Friday, August 30, 2013

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Chai Shake

Yes, it's August 30th. And guess what? I think I made a similar post and declaration a year ago: once my kids are back in school, I feel it's time to break out the pumpkin. It's one way I can accept the loss of summer fun, since pumpkin is one of my all-time favorite flavors and brings happen thoughts of fall.

This is a quickie and can be made two ways. If you like tea, and want to make it easier on yourself, simply use a chai tea bag to add the right level of spices. You can also skip the tea and season with your own spice blend. My tea version came out better today, as I think I used a bit more than a pinch of clove.

I have a fancy Nespresso frother, so topped mine off with some steamed unsweetened almond milk. You could always make your own coconut whipped cream for topping, or skip it altogether and simply dust your shake with some cinnamon.

The key to a really creamy result is to use both frozen banana AND canned pumpkin. Freezing the pumpkin in ice cube trays is an easy way to toss it into a shake or smoothie. Depending on your banana size and personal preference you might actually be able to skip any added sweetener in this. I added 2 drops of liquid vanilla stevia (mostly to balance out the intensity of my clove overdose!).

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Chai Shake

1/2 frozen banana, cut into chunks
1/2 cup frozen canned pumpkin (freeze in an ice cube tray or small cups)
1 chai tea bag brewed with 1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk OR
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk PLUS: 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, pinch of nutmeg, cloves and cardamom
1/2 tbs. vanilla extract
natural sweetener, as needed (eg. 1 couple drops liquid stevia, 1 tsp. maple syrup or raw honey)
whipped cream for topping, optional

If using tea, brew chai tea bag with warmed milk. Then combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

If using milk and spices, add everything to blender and combine until smooth.

Taste for sweetness and top with whipped cream, if desired.

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