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It’s fall, and here in NYC the mercury is finally sort of starting to agree with that statement. Not that I’m complaining about the lack of brisk coolness (much), since I’m dreading winter, but fall is my favorite season. No more blazing hot sweat fests! Boots! Jackets! Cute Scarves! Not freezing to death!

And with all of that comes my love and my nemesis … the pumpkin spice latte. I have a seriously love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with the mermaid coffee shop. Their coffee on its own sucks. It’s bitter and burnt and undrinkable without a metric ton of sugar and other fillers, and that’s just no good and not what I desire to be putting into my body. But … they’re everywhere. And they have pumpkin. And the pumpkin. Lucky/not lucky for me, they have never made a “skinny” sugar-free version of the syrup they use & the sugar content of their full fat/sugared coffees makes me sick, so for the last few years I’ve limited my consumption drastically.

This home made version, I’m happy to say, is tasty. Really tasty. I’m still working on the sweet ratio – for me, 1 tsp. of maple syrup is a bit too sweet — I may drop it completely from subsequent batches — but it is solidly good. And it has a vegetable in it, so score there.

For my inaugural run, the version in the picture, I used Earl Grey tea as the base – mostly because I was too lazy to grind coffee. Feel free to use coffee instead. 🙂 The amounts of tea to coconut is also scaled to fit my tea container, which I think is 12 ounces.


Pumpkin Spice Latte (paleo)

1 1/4 cup brewed Earl Grey tea
1/2 cup coconut milk
1.5 Tbsp. canned 100% pumpkin
1 tsp. 100% Maple syrup
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (equal parts cinnamon, ginger, allspice & nutmeg)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Brew the tea. While the tea is steeping, heat the coconut milk + all other ingredients in a small pan until just bubbling, whisking to combine fully.

Combine the brewed tea with the milky mixture and go to town. If you’re looking for a fancier drink, top with whipped cream and extra grated nutmeg. I drink all hot beverages out of a travel mug (sippy cup for grownups – don’t let me fool you; that pretty latte in the picture went right into the mug), so whipped cream is a no-go. But, were I having company similarly obsessed with pumpkin, whipped cream would not only be a go, but a necessity.

Serves 1