My third favourite time of the year (Christmas being one, and Stampede being number two) I would have to say that the release of Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte and all things pumpkin spice. If you think about it too hard, it is a terrible reflection of our society and what gets us excited (overpriced, brand name coffee?) which is why I choose to not think about it at all as I enjoy my delicious PSL. Two things note worthy happened this year with the PSL release: (1) they released the drink early to gold card members (yes, I did get the email) and (2) they now include real pumpkin (!) in the drink.

Last year there was a lot of controversy around the drink when the Food Babe released an article about what is really in a PSL, namely no pumpkin and caramel coloring (class IV).¬†Although people seemed to freak out a little about it, the sales we not affected (I am guilty of still drinking them after I found out). It is impressive that she was able to get the attention of Starbucks and help with the removal of caramel coloring. Not that it means it is now good for you, a grande non-fat PSL still has 330 calories, 7g of fat, 53g of carbs, and 51g of sugar. My suggestion when drinking them (because we all know we can’t resist everyday) is to ask for half sweet, which will lower some of the sugar intake.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes make it a lot easier to transition from sunny summer days to cozy sweater evenings, and I found this awesome recipe to make them at home.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Makes 2 servings

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Ingredients

2 tbsp canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups choice of milk
1 to 2 shots espresso, about 1/4 cup
whipped cream

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the pumpkin with the pumpkin pie spice and a generous helping of black pepper for 2 minutes or until it’s hot and smells cooked. Stir constantly.
  2. Add the sugar and stir until the mixture looks like a bubbly thick syrup.
  3. Whisk in the milk and vanilla extract. Warm gently over medium heat, watching carefully to make sure it doesn’t boil over.
  4. Make the espresso or coffee and divide between two mugs and add the milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg if desired.

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