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Welcome, Fall!

It’s that “Pumpkin Spice Latte” time of year, again.  Who doesn’t love a warm mug of autumn cheer?

Be warned, though-  The popular pumpkin spice flavor at Starbucks is not vegan.  Boo!  (Check out this recent article in the Los Angeles Times.)

Here are the ingredients for the pumpkin spice flavoring:  sugar, condensed nonfat milk, sweet condensed nonfat milk, annatto (a colorant), natural and artificial flavors, and caramel coloring.

Icky.  No, thanks!

I don’t want sugar.  I don’t want animal products.  I don’t want fake pumpkin.  I don’t want fake spices.

To be honest, I also don’t care for Starbucks’ sweetened Vanilla Soy Milk, which contains 13 grams of sugar per cup.  I desire unsweetened soy milk made from just filtered water and organic soybeans.

(No, I don’t go to Starbucks for a latte…pumpkin spice or otherwise.)

My palate craves real food.  Let’s make a real Pumpkin Spice Latte, made from real pumpkin and real spices.

Pumpkin Spice Latte (NSNG)

Pumpkin Spice Latte (NSNG)

PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE

2 shots espresso
2/3 C non dairy milk
3 T canned organic pumpkin

Generous dash cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
Dash ground clove
1/4 t vanilla extract
Optional:  granulated or liquid maple syrup, to taste

Sprinkle the spices and put the vanilla extract into your espresso shot glass.  Brew the espresso over the flavors and stir.

Combine the non-dairy milk and canned pumpkin.  The pumpkin mixes quite easily into the milk without need for a blender.

Combine the spiced espresso with the pumpkin milk.  It’s good heated or iced.

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Thanks to my friend Carrie Standish, who provided the inspiration for my version of the pumpkin spice latte.  Here is her original creation, made with brewed coffee instead of espresso…

Photo and Recipe Credit:  Carrie Standish

Photo and Recipe Credit: Carrie Standish

#PPNSNG PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE

1 1/2 C brewed coffee
1/4 C full fat coconut milk
2 T pure pumpkin
1/4 t vanilla
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t pumpkin pie spice
Optional:  2 drops liquid stevia

Whirl everything in a blender on low speed for about 30 seconds. Enjoy!

Pre-measure the pumpkin and spices into individual containers to make the process even quicker and easier for busy fall mornings.

(#PPNSNG = Plant Powered No Sugar No Grains)

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Now, here’s a similar recipe for Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding.  This is a terrific “on-the-go” breakfast.  It takes only a few minutes to make.  I recently discovered that chia pudding keeps me satiated for hours!

Here, I brought a jar of homemade pudding with me to eat in my car after lap swimming, before work.

Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding

Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding

PUMPKIN SPICE CHIA PUDDING

1/2 C non dairy milk
3 T canned organic pumpkin
2 T chia seeds

Generous dash cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
1/4 t vanilla extract
Optional:  liquid maple syrup, to taste

Combine everything in a pint size wide mouth freezer jar.  Stir several times in several minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken.  Refrigerate for about an hour, or use an ice pack to keep it cold.

Enjoy!

Chia It's Not Just For Pets - IMG_2973

Vinaccio Coffee - IMG_1665

Starbucks, you pissed me off.  You took away my free soy milk with my registered card.  Not cool!  Pfft– I have no reason to be loyal anymore.  I’ve moved on!

Guess what?  I’m glad you failed.  I found better.  I found Vinaccio.

Organic, fair trade coffee beans are what I prefer.  How happy I was to make this discovery! 🙂

After all, those are the kind of beans I buy for my home espresso machine.  I brew at home 6 days per week and I only buy a latte outside of the house about 1 day per week.

Lesson learned:

Sometimes a ‘bad’ thing is actually a GREAT thing!

(Now…if Vinaccio wants to really impress me, then they’ll go back to offering vegan baked goods.  Eric said he bought some vegan scones there once upon a time.  No such luck now.)

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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"My purpose is not to offend you, it is to provoke you to think." Unknown

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