Pumpkin Flavored Coffee Creamer – There are so many reasons to celebrate Labor Day. As the un-official end of Summer it signifies the end of carefree days and the beginning of back to school schedules. But in my world there’s a whole different reason to celebrate, because in my world the period after Labor Day is known as Pumpkin Season.
A few years ago I got caught in the Great Pumpkin Shortage of ’09. It was a terrible time and I vowed to never let it happen again. Back in August I took the initiative to hunt down my grocery store manager and convince him to stock some cans of organic pumpkin puree this year. Low and behold, last week they appeared on the shelves (way up high mind you) right on queue. I was giddy as I left the store with it, already knowing what my first project would be – my beloved pumpkin latte. I’m nothing less than obsessed with pumpkin flavored coffee, it’s my one weakness. But if you’re going to have a weakness, this is the one to have. Pumpkin is loaded with vitamins – A, C, K, and E along with other antioxidants, it’s full of minerals like magnesium, iron, and potassium, and is high in fiber. That’s what I call a superfood. Did you know a whole pumpkin will stay fresh for six months? I think I’ll buy a couple when they go on sale at the end of the season so I can make roasted pumpkin seeds to have year round. Pumpkin seeds are filled with hard to find minerals, and also protect against prostate cancer and osteoporosis. They make a great addition to granola, trail mix, and salads too.
I used to stock up on those non-dairy flavored coffee creamers at the store when they would go on sale, until I read the list of ingredients. Scary. Now I happily make my own using real ingredients. It’s very easy – maybe 5 minutes from start to finish. Earlier this year I kicked my refined sugar habit, and use only all natural, low glycemic sweeteners instead. Here maple syrup takes the place of where most people would add sugar. It’s a divine combination, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, whipping cream, and milk. I store mine in the fridge in re-purposed glass jars with tight fitting lids. In the morning just give it a shake and pour the goodness into your cup. Welcome back Pumpkin Season – oh how I’ve missed you!
Pumpkin Flavored Coffee Creamer
makes about 2 cups
note: you can adjust any of these ingredients to suit your preferences. Like it creamier? Add more cream? Want more sweetness? Add more maple syrup.
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup – 1 cup heavy cream
4 Tablespoons pureed pumpkin
4 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium sauce pan set over medium heat, whisk together milk, cream, pumpkin, and maple syrup. When steam begins to form stir in pumpkin spice. Let cook another 30 seconds then remove from heat. Add vanilla extract and stir well. Let cool completely then transfer to glass jar and store in the refrigerator.
You can strain the mixture through a mesh sieve before pouring into the jars to remove any flecks of spices if you prefer.
For a dairy-free version: substitute 1 1/2 cups coconut milk in place of the milk and cream listed above.
Recipe slightly adapted from Deliciously Organic.