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Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove, combined with pumpkin, make the perfect pie. And the fall spiced pumpkin flavors melded with the deep richness of coffee? Oh, my. Just a whisper of the foamed milk floats on top, giving a smidge of freshly grated nutmeg a place to land…

Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Pumpkin Spiced Latte

My baby has developed a new addiction, fueled by his newfound independence and his newly acquired ATM card! He’s been running down to Super America and buying Pumpkin Spice Latte/Coffee something or others. $1.50 a shot, sometimes twice a day. Ya buy ‘em books, ya buy em books and all they do is eat the pages. Thank goodness we’re not too close to a Starbucks, because they’re a lot pricier there.

Even at just one a day, this young man would be spending $547.50 a year! This from the one that wants a better X-Box and his own TV. I think we just found the money for him. Buying a single Starbucks version at $4.00 a day would cost you $1,460 a year. Wow…and you didn’t think you had enough money for that little getaway you wanted?

As for the Super America coffee – I did have a taste and I knew I could do better, so with a little tweaking and a little testing (and we had so much fun doing this) we came up with a blend we love. Hope you love it, too, and share it with friends or family on a cold, snowy (or rainy) fall or winter night.

Make a large pitcher, if desired, and store overnight in the fridge – the flavor is even better the next day and the spices drop to the bottom where they are easily left behind. They’ve done their work and are resting. They earned it. Then try it cold (num – I know, hard to believe, but trust me) or reheat in the microwave.

A happy accident: In my effort to be fabulously frugal, we wanted whipped cream and I didn’t want to whip up small bits – I wanted these at a moment’s notice. I placed dollops of whipping cream on a parchment lined tray and froze them. When dropped into the steaming latte, slowly melting, these were truly heavenly…the cold cream and the hot latte. if you’ve ever lounged in the chilly mountain air on a starry night while sitting in a hot tub? This was like drinking that atmosphere…

Pumpkin Spiced Latte, 3 cups, 24 ounces or 2 servings.

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoons sugar or to taste (nutritional values are based on 2 tablespoons, but I found I like it less sweet and one is enough – my son likes it sweeter.)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or a teaspoon of brandy, spiced rum, etc.
  • 3/4 teaspoon of homemade pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • whipped cream for garnish, if desired – see options and nutritional values, below.
  • cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg for dusting, optional

Combine milk, pumpkin, spices and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat; stir in brandy.

Whisk the mixture until foamy – this is best done in a heavy cup, like a Pyrex 2 cup measure. Put the whisk in and holding the handle between palms, move hands back and forth very briskly, twirling the whisk. (Think of a Boy Scout starting a fire with a two sticks.) To get any decent  foam at all, whisk wildly and for a couple of minutes.

Transfer into two large mugs, filling each only half way; top with coffee. Makes about 3 cups, 24 ounces.

Garnish simply with a little grate of nutmeg, pie spice or cinnamon, or if desired, a dollop of whipped cream.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my Strategies – You’ll see them all explained on the upper left tab of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Strategies Applied

  • First of all, we tripled the recipe and poured the extra into a pitcher – what I found was it was actually much better the NEXT day; the spices had better infused their flavor and dropped to the bottom, where I carefully left them when I poured, the flavor was smoother, and they were ready after a quick heat in the microwave. I did try to filter the spices out by adding them to the coffee and they just clogged up the filter.
  • What was surprising to me is that this was actually good ice-cold! Talk about drinking pumpkin pie…it did need a stir as there are no stabilizers or artificial ingredients in this.
  • Coffee:  I bought Hill Brothers since it was on sale, and the brand I had planned on buying on sale with a coupon was completely sold out.  Large can,  2 pounds, 1.9 ounces.  I measured out at 1 tablespoon per cup and came up with 104 servings.  I’ve never bought coffee before, and was under the assumption that this can was $7.99.  I should have watched at the register, because my receipt showed $12.81!   That works out $.12 per cup.
  • Milk:  Last bought at $2.79 for a gallon, cost for this recipe is $.34.
  • Pumpkin Puree:  I use the store brand – $1.79 for 29 ounces.  Between now and Thanksgiving is a great time to stock up on pumpkin puree:  3 tablespoons is 1.22 ounces, there will be about 24 three tablespoon portions in this can, each costing $.07.
  • Freeze the pumpkin in ice-cube trays, pop out and put in a zip bag in the freezer so as not to waste any.  I think I’ll experiment on mixing a batch of pumpkin with the spices and sugar and then freezing – I’m not positive, yet, if it will work; the sugar may make the pumpkin too soft to freeze solidly – or I may at some point try to infuse my own pumpkin syrup.
  • Vanilla: I decided to forgo the vanilla altogether and add a teaspoon of brandy, instead. I like the subtle hint of flavor, and the cost is about 5 cents. (Depending, of course, on what kind of brandy you use.)  There is alcohol in vanilla, so a teaspoon of brandy is actually LESS alcohol.
  • Sugar:  negligible

 

Pumpkin Pie Spice:  cost negligible.

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Whipped Cream:

You have several options, and all will drastically change the cost and probably will change the quality as well as the nutritional values. The most frugal and healthiest:  Omit the whipping cream.

  • This is one time I might consider buying whipped cream in a can – you can have a squirt every day. If you do this, look for sales and coupons and by around Holidays.
  • We made our own whipping cream, with a bit of confectioner’s sugar and, again, I used just a teensy splash of brandy. After we had our lattes, I put dollops of whipping cream on a parchment covered cookie sheet and froze.  The cold whipping cream was even better than the fresh, slowly melting and providing a wonderful contrast. I maximized my very expensive whipping cream by not wasting any and controlling the portions. It’s so good, everyone will think you’re clever, no one will know you’re cheap! Cost for a dolloop: 15 cents.
  • Last option would be to use a Cool Whip type topping; my son really liked this, me, not so much, but it was quick and easy. We also get Cool Whip free from time to time around Holidays with a coupon and great sale, so I usually have an “emergency” tub in the freezer.

Nutrition:

I like the fact that this DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte has 1/2 serving of vegetable per latte!  The DIY version of Pumpkin Spice Latte I’ll estimate as 12 ounces.

With 3 tablespoons whipped cream: Per Serving : 174 Calories; 2g Fat (13.1% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 11mg Cholesterol; 135mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Without the whipping cream: Per Serving: 155 Calories; 1g Fat (3.7% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 4mg Cholesterol; 133mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Non-Fat Milk; 0 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Starbuck’s Nutrional Values: There were 320 calories and 39 grams of sugar  in the 12 oz nonfat Starbuck’s version. Here is Super America’s: SuperAmerica’s Nutritional Values

Put your own Spin on it: 

Maybe I’ve had too many Blizzards in my life, but I kept thinking how wonderful this would have been with finely crushed gingersnaps sprinkled over the whipping cream.  You could certainly play with the spices and tweak it exactly to your taste.

Other Favorite Beverages

Pumpkin Spice Latte made Fall 2011.

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