Easy Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer Recipe and Why to Avoid the Starbucks Version
Firey leaves, cozy sweaters, hot apple cider, and ALL THINGS PUMPKIN. That time of year is just around the corner. Normally, I would wait until at least September to post my recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer, but an excellent article published on Food Babe yesterday, combined with a couple other factors, has me breaking out my favorite recipe early this year.
Fall is my very favorite season. I could wax poetic for pages about the tangible magic I feel in the air throughout the autumn season (but I won't! I promise; no need to click away).
I will be the first to admit that I still feel some lingering trauma from the Polar Vortex that turned a glittering Michigan winter into a flesh cracking Jack Frost Hell dragging its icy talons across the midwest all the way into MAY. I am still joyously embracing every moment of muggy heat and asphalt fumes this August, and I refuse to openly admit that I enjoy a feeling of anticipation on the intermittent Fall-like days.
I still cringe at every buzzword mention of the Polar Vortex, whilst battling flashbacks to the 90's and the most overused weather buzzword of all time:
And yet, even while fighting every inkling that there is yet another winter just around the corner, it didn't take much to push me into Fall mode several weeks early. And that little push was this incredibly well researched, and fairly disturbing, article on what actually goes into a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.
This image, from Food Babe, is just the tip of the whipped cream ice burg. Please check out the full article and learn why I am not only giving up this treat forever, but am also now considering ditching Starbucks completely for their glaring lack of transparency.
It is completely unethical for Starbucks, or any other business for that matter, to attempt to cover up their use of unsavory ingredients just to preserve profits. Either come up with better ingredients, or accept the fact that a lot of us don't want that garbage in our bodies. Especially when making something just as delicious and MUCH more nutritious is so easy.
Similar to the Starbucks confection, most grocery store coffee creamers are full of all sorts of yucky stuff: hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and worst of all (in my opinion) factory farmed milk. The way those cows are treated is enough to make me wretch. And I can’t even bear to think about what they do to all those little baby calves. Not to mention the stomach-turning health detriments caused by dairy.
Any way you slice it, whether it’s health concerns, sugar issues, fat issues, lactose issues, ethical, or humane issues, I just couldn’t continue buying those creamers. Your purchases say something! Not just about you, but about where you stand on various issues. I try very hard to keep my money where my mouth is, so to speak.
So here it is, my most popular recipe, which also happens to be one of my easiest, Vegan Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer: S
pecial Holiday Note: This creamer makes a wonderful and ethical gift. Pour it into a clean, reused glass jar, maybe paint or glue some used wrapping paper on the cap, use strips of re-used wrapping paper to create a ribbon or bow, and pop on a gift tag made from old holiday cards or wrapping paper, and Voila! An affordable, easy holiday gift sure to please!
Ingredients Makes about 2 cups of creamer
2 cups Almond Milk*
2 tbsp mashed pumpkin (canned is fine, but make sure it’s just pumpkin and not pumpkin pie)
2 tbsp maple syrup**
1 tsp cinnamon***
¼ - ½ tsp nutmeg***
¼ - ½ tsp ground cloves***
¼ - ½ tsp ground ginger***
½ tsp vanilla extract*
*If you use Vanilla Almond Milk, you may not need to add any additional vanilla. You can also use Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Flax Milk, or Hemp Milk. Do not use animal milk - it will separate, spoil quickly, and taste off.
** Adjust to taste and desired sweetness. If you use sweetened Almond Milk, you won’t need as much sweetener. Fair Trade/Equal Exchange brown or white sugar or agave nectar can be substituted for the maple syrup. The Maple just Falls up the flavor that much more.
*** Adjust spices to taste. You can also substitute pre-mixed “pumpkin pie spice.”
1. Whisk all the ingredients, except vanilla if you’re planning to add some, together in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Ensure the pumpkin is blended evenly.
2. Heat until steaming, but not boiling.
3. Whisk in vanilla.
4. Pour into a bottle or jar for storage. (Prefect chance to reuse!)
It's that easy!
Shake before using, as the spices may settle. This stuff makes my morning!
In addition to being a great gift, substituting this creamer for milk in any recipe is a great way to fulfill all your pumpkin spice desires: Cookies, Cakes, Cupcakes, Oatmeal, Pancakes, Chia Seed Pudding, ...
What flavor would you like to see me try out next?
And as a final Fall themed bonus, I would like to share the following link in memory of my brother, Boo. I spend days cracking up every time I read it, and I can see and hear him reading it in my head. Fair warning, it is heavily peppered with rather "colorful" language: