Ah the smell of Autumn in the air!
No wait, it smells like fire. It’s not cold in California and the weather and air quality keep getting worse. It’s not a happy time. It hasn’t been a happy year. This time of year we’re usually reigning ourselves in from the summer routine, getting organized and scheduled again. Slowing down, yet ramping up, and preparing for the end of the year. But this year…this….year. This year is a shit show.
My heart goes out to all the people making an effort to return to what they previously knew as normal. Only it’s not so normal and everyone is obligated to figure out how to make their routine work in a different way.
This is probably why Starbucks released their seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte early, and let me tell you, this was monumental. To this day, I have no idea why Americans are so obsessed with pumpkin spice everything. In fact, I can’t really explain what it is I personally like about it either. I’ll admit it, I am typically the first one to break out my boots, throw on a scarf, and take myself down to the local Starbucks for a crack at the beloved PSL as soon as it hits the menu. However, I no longer enjoy the Pumpkin Spice lattes from Starbucks. I’m not sure if they’ve changed their recipe or if I’m the one that’s changed, but every Fall season for the past few years, I choose to give it another chance only to end up disappointed. So this year, instead of going through the trouble of putting on my mask and worrying about catching germs, I developed a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe that’s going to fulfill all of your pumpkin spiced dreams and perhaps give you a sensation that all’s right with the world, if only for a few minutes.
You’re going to need:
1-2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Butter
2 dashes Pumpkin Pie Spice
6 oz of your favorite Trader Joe’s coffee brewed double strength.
TJ’s Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie
Prepare your coffee with your preferred brewing method, just make sure to make the coffee stronger than you normally do (hint: you can make things super easy by using TJ’s Instant Coffee at a ratio of 2 Tablespoons per 6 oz of hot water.)
Grab a small saucepan and add 8 oz (half the bottle) of the Pumpkin Spice Smoothie. Shake two dashes of Pumpkin Pie Spice in the smoothie so that the spice blends into the liquid while it’s warming. Heat until simmering but not boiling. You could also use the microwave, but it’s not going to taste the same.
When your coffee is ready, pour about 4-6 oz in a mug and dissolve 1 -2 tablespoons of Pumpkin Butter, depending on your desired sweetness, into the coffee. Since the smoothie already has some sweetness I find one tablespoon is more than enough, but I don’t like very sweet drinks to begin with.
When your smoothie mix is ready slowly pour into the mug with your coffee and dissolved Pumpkin Butter. Stir gently and shake another dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice for pizzaz, or if you have whipped cream on hand then treat yourself. After all we’re still in a pandemic! The state of our country’s future is in question. It’s very possible the holidays won’t be celebrated how we are used to celebrating them. Right now, every little pleasure matters, even if they are short lived.
If you don’t consume dairy you could try skipping the smoothie mix and just using Pumpkin Butter with your choice of milk, but the pumpkin flavor won’t be as strong. Alternatively you could add strong coffee to Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Almond beverage.
If you’re lucky enough to have an espresso machine for this recipe then pull a double shot and add a total of 10 oz of Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie.
This recipe is flexible. So if you discover a way that makes it taste better please let me know!