It’s not called “fall” anymore, or “autumn” either. It’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season. Surely you’ve noticed it too? That familiar cozy smell wafts about as morning commuters dash out of drive-thru lines and run-walk on sidewalks, all slightly desperately clutching those familiar white coffee cups. PSL – a must for the season’s morning wake-up.
Cue downtrodden trombone tones. Have you seen the latest claims that Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes are not as pure as the driven snow? Reports like these can come across as alarmist and because of that, they’re easy to dismiss. But on the other hand, it is another reminder that there’s a lot of really weird non-food stuff that goes into store-bought foods and drinks. And if you can make the same thing at home – sans the caramel coloring or preservatives – then why not go that route?
I’ve made pumpkin spice coffee syrup before, but in my effort to leave granulated sugar out of my diet, I wanted to challenge myself to create a healthier homemade pumpkin spice latte and coffee syrup. A little more pumpkin, a nub of fresh ginger, and pure maple syrup all the way, baby. Never going back.
Unless I find myself at Starbucks and can’t resist. Because hello, I’m human.
Otherwise, this stuff is so easy to whip up that there’s no earthly reason not to brew a batch on Sunday to keep in the fridge for PSL nirvana every morning of the week.
Add it to straight-up coffee, or whip up a makeshift latte: brew up some super-strong coffee and fill your mug half full. Stir in some pumpkin spice coffee syrup. Now, pour some milk in a mug and heat it up. Place a whisk in the mug and put the handle between your flat palms, and then spin the dickens out of that thing! Before you know it: foam! Pour in the hot milk and spoon a little foam on top. Taste and add a little more syrup until it’s perfect.
Who needs Starbucks? Okay, me. But maybe not nearly as often.
Healthier Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte & Coffee Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup pure maple syrup*
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1/2 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
- 2 5- inch cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Add all ingredients to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for another 10 minutes.
- Place a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl or large jar and strain syrup. Discard solids. Pour into an airtight storage container and transfer to refrigerator. Contents may settle, so just give it a quick shake before enjoying pumpkin spice deliciousness in your morning coffee or latte. I like 2-3 tablespoons of syrup stirred in to each cup, but you may prefer more or less. Make it your own!