Homemade PSL!

September is here! It's my favorite month and the start of my favorite season (and everyone else in the world).

So a few days ago, I posted this article from on Facebook about the actual ingredients in the ever-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. In addition to not actually being any pumpkin (no surprise there for me), it has synthetic caramel coloring that has been cited as being a carcinogen in some studies, in addition to around 50g of sugar.

Since then I've seen tons of articles and posts on social media about the PSL and arguments about whether 50g is actually a toxic dose of sugar and whether or not caramel coloring is linked to cancer, etc. Lots of people fighting ferociously for the right/personal permission to indulge in a PSL this season despite knowing whats in it.

Here's the deal...the occasional PSL isn't gonna kill you. 50g of sugar is concerning to me, and I personally don't appreciate that Starbucks insists on charging almost $5 for a coffee drink that is made with poor quality, GMO milk and crappy coffee. However, I understand the PSL is tasty and lots of people have a tradition of ringing in the fall season by drinking one.

We don't make a habit of going to Starbucks very often for the reasons I listed above. Since we try to only consume grass-fed organic dairy (when possible) and avoid sugar, I usually end up just getting black coffee and it usually tastes burnt. But, I do love pumpkin spice flavored things! So I set out to recreate my own version of a PSL at home.

Guess what? It's possible, and I made 16 servings for around $6. And it is DELICIOUS.

I looked at a bunch of different recipes, and the one I ended up mostly following was from Once a Month Meals. Mostly what I loved was their idea to divide it up into single servings and freeze it so you can have them on hand. Brilliant!

picture: not mine. PrimalPal.net, which actually looks to be kind of a cool thing! 

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte (Cheap & Clean)

3 cups grass-fed, organic whole milk (I used Kalona brand)
1 can pumpkin (organic preferable. mine wasn't.)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract (or more to taste)

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on low-med for a few minutes. Taste to see if it meets your sweetness preference. I wanted to keep it lower in sugar, but you might want to add more maple syrup.

NOTE - I don't think I would use a different kind of sweetener for this recipe. I've seen ones that call for Stevia and Honey, but I really think the maple syrup adds to the autumn flavor of the drink. I think Honey or Stevia would add a weird flavor to the drink. But if you must, give it a shot.

Once blended, you have 2 options:

1. Add roughly 1/4 cup of the mixture to a 16oz coffee cup and add 12oz hot, strong coffee. Stir and enjoy! The pumpkin will melt and mix in.

2.  I put plastic wrap over a muffin tin and carefully poured the mixture into each muffin cup. Place in the freezer until hard, then pop out and store in a freezer bag or container. When you want to enjoy, just pop one of the little "pucks" into your coffee mug (overnight might be preferable to allow it to thaw) and pour 12oz hot, strong coffee over it. Yum!