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Joyous Pumpkin Spice Latte

Fall has officially begun when you're craving a Pumpkin Spice Latte - the quintessential drink to sip in autumn.
Oct 13, 2016 | Joy McCarthy

How do you know fall has officially started? Is it when the fall equinox happens? Is it when the little ones go back to school? Is it when the leaves start to change colour or when the weather starts to get chillier?

Personally, I think the surest sign fall has officially arrived is when the pumpkin spice latte (and various other pumpkin spice–themed goodies) start showing up at your favourite coffee shop and health food store.

(Side note: Even Vienna is obsessed with pumpkin everything. Every time she sees one she runs over to hug it!)

I absolutely adore the smell of pumpkin spice, which is essentially a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger -- sometimes allspice but the first three are my personal faves for this latte.

I know the other week I said I was "sooooo over pumpkin spice".... oops, foot in my mouth right now! That's because my brain was all about banana spice but I just can't help it when every single cafe smells like pumpkin spice lattes. 

In theory, I think this seasonal obsession with all things pumpkin spice is a great thing! Pumpkins are full of wonderful nutrients, from antioxidant carotenoids and vitamin C to gut-friendly fibre, and the spices that make up that characteristic pumpkin spice flavour have their own nutritional benefits, like cinnamon's ability to help regulate your blood sugar levels and ginger's awesome anti-inflammatory properties.

In practice, however, it's a bit of a different story. Most of the pumpkin spice beverages contain more added sugar than pumpkin or spice. But not this pumpkin spice latte! It's totally not necessary because the spices give it all the flavour... and a bit of maple syrup of course. 

Would you believe there can be as much as 50g of added sugar in a 16-ounce serving! And often, these beverages contain poorer quality versions of the essential pumpkin spice ingredients that don't contain as many of their usual nutritional benefits. Some of these beverages don't even contain any real pumpkin!

How can you have a pumpkin spice anything without pumpkin!?

Not only is it in the name, but pumpkin is naturally sweet, so if you add pumpkin in there, you'll get all those nutrients I mentioned, plus an added dose of healthy sweetness, so you won't need to add all that extra sugar to sweeten things up!

That's why I created this joyous version of the much-loved pumpkin spice latte. This way, you're getting all the good stuff (real pumpkin, healing spices), without all the added sugar. I've also made it dairy-free, so it's extra easy on the digestive system!

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  • 2 cups unsweetened nut milk (I prefer coconut milk for it's natural sweetness)
  • 4 tbsp pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp real maple syrup
  1. Warm nut milk with a milk steamer or on low heat on stove top. Be careful not to scald the milk.
  2. Once warmed, pour into a blender and add pureed pumpkin, spices and maple syrup. Blend until fully combined.
  3. Divide between 2 glasses, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!

If you prefer not to use canned pumpkin puree (that's my preference) then I've got instructions for making your own pumpkin puree in this post. 

We actually shot the photos for this recipe while away on business so I would probably use fresh ground ginger if I was at home to make it super gingery but this brand of spices is pretty gosh darn amazing. You can tell just by the smell!

What's your favourite seasonal fall treat? Share it with me in the comments below!

Have a joyous day and be sure to tag me with your pumpkin spice latte creations!

Oct 13, 2016 BY Joy McCarthy
Ana   •   October 13, 2016

This looks and sounds delicious! I'm pretty new to cooking (or mixing! :P) with pumpkins - I only started using them last year when we grew a few in our backyard garden and I had to figure out what to do with them. Thankfully, just last weekend I found some local, organic pumpkins at the farmer's market (and may have gotten a few too many from the excitement!), so I'm thinking this recipe and a few of the other pumpkin-themed ones you've shared here on the blog will be coming to my kitchen quite soon. Hope you're having a great week! :)

Shawna   •   October 2, 2018

Sat   •   October 13, 2016

Yum! What kind of coconut milk do you use? The pure coconut milk in the can or the water'ed down version in the cartons (ie Silk)? I'm thinking it's the canned option but I would like to make sure!

Heather Allen   •   October 14, 2016

Michelle Allen   •   October 14, 2016

I love how you described pumpkin. Yup! I’m also an avid fan of pumpkin anything. I always make food out of pumpkin during this time of the year, the kids love it and my pooches love the pumpkin treats and all. How can something so yummy and nutritious at the same time? And the fact that you can actually grow them in your backyard is awesome. Every year, we grow up pumpkin in our backyard and make every food special with pumpkin spices. I’m not new when it comes to cooking; I’ve tried and invented a lot of recipes. But making latte is really something new to me. Your recipe looks yummy and nutritious and I like the feelings you convey in every words you write. You know, I can really feel how you like pumpkin. This will be the first time I’ll be making latte and your recipe will be the first one, I hope I won’t mess up.

Heather Allen   •   October 14, 2016

Kristie   •   October 14, 2016

I made this recipe tonight for my husband and I. It is amazing! I can't believe that something that is so easy to make can taste this good! We definitely have a new favourite autumn drink.


Katie Fordham   •   October 20, 2016

Love these ingredients! If I wanted to add coffee to this would I just add some espresso or in my case, strongly brewed/cold brewed coffee, to the sauce pan?

Heather Allen   •   October 20, 2016

celeste woitowicz   •   October 21, 2016

Hi Joy; Just wanted to share my favourite fall treat with you. It is delicious and very healthy for your bones. 2 tbsp. mineral matrix (made by St. Francis herb company) 1 tbsp. cacao powder few sprinkles of cinnamon 1 1/2 cups - 2 cups boiling water. Add first 3 ingredients into your favourite mug, then add the boiling water, stir and enjoy.

Heather Allen   •   October 21, 2016

Kelsey   •   November 13, 2016

Hi Joy & Team, I have a question regarding milks- such as coconut or almond. If you don't make your own, which are the best to buy? Is the coconut milk from a tin? I also see tetra packs but the first ingredients seem to be water. I'd love to know what you use. Thanks!

Heather Allen   •   November 14, 2016

Karen   •   September 30, 2018

Looking for healthy suggestions for Thanksgiving dinner


Rita   •   September 30, 2018

Sounds so easy! I will try it for sure!! SB psl is too too sweet! I end up cutting out half the ingredients!!

Joy McCarthy   •   October 1, 2018

Alyssa   •   September 30, 2018

I absolutely love this! Cant wait to drink these everyday. I could spend hours on your blog Joy! Always such an inspiration 💖.

Joy McCarthy   •   October 1, 2018

Jessica   •   October 8, 2020

This is very yummy very easy to make 👍👍

Joy McCarthy   •   October 9, 2020

Erika   •   November 21, 2020

Delicious! And so simple. Thank you Joy! I used vanilla almond milk and poured over coffee. The nutrition info in this article is very much appreciated!

Joy McCarthy   •   November 21, 2020

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