-cup, and it tasted delicious too. 
In terms of finishing things off, you can also be saintly and drink your pumpkin latte unadorned, and it will be perfectly delicious. It looks prettier and obviously tastes all the more decadent with a little whipped cream (you can always make your own from coconut milk) and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

I will freely confess that the photo above with the generous dollop is topped with store-bought vegan whipped cream. It was the mug I made up for the caveman. I'm not claiming it's paleo, but he certainly enjoyed it.

The one thing to keep in mind, regardless of your drink components, is that this drink is going to have a different taste and consistency than a coffee house drink. Make sure to blend your pumpkin milk very well, and expect that your last couple of sips might have a little residual pumpkin.

That caveat aside, this is a fun and clean version of a fall favorite, and I do hope you enjoy!

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Lattes
makes 2

1 cup brewed coffee or espresso

pumpkin milk:

1 cup non-dairy milk of choice
1/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
sweetener of choice (1-2 tbs. of maple syrup, couple drops of vanilla stevia, etc.)
optional garnishes: whipped cream, additional pumpkin pie spice

First combine all ingredients for pumpkin milk in a blend, and process until smooth. While your coffee is brewing, heat up your pumpkin mixture either on the stove top or in the microwave. Stir it again to ensure it is smooth.

Pour half of the pumpkin milk over your freshly brewed mug of coffee, and either drink up or garnish as desired. Use the other half of the pumpkin milk either for another cup or refrigerate it for one down the road ;)


  1. i wonder what one could do with the leftover pumpkin milk, aside from more lattes! sounds like a good starter for a noatmeal!