Pumpkin Spice Latte with Maca, Maple & Mushrooms

Ahh, Autumn… by far my favorite season. Cozy sweaters, acoustic guitar, brisk, peaceful afternoons, brightly colored falling leaves….

And, of course, pumpkin spice everything.

Yes, *sigh*, I’m one of “those” people.

The mere second October waves hello, I’m tripping and falling into line at the nearest (organic) coffee shop to frantically order myself a large almond milk PSL.

Now, spending the entire holiday season gorging myself on fragrant pumpkin-y treats would truly be a dream come true.

However….

I’m not quite as in love with the copious amounts of added flavors, stabilizers and/or gums involved in the creation of many a pumpkin spiced product.

And don’t even get me started on the sugar content in a traditional pumpkin spice latte.

I mean, a sixteen-ounce classic PSL from Starbucks has…

wait for it…

fifty grams of sugar.

Now that’s spooky!

(I had to throw in one teensy little halloween reference. Sorrynotsorry.)

In high school, I religiously consumed at least one pumpkin spice latte every single day from it’s blessed release date up until the utterly devastating moment in which I finally realized it was no longer appropriate to continue indulging in my seasonal addiction.

I adored my daily quests Starbucks gallantly armored in American Eagle boots, knit scarves in various shades of burnt orange and messy bun du jour for a grande pumpkin spice latte.

It’s no wonder I crashed at my desk in a sugar & caffeine-fueled coma by 2:00 PM….

Anyway.

My point is… while a piping hot pumpkin latte from your favorite café may be one of your favorite things about fall, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health in order to partake in the comforting seasonal tradition.

In fact, pumpkin spice lattes can be healthy, nourishing and loaded with adaptogenic herbs… all the while being flavorful and delicious!

And with that, I would like to introduce you to my Maca, Maple & Mushroom Pumpkin Latte!

This recipe is perfectly sweet, indulgently creamy, generously spiced and made with real organic pumpkin.

Starting with a base of rich, homemade cashew mylk (you can find my super quick & easy recipe for cashew mylk here), we add hormone-balancing & energizing maca root, pure grade-A maple syrup, canned organic pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and instant organic coffee with two amazing medicinal mushrooms: maitake and chaga.

I used Four Sigmatic’s instant coffee latte mix with these two lovely mushroom friends already included in the packet, but you can substitute this for plain black coffee (just sub 2-3 oz hot coffee for 2-3 oz hot water included in the recipe) or one serving size of your favorite coffee substitute such as Dandy Blend – or you can omit it altogether for a lighter, steamer-style PSL.

(I’m not sponsored by or affiliated with Four Sigmatic in any way – I just love the convenience of their mushroom latte packets, especially for this recipe.)

This recipe takes roughly five minutes to make, and yields one eight-ounce mug of steamy pumpkin deliciousness.

So, let’s get right into it!

Ingredients:

5 oz hot water
3 oz cashew mylk 
1 packet Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Latte Mix
2 tsp grade-A maple syrup
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
1 tbsp canned pumpkin (not to be mistaken for pumpkin pie mix, which contains added sugar!)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp gelatinized maca root powder
1 pinch sea salt

Directions:

  1. You can either throw all the ingredients into a small saucepan and whisk until heated, or blend everything first. Blending will create an especially smooth, frothy latte, but it’s definitely not necessary.
  2. Pour into your favorite cozy fall mug.
  3. Top with cinnamon or more pumpkin pie spice.

Enjoy ❤

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Soothing Golden Turmeric Latte

I’ve never been the biggest fan of turmeric, but I am a fan of it’s anti-inflammatory benefits, and when combined with other spices it’s quite pleasant.

For this latte, I combined this magical spice with cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and cardamom for a wonderful caffeine-free blend.

I also added a pinch of ashwagandha for an added relaxing effect!

This latte is mildly sweet, creamy, spicy and fragrant, with a beautiful golden glow.

Spices are an amazing addition to any diet. They often help to kill parasites, promote healthy blood circulation, promote proper digestive fire and relieve the body of inflammation.

While I do appreciate turmeric, I don’t necessarily think it’s the end all be all of healing herbs and spices. Cinnamon, for example, has some equally fantastic health benefits including the promotion of healthy blood sugar levels, easing of PMS symptoms and enhancement of digestive function.

Is turmeric all hype?

Probably to some extent.

When I was referred to a naturopathic doctor for my chronic depression as a teenager, the first supplement she recommended to me was turmeric.

After a long period of time taking it, I did notice a very small difference, but ultimately I think there were multiple factors in my recovery.

Turmeric has been shown in studies to be a very effective treatment for major depressive disorder.

The benefits are undeniable, so let’s put it in a yummy hot drink and sip away!

Ingredients:

12 oz raw almond mylk
1 tsp maple syrup or raw honey OR 1/8 tsp monkfruit or stevia
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp turmeric powder OR 1 tsp fresh turmeric juice
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp ginger root powder OR 1/2 tsp fresh ginger juice
1/4 tsp ashwagandha powder
1 tsp coconut oil OR MCT oil
1/8 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high until frothy and golden. To keep this recipe raw, continue blending until warm.
  2. Add to a small saucepan and heat on low, stirring frequently, until desired temperature is reached.
  3. Pour into your favorite cozy mug.

Enjoy! ❤


Strawberry Rose Latte

strawberry rose latte

This recipe was born through my love of floral flavors.

I’ve noticed that people either love floral flavors, or hate them and think they taste like perfume.

When I was little, I used to get so excited when our local ice cream shop would come out with spring floral flavors.

I was that kid who took a bite out of a bar of soap because it smelled so good.

My favorite “inside a grandma’s handbag candy” were those little purple violet flavored hard candies.

Anyway, this is my homage to all my fellow floral lovers out there. We’re out here, and we’re thriving, thank you very much.

Aside from satisfying my craving for flowery things, this latte is also very soothing, comforting and a wonderful beauty tonic.

Rose petals contain vitamins E and A, which are both wonderful for the skin.

This is a wonderful before-bed latte as well, especially since rose petals are soothing and promote tranquility and restful sleep.

You can use either dried or fresh rose petals. I’ve only tried this with dried rose petals, which lend a very subtle rose flavor, but I’m sure fresh would be absolutely divine.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp dried organic rose petals (make sure there are no green leaves or other bits, twigs etc. Just pure petals)
6 oz filtered or spring water 
2 tbsp strawberry coconut butter (I used Phi Kind Strawberry Coconut Butter)
6 oz raw almond milk  
1/2 tsp vanilla extract, or 1/4 tsp vanilla bean
1 tsp raw honey, maple syrup or 1/8 tsp monk fruit (optional)

Directions:

  1. Begin by making a rose petal tea “concentrate”. Bring 6 oz of water to a boil on the stove. Remove from heat and add in the rose petals.
  2. Let sit for 7 minutes, covered, then strain. You can let this sit for up to 15 minutes, depending on how strong you want your tea to be.
  3. Add the tea into a blender, along with the rest of the ingredients and blend until frothy.
  4. Pour into a small saucepan and heat to desired temperature, being sure to avoid any simmering or boiling action. Keep in mind that (in my experience) raw almond milk tends to separate when heated beyond around 120° F.
  5. Pour into your favorite mug, top with rose petals and sip away!

Enjoy ❤

Good Morning Matcha Latte

Ahh, matcha.

Some mornings, it’s literally a life saver.

Whenever I start my day with a warm, comforting matcha latte, I can just feel the Green Tea gods shining down upon me:

“You’re going to have a good day today, Mackenna, we’ll make sure of it.”

Thank you, matcha.

If you’re a fan of matcha, you know what I’m talking about.

It has gentle, slow-releasing energy that doesn’t end with the same crash as coffee.

Though I love the taste of coffee, it’s always made me anxious and jittery, so I don’t drink it.

If you drink matcha all day like I do, you might also be a matcha snob.

I always try to use organic, grade-A matcha for my lattes, not only because it tastes better, but because it’s often tested for heavy metals and pesticide residues.

Matcha green tea is an antioxidant bomb, and may actually contain cancer fighting compounds.

Matcha originated in Japan, and has been consumed for centuries as a frothy tea.

It’s made from grinding green tea into a fine powder.

Matcha tea is very high in an antioxidant called theanine, which is also believed to attribute to the rich, deep flavor matcha tea has.

You can use any type of milk you like for this recipe, but I usually like to use almond milk.

One cool thing about matcha is that it’s so versatile!

You can add tonic herbs, different flavors like rose, cinnamon or vanilla, or add it to milkshakes, ice cream and desserts.

This recipe is perfect for mornings, especially when a busy day awaits.

I included ashitaba in this recipe, which is an amazing herb – especially for vegans – due to its blood building and nourishing properties.

It also aids in regulating metabolism, supports the immune system and promotes proper digestive function.

It also has a grassy, mild flavor that pairs nicely with matcha.

Ingredients:

12 oz raw almond milk
1 tsp matcha tea powder
1/2 tsp ashitaba powder
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the almond milk on low heat until just steaming.
  2. Add to a blender with the matcha, ashitaba and maple syrup.
  3. Blend until super smooth. (Alternatively, if you have a high speed blender, you can heat the latte in the blender by blending it on high until warm – about 2-3 minutes. This keeps the recipe raw as well.)
  4. Pour into your favorite mug.

Enjoy! ❤