Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

If you love Starbuck’s pumpkin spice lattes as much as I do, you desperately need to run to your kitchen and whip up this cozy fall beverage now. This homemade version makes enough for 2 pumpkin spice lattes at a fraction of the cost (almost $4 for a tall in the store? Yikes!) and only requires a few extra minutes worth of effort to create. Added bonus: you can enjoy this at any time, without ever having to get out of your pj’s on a chilly Saturday morning. Or any morning, for that matter!

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If fall could be encased in a coffee mug, the Pumpkin Spice Latte, with its subtle hints of cinnamon and pumpkin, does just that. No one flavor is overly pronounced, but instead they blend together perfectly. Coffee, milk, pumpkin, vanilla, and array of fall spices come together to create THE hot beverage of the season. Move over, apple cider, the PSL is here!

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I made this one day after having bought a PSL from Starbucks the day before, and I was so shocked with how similar the two tasted. If given a taste test of the two side by side, I do not think I would be able to tell the difference. The ratio of this particular recipe is spot-on, unlike a few others I have tried in the past. This recipe makes enough for 2 large lattes, but can easily be halved for one person. I used skim milk and did not add whip cream to keep the drink light, but you can adjust the recipe to suit your tastes!

The one step that should NOT be skipped or altered is blending the mixture. Many recipes will tell you that whisking it is a perfectly fine substitute; I can tell you from experience, however, it is not. You need to use a blender (or immersion blender) to really disintegrate all of the pumpkin into the milk, otherwise you will be left drinking what seems like coffee with pulp in it. Not appealing, I know!

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Once the milk is blended with the pumpkin and spices, it will be very frothy. Pour the desired amount of coffee into a mug and top with the foamy, spiced milk. That’s all it takes to make your very own PSL at home!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte (for two)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk (your choice–I used skim)
  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • Scant 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 2/3 cup of very strong brewed coffee, which is what I used)

1). Brew coffee/espresso.

2). In a saucepan, combine milk, pumpkin, and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender (or immersion blender) and process for 15 seconds until foamy. *Do not skip this step!*

3). Pour the espresso/coffee into two mugs. Add the milk mixture on top. Enjoy!

Servings: 2. Nutritional information per serving: Calories: 152 Carbs: 23g Fat: 0g Protein: 9g Sugar: 22g Fiber: 1g   WW PointsPlus: 3 

Recipe adapted from http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/pumpkin-spice-latte/

 

Peach Citrus Punch

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I was recently asked to make a punch for a friend’s bridal shower.

A PUNCH!?

I was afraid.

My mind was spinning searching for a punch recipe. Nothing.

If I had been asked to cook something? Got it.

Bake a dessert? No problem.

But create a beautiful and tasty punch?! I was slightly terrified. I simply had never had the opportunity to make one and I really did not know where to begin!

Thankfully through a process of trial and error I learned that punch is in reality very adjustable and forgiving. You can easily add or take away as much of any ingredient as you’d like. Plus, it is so fun to float frozen fruit on top of the punch! They keep the punch cool without diluting it. Bonus: they look very pretty. I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the punch bowl on the day of the bridal shower. Next time!

To be honest, I usually find punch sickeningly sweet and I am typically not a fan. This punch, however, was slightly tangy rather than sweet. As I alluded earlier, if you want less peach flavor you can use less peach nectar, or if you prefer to highlight one of the other citrus flavors you can add more of that particular fruit juice. Ginger ale is the sweetener here, so if you find you would like it more/less sweet, adjust that ingredient accordingly!

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Peach Citrus Punch

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz lemonade concentrate
  • 12 oz pineapple concentrate
  • 12 oz orange concentrate

(alternatively you can use 2 cans of pineapple-orange concentrate)

  • 24 oz white grape juice
  • 1.5-2 cans peach nectar (about 11 oz each can)
  • 2-3 teaspoons almond extract
  • equal parts ginger ale (about 80 oz to match quantities above)

1) Mix together all ingredients to taste. Adjust to your preference. Serve with frozen peaches to chill punch.

Recipe adapted from my friend Kathy!

Serving: about 40 Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 87g Carbs: 21g Fat: 0g Protein: 1g Sugar: 19g