We are well into September and with the month coming into it’s final week, another season begins. I’m not talking about Fall, I’m talking about Pumpkin Spice Season!
Soon recipes for everything imaginable made with pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, or any combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and ginger will be popping up on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and menus at nearly every restaurant you visit. Today I had a pumpkin plain cake donut from Dunkin’ Donuts that was unbelievably good!
As a girl who adds nothing to her coffee but a bit of skim milk, I’ve never understood it, but people lose their minds when Starbuck’s announces that the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back! In case you wondered, there are 380 calories in a Grande (i.e. Medium sized) Pumpkin Spice Latte. That’s a lot of calories to commit to a cup of coffee and it doesn’t even have any pumpkin in it!
You can save money, calories and actually include some pumpkin if you use Kitchn’s recipe to make it at home.
Makes 2 drinks
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract (add a bit at a time)
2 cups whole milk (You can substitute skim milk)
1 to 2 shots espresso, about 1/4 cup
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped until firm peaks form
- Heat the pumpkin and spices: In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the pumpkin with the pumpkin pie spice and a generous helping of black pepper for 2 minutes or until it’s hot and smells cooked. Stir constantly.
- Stir in the sugar: Add the sugar and stir until the mixture looks like a bubbly thick syrup.
- Warm the milk: Whisk in the milk and vanilla extract. Warm gently over medium heat, watching carefully to make sure it doesn’t boil over.
- Blend the milk: Carefully process the milk mixture with a hand blender or in a traditional blender (hold the lid down tightly with a thick wad of towels!) until frothy and blended.
- Mix the drinks: Make the espresso or coffee and divide between two mugs and add the frothed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg if desired.
- Vanilla: Yes, this recipe calls for two tablespoons (not teaspoons) of vanilla. This sounds like a lot, but it does more than anything else to mimic the intense, even artificial, taste of the syrups used in coffee shops. But feel free to start with less and bump it up as needed.
- Milk Fat: This recipe is most satisfying when made with whole milk, but 2% and skim can be substituted.
- Canned Pumpkin Substitution: You can substitute 1 teaspoon Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup for the canned pumpkin if you have it on hand.
- Sugar Substitute: You can use a sugar substitute in place of the sugar if desired. Add to taste.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitute: No pumpkin pie spice? No problem — use our recipe to make it out of cinnamon, ginger, and other spices: Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
- Espresso Substitute: If you don’t have espresso on hand, you can use strong brewed coffee instead. Increase amount to 1/3 to 1/2 cup.
Make a big batch of pumpkin spice mix-in: If you like, you can make a big batch of the pumpkin spice base, and refrigerate. To make 8 full servings , cook 1/2 cup pureed or canned pumpkin with 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice , 1/2 teaspoon black pepper , and 1/2 cup sugar . Stir in 1/2 cup vanilla extract . Refrigerate for up to 1 week and use as desired. To serve, blend 1/3 cup pumpkin spice mix-in with milk until frothy, and add 1 or 2 shots of espresso. Top with whipped cream and serve.
On a side note, I found out some very distressing news about canned pumpkin today. Shape Magazine says most canned pumpkin isn’t really pumpkin. SAY IT ISN’T SO! “According to a report by Epicurious, the majority of canned “pumpkin” on the market is actually an entirely different variety of fruit. 85% of the canned pumpkin in the world is sold by Libby’s, and they grow their own tan-skinned pumpkin cousin, Dickinson squash, to help meet the demand. The kicker: This squash is more similar to a butternut squash than the bright orange pumpkins you’ll be carving up this fall.” Not only did the FDA approve this way back in 1938, it’s a common practice among most of the brands. Hmph!
If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood