Pumpkin Chai Latte

It’s officially fall! My favorite season… Pumpkins, apples, apple picking, foliage, scarf weather and we’re closer to my other favorite time of the year (the holiday season). I think I have covered it all. And while pumpkin flavored everything has been on store shelves for a few weeks now and I will admit that I did bake a few things that are pumpkin flavored, I have waited until now to post anything pumpkin related. And I am starting small with this Pumpkin Chai Latte. Before I get to the latte though, I just want to touch on the pumpkin flavored phenomena. It’s a bit out of control! It’s so excessive that I am not really tempted to get anything. I did pick up some Pumpkin Flavored Cheerios that remind me more of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios than anything, and some Pumpkin Fruit Butter. I used to love Pumpkin Flavored Milanos and I even enjoyed some pumpkin spice almonds I picked up a year or two ago, but now, I prefer the baked pumpkin flavored treats I make more than anything.

Now, back to the latte. I began by heating milk and steeping a bag of chai tea in the milk for about 5 minutes. And here’s something I learned and maybe some of you knew this but somehow I didn’t… By steeping the chai tea bag in milk I had a chai tea latte. It’s one of the few things I order at Starbucks but I am pretty excited to know now that I can make it at home now. It just needs a little sugar. Once the milk was read I whisked in pumpkin puree and a pinch each of pumpkin spice and honey. You can sub sugar if you prefer your latte on the sweeter side. I then strained it and enjoyed!

Pumpkin Chai Latte

Ingredients:

1 cup hot milk

1 chai tea bag

1/4 pumpkin puree

pinch of pumpkin spice

pinch of honey

Directions:

Steep the tea bag in the milk for about 5 minutes. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice & honey. Strain and enjoy.

Recipe from Food Network Magazine

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

While at the supermarket a few weeks ago I came across sugar pumpkins on sale, I thought for a second or two of buying them and making my own pumpkin puree but it was just a fleeting thought at the moment and I stuck with the list of items I had in hand. Once I got home though I was curious as to how difficult it would be to turn those small pumpkins into puree and I was pleasantly surprised at how simple it would be, well, minus the elbow grease and patience. So, a few days later I picked up two pumpkins and got to work.

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I began by slicing the top of the pumpkin off. I should say I sawed it off as I did mention it required some elbow grease.

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Next, I sliced the pumpkin in half. This was by far the most difficult part. Since my knives were sharpened I probably just need some refresher tips on knife skills.

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And then scooped out all of the seeds and pulp.

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Following that I sliced the halves into halves – or simply put I cut the pumpkin into quarters. I then repeated these steps with the second pumpkin and placed all of the quarters on a baking sheet.

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I roasted the pumpkin in a 350 F preheated oven for just shy of an hour until the pieces were fork tender. And I must say the smell of pumpkin in my house was heaven during that hour.

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After letting the pieces cool for a few minutes I was easily able to remove the skin from the pumpkin.

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And then it was time for the simplest part – well besides roasting the pumpkin – to making the puree, the blending.  I put a few pieces at a time in the bowl of my food processor and added a few tablespoons of water to help the process along.

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All in all I ended up with about 8 cups of fresh pumpkin puree.

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I refrigerated half of it and froze the other half in sandwich bags – putting a cup of puree in each of the bags.

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And since I didn’t want that refrigerated puree to go bad I was quick to whip up some delicious treats with it.

There was pumpkin pie, which I must say definitely had a much richer taste with the fresh puree.

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Pumpkin Ravioli using wonton wrappers…

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And my favorite, a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte. I usually get one or two of these during the Fall at Starbucks but the coffee flavor is such a turn off for me since I am not a coffee drinker that being able to make this at home and control the coffee amount was perfect!

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Pumpkin Ravioli – Adapted from here and here

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh (or canned) pumpkin puree

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 shallot minced

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1/3 cup parmesan cheese grated

pinch of nutmeg

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 1 minute.

2. Add the pumpkin and cook until the pumpkin has absorbed the butter.

3. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cream.

4. Remove from the heat and add in the cheese and nutmeg and stir until both are incorporated.

 

Pumpkin Spice Latte – Recipe from October 2014 Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:

3 tbsp. sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

heaping 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

heaping 1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 1/4 cup milk (I used whole milk)

1/4 cup espresso (or strong brewed coffee)

whipped cream, for topping

Directions:

1. Combine the sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a small saucepan.

2. Whisk in milk and espresso and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

3. Pour into 2 mugs and top with whipped cream and more nutmeg.

 

If you would like a more detailed description of how to make you own pumpkin puree check-out the directions I followed here from the Pioneer Woman’s (Ree Drummond) website.