Pumpkin spice recipes are not only all-natural, but also they are far tastier than chemicals they pump up into those lattes. And the best thing is that you don’t have to wait around for it to be in season!
It is deep fall, and a casual stroll through the grocery stores will tell you that anything that could have been flavored with pumpkin spice, it has been. In addition to pumpkin-spice muffins, doughnuts and lattes, we now have pumpkin-flavored beer, candy, tea, chips, soda, vodkas, bagels, bread, Pop-Tarts, dog treats, yogurt…well, the list seems endless.
What is their one unifying characteristic?
Almost none of them contain real pumpkin! And that’s a shame, as pumpkin is a great flavor in its own right and it is full of nutrition and fiber.
They are really flavored with pumpkin spice blends, which are added to other questionable ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup, and then some orange artificial food coloring.
Soon, all those pumpkin-flavored creations will disappear, only to be replaced by winter-spice-flavored everything. If that leaves you going through withdrawal, never fear!
Whipping up your own versions is super simple and much healthier for you indeed—because you can add real pumpkin and reap all its amazing health benefits!
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Pumpkin spice is perfect with (or without) pumpkin, and not just for pie. Use it to flavor drinks, to juice up baked winter squash, or even to simmer in water on your stove just to perfume your home.
Pre-mixed blends are widely available, but they are expensive and easy to replace with spices you already have in your kitchen cabinet. Feel free to adjust the amounts of any of the basic spices to your taste. I like to add a pinch of cardamom for a special twist.
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (fresh-grated is especially good)
- 1½ teaspoons ground allspice
- 1½ teaspoons ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
Combine and store in a small glass gar with a tight lid away from light, such as inside a dark cupboard. Once it’s made, you can use it to flavor any food you want.
Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Of course, what you really want is that sweet, sweet, fall-flavored coffee drink. All the taste and delectable aroma, without the high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavor, and hassle of driving across town? But how? The secret ingredient is pumpkin spice syrup, and it is really easy to make your own.
- 1 cup organic granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (recipe above)
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (make your own by roasting your own pumpkin so you can avoid the harmful BPA in canned-food liners)
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and simmer, stirring frequently, until all the sugar has dissolved. You can also make a honey-based syrup with ⅞ cup honey and 1 ⅛ cups water, or a calorie-free syrup with 1 ⅞ cups water and 4 teaspoons stevia extract.
Then, add pie spice and puree. Simmer the syrup, spice, and pumpkin puree for about 10 minutes on low. Strain. Use immediately or store in a glass jar for up to a month.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
- 2 ounces Pumpkin Spice Syrup
- 8 ounces organic whole milk
- 1 to 2 shots espresso or 4 ounces cold-brewed coffee concentrate
Steam the milk and put half in your mug. Add the syrup and the espresso or coffee concentrate (heated). Stir and top with the rest of the steamed milk. Top with a pinch of pumpkin pie spice if you would like.
Pumpkin Spice Tea: Not a coffee fan?
Mix 1 ounce of your syrup into a mug of hot tea.
Pumpkin Spice Soda:
For a refreshing cold drink, add 2 ounces of your syrup to 8 ounces of unflavored seltzer water, and add some ice.
Pumpkin Spice Cocktail: Need a cocktail to serve at your holiday gatherings?
Combine 2 ounces of vodka with 2 ounces of your syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into a tall glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a thin slice of fresh ginger.