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We are just entering the glorious fall season.  I especially love the cooler nights and warm sunny days, without the sticky humidity we experience in the summer here in the South.  I am anxiously awaiting the display of brilliant colors that the leaves give us.

As the nights turn colder, grab a soft warm blanket, make a toasty fire in your fireplace, and grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage.  For me, I love chai teas.  My friend Gabrielle is a Starbucks latte fanatic.  She literally drinks this stuff, like, every day.  This time of year pumpkin flavors are everywhere, and Starbucks is once again offering their Pumpkin Spice Latte – a flavor Gabrielle just loves.

But wait – Gabrielle called me the other day and told me that she found out that the Pumpkin Spice Latte has no pumpkin in it.  Not one smidgen of it!  So I set out to make a Starbucks DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte that actually had pumpkin in it.  I figure if it tasted just the same or better than the one sold at Starbucks, she’d maybe cut down on her visits there, or even attempt to make it herself (I think I’m being a little too optimistic on this one!).

I’m proud to report that I made a killer pumpkin spice latte that had lots of pumpkin and lots of flavor.  It was so rich and delicious and caramel-y  – almost like a taste of fall in a cup.  So yummy.  Gabrielle couldn’t believe how great it tastes, and she has decided to make it herself at home (when she can’t get to Starbucks).  So I feel like I’ve saved one person a lot of money 🙂

I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as we do.  It is very simple to make, and I guarantee you love it just as much as what is sold at Starbucks! I’ve included a “skinny” version, too. Here goes the recipe.

pumpkin

Starbucks DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin (not sweetened pumpkin pie filling)

1/2  tablespoon Brown Sugar

1/2 tablespoon Honey

1/2 tablespoon  Pure Maple Syrup

1/2 cup of Flavored Coffee Creamer, like vanilla

1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger)

1-1/2 cups Milk

NutriBullet or Blender

“Skinny” Version

Instead of whole milk, you can use low fat milk or even a milk alternative such as almond milk.  Use a few drops of stevia instead of the brown sugar.

In a sauce pan, on low heat, heat up the pumpkin and mix in the pumpkin pie spice blend. You’ll want to heat it enough to get rid of the raw pumpkin flavor. At this point, add in the brown sugar, honey and maple syrup. Let this unbelievable-smelling mixture cook gently until it caramelizes while you continue to stir.

Add the coffee creamer and the milk and stir to combine.  Put your mixture in a blender or something like a Nutri bullet to really blend the milky mixture to a silky fine finish. Make your coffee or espresso and add the pumpkin latte blend – as much as you like.  You can double or even triple the ingredients and make ahead of time, then store in the refrigerator.  Voila – you’ll have the latte cream mixture to use in your coffee the entire week if you’d like.

If you don’t have an espresso maker and enjoy having lattes, an excellent machine to have is this machine. It’s inexpensive and you will definitely recoup it’s cost with just about 20 or so trips to Starbucks.

Don’t like coffee.  No worries.  Since I love chai teas, I put some of this pumpkin spice creamer in my cup and it was equally delicious and wonderful. So use your imagination and come up with your own ideas for the recipe.  As I write, I’m thinking of perhaps a pumpkin spice hot chocolate or even a bit of this stuff drizzled over ice cream.  Yum!!

Do any of you have any Starbucks dupes you can share?

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