I don't know about you, but I have a weakness for flavoured coffee drinks. Specifically the holiday-themed ones Starbucks comes out with. Their warm, creamy goodness can make the worst day seem better. That is until I look at my bank balance. At upwards of $4.00 a cup, they add up quickly.
So I decided I would try to make my own! I stocked up on canned pumpkin the other week when it was on sale (as well as cooking down a couple of fresh ones), so starting with the pumpkin spice latte seemed like a good idea. I took a quick look at a few other make-your-own recipes floating around the web, but I ended up just coming up with my own. My goal was not only to save money, but also to make it a little more healthy! I'm sure the commercial version is full of sweet syrups. The most expensive item here was the Reddi-whip I used, which cost about half what a single latte at Starbucks would run, and will last for many drinks. (Mine was enough to go with an entire apple pie plus three drinks.) Everything else you probably have in your kitchen already. So, here you go!
Pumpkin Spice Latte
2 cups of milk*
1 T sugar**
2 T (approximate) pumpkin purée (fresh, frozen or canned)
a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice***
1/3 cup strong coffee†
Combine milk, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin in a medium saucepan. (Feel free to adjust the amounts of sugar and spice!) Heat until just barely not boiling. Froth with a whisk or immersion blender. ††
Pour coffee into a large mug; pour milk mixture in and stir. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg. This makes one really large serving, or two smallish ones.
* I used skim milk because that's what was in the house. This would probably be richer (and better) (but less healthy) with whole milk.
** I used white sugar, but I bet it would be even better with brown. I just didn't have any.
*** If you don't have dedicated "pie spice", make your own with tiny pinches of cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and ginger.
† Espresso would be even better. 1 or 2 shots, depending how much caffeine you need and how strong you like the coffee flavour. I only have a French press, so I made do with that, and it tasted fine!
†† Or, walk upstairs to pack your bags for school, leaving your pot of milk to boil merrily and slosh onto the stove. Instant froth!
To make the whole process even easier, try this! I know I won't make enough of these lattes to go through an entire 15-oz can of pumpkin before it spoils in the fridge. So I froze the remainder in an ice cube tray, then transferred them to a freezer bag. One cube is exactly enough pumpkin for a latte, so you have instant perfect portions. Just grab one from the freezer and throw in the pot with the milk; it will thaw and incorporate as the milk heats. (If you're concerned, nuke the pumpkin for 15 seconds before combining.) You could do this with fresh pumpkin purée too.