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Recipe: Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Last weekend, Rob and I shared some delicious mussels that were served in a bowl of the most beautiful blue cheese broth and topped with juicy chunks of pancetta and caramelized onions. They were amazing. Sure I'm allergic to lactose, I thought as I shoved them into my face, but this will be worth it

Not worth it. 

Fast forward to the next morning, where I am waking up with what I have recently begun referring to as a "dairy headache." The room was spinning, I felt nauseated, and I actually ended up leaving brunch before our food even got to the table. That's it--I am never having dairy again, I thought as I walked back to Rob's apartment to take a nap.

But then fall happened. All week it rained and was chilly, and I wanted a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, dammit! The truth is that I don't actually even like Pumpkin Spice Lattes (they taste like a bad seasonal candle to me); in my dairy days I was actually more of a Salted Caramel Mocha girl. But when summer ends and the weather and leaves begin to turn, I want something pumpkin just like everyone else and their mother on Twitter. 

Last night, I made a Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte. It's not a big deal or anything, except that it totally is, because it's delicious and doesn't have any milk or sugar or questionable syrups in it, and therefore isn't going to make me sick. 

Amen I say to you, fall can happen for real now.

This recipe was inspired by Java Java Cafe in Charlottesville, Virginia. They make a killer Pumpkin Pie Latte with canned pumpkin and sugar instead of "Pumpkin Spice" syrup. I always thought that was clever. And delicious. 
(Hi Bahar, Masood, and Anita! Miss you guys.)

Makes at least two drinks.
5.46 (yep, that's real) ounces of canned coconut milk
4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin (I just put the rest in a Tupperware)
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
A tiny dash of ginger
(Feel free to add more or less of something if you really love or hate one of these spices)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
An ounce or two of regular unsweetened coconut milk (in a carton)

A shot or two of espresso or some strongly-brewed coffee

1. Open your tiny can of coconut milk. Put a spoon under the thick part and pour the liquid underneath into a bowl. That's what you're using for your latte. The thick part will be whipped cream later, so put it in a separate bowl.
2. Mix everything except for the coconut milk in the carton together in a bowl and stir them up.
3. Once all the spices are incorporated into the pumpkin, add a few splashes of coconut milk from a carton to the mixture until it seems more liquid than thick. Heat up on the stove while you make some espresso or strongly-brewed coffee.
4. Take the bowl with the thick portion of canned coconut milk and whisk it up with a bit more vanilla and agave.
5. Fill a mug halfway with coffee and add the pumpkin mixture from the stove. Stir it--this stuff separates. Don't get freaked out.
6. Add a few dollops of the coconut cream and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.


  1. I've never had a spiced pumpkin latte! But this looks fabulous! Anything with coconut milk and you've got me!

  2. This looks so great, I had my first pumpkin spice latte just last week but making it with coconut milk sounds super tasty. :)
    Faye x

  3. This looks AMAHZING! Can't wait to try it.

  4. geeeeeenius. I actually saw this recipe for Hot Pumpkin White Chocolate or something and was like, who is going to invent the Paleo version for me? MAYBE IT'S You

  5. It was so good. Can you post it on my Roanoke Valley Cross Fit nutrition page for me tonight?

  6. Looks delicious! I would drink that right now! And the delicate little cup and saucer make it absolutely perfect! Can I get an Amen?!!!!!!

    1. Amen! The cup and saucer really do make a difference :)

  7. THANK YOU!! I have been craving a pumpkin spiced latte. Being a lactose intolerant paleo eater, when the recipe popped up on my radar I was all over it. Going to give it a try tonight.

    1. You're welcome! I know how rough it can be. I hope you love it!

  8. omg, omg, O.M.G.!!!!!!!!! this is incredible!! I will be making it. minus the coffee...which we already talked about! I think i'll swap agave for truvia, since it has no calories, but i'm sure the agave would be delicious!!


  9. I've been on a Paleo pupmkin binge lately - MUST add this to the list!

    1. Yes please do! Let me know how you like it!

  10. I saw this and thought you might like this Paleo recipe to try too:


    :) I love pumpkin spice, and a healthy alternative is always the way to go, especially if it's delicious!

    1. Thank you! I'll definitely have to try that one out!

  11. What a yummy Autumn treat! I'm going to try this for sure. Thanks!

  12. I'm drooling over this! My husband and I went Paleo about 3 weeks ago and we're loving it. We made a paleo pizza last week and it was DELISH! Can't wait to try this. Thanks for the recipe!


  13. Quick question: I'm always so unsure about that coconut oil - is guar gum OK? What's your theory on it? I always get such mixed theories when I google it

    It looks fantastic! I love that you didn't use sugar at all. I love things that keep me from cheating on paleo ;)

    1. I actually know nothing about guar gum! What do you do with it?

  14. First off -- beautiful teacup and lovely photos! Second -- this looks super delicious. I'll definitely need to try this out over the weekend!

  15. I had a similar moment at a book club meeting last week when I thought the pumpkin hot chocolate would be worth it and then my body decided that if I was in charge it was going to mutiny. Now I have a safe alternative. Thanks!


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