I’m GUILTY. I love fall just as much as any other basic bitch, and I’m not afraid to admit it. Fall really is the best time of year. First of all, I usually get to spend fall in both Colorado and Michigan, so not only do I get to see the beautiful fall colors and experience the perfect weather here in Colorado, but I also spend a few weeks to a month in Michigan in November. And if you know Michigan, you know that fall is the prime time for the mitten state. I worked for Biggby Coffee for many years so you know I’m all about the fall drinks. From hot apple cider, to pumpkin spice lattes, to Chai, fall has some of the best flavors. Now since I worked for this company, I’m also aware that these sugary drinks are also not the best for you. Even though I do admit I have to indulge in Biggby at least once every time I’m in Michigan, I’ve come up with a few recipes of my own so that you can still enjoy the delicious drinks of fall but with a little less sugar and fat and a little more nutrition.
This first recipe I came up with was when I first started using maca root powder and wanted to think of creative ways to incorporate it into my diet. Originally I started incorporating maca into my diet to help regulate my hormones. I then found out that maca has many other benefits like it is high in many minerals I probably wasn’t getting enough of (calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium). Not only does it help to regulate hormones and add essential minerals into your diet, but it also gives you an energy boost without caffeine! Usually I’ll just throw the maca powder in a smoothie or my banana nice cream, but if I have a day where I don’t eat either of these then I usually will make a hot drink with it. At the time, I was only drinking tea and not coffee as to slowly cut down on caffeine, so I came up with this Maca Chai Latte.
Maca Chai Latte
-12 oz non-dairy milk (cashew milk is my favorite)
-2 Chai tea bags
-1 tbsp local honey
-1/2 tbsp Maca Root powder
-1 tsp cinnamon powder
-dash of nutmeg
-dash of ground ginger
-1 cinnamon sick
Heat up the milk of your choice on the stove in a small pot just until it’s hot but not quite boiling. Reduce heat to simmer. First add in the maca powder and whisk until there are no clumps left (maca tends to clump up easily so this is why I like to add it to the hot liquid first and whisk it in before anything else). Add in the chai tea bags and let them steep for about 5 minutes. While the chai is steeping, add in the rest of the ingredients except the cinnamon stick (save this until the very end). I like a lot of cinnamon and the cinnamon stick gives a lot of extra flavor but this is completely optional. Transfer only the tea bags to a mug, whisk all the ingredients one more time in the pot to make sure they are evenly distributed, and pour liquid into the mug over the tea bags. Now add in the cinnamon stick and enjoy!
*SIDE NOTE: if you have a handheld milk frother you can make your latte frothy just like how they come at the café! (I bought mine for $10 on Amazon).
This next recipe is so good I can’t believe it’s not from Starbucks (or Biggby for my Michigan people). Organic pumpkin puree is something I ALWAYS have in my pantry during the fall. Pumpkin is great in helping to lower blood pressure, promote better sleep, helps you feel full faster and is great for overall heart health. Even though this is a more decadent way to enjoy pumpkin and wouldn’t advise you to make it everyday, it’s definitely a much better option for when you’re craving that pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks (and cheaper!).
Perfect Pumpkin Spice Latte
-1 cup non-dairy milk
-1 tbsp organic pumpkin puree
-1 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
-1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
-1/4 cup strong coffee or espresso
Add all ingredients – except coffee – to a small pot and heat on medium high heat. Stir every couple of minutes. Heat until hot but not quite boiling. Whisk all ingredients together and pour over coffee or shot of espresso (I’m spoiled and have a Nespresso machine, which makes for some amazing homemade lattes). Top with ground cinnamon or a dash of the pumpkin pie spice. If you’re feeling EXTRA, top with coconut whipped cream. Enjoy!