There is nothing better than a crisp, fall Saturday when the sun is shining and being outside in in a light jacket is neither too hot nor too cold. Pure bliss.
And speaking of fall, we are now in what seems to be the heart of time where you cannot step foot outside of your home without seeing some sort of “pumpkin-spiced” something. I swear it’s been getting more and more over the top each year, I’ve even seen some funny (and inappropriate) “pumpkin-spice spoofs” online. And with Starbucks’ infamous seasonal treat and the original pumpkin spice item, the Pumpkin Spice Latte, getting some negative attention in the media after the recent Food Babe investigation, it seems like pumpkin spice is on the forefront of every foodie’s mind right now.
Call me basic, but I enjoy my fair share of pumpkin each fall too. Whether it be a little bit of canned pumpkin purée and “pumpkin spice” stirred into oatmeal, a smoothie or vegan pancake batter, or a baked good recipe, or one of Trader Joe’s many pumpkin products (this year I’m digging the Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Herbal Blend tea, last year it was the Pumpkin Butter.) Last week I dabbled in making some vegan pumpkin baked french toast, which was absolutely delicious. The challenge I normally face when working with pumpkin is how to sweeten it up without a lot of processed sugar. I normally go the ripe banana route, but for this particular french toast recipe, I was all out of bananas and used blended medjool dates with the pumpkin purée instead. Turns out, this was a match made in heaven. I will probably end up making a whole pumpkin pie from this combination (with a little vanilla, nondairy milk and spices) because it was just THAT good.
So it got me thinking… what else can I pumpkinify with the addition of dates as a sweetener. And then it dawned on me, homemade pumpkin spiced almond milk.
If you are familiar with the almond milk making process, then this recipe will be a breeze to you. This milk is truly something special. Just a splash of it will turn a boring cup of coffee into a healthy version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte, it makes for an excellent base for an indulgent seasonal chia pudding and of course its amazing chugged straight out of the bottle. So without further ado, Home Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk.
1 cup of raw almonds (soaked overnight or for at least two hours)
3 cups of filtered water
6 medjool dates
5 Tbsp.pumpkin purée
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
a pinch of sea salt.
Blend all ingredients in a Vitamix or similar high speed blender, straight through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth and enjoy!