So I may be a basic white girl–living out the very first reason–but I don’t care. As I was explaining to Katie of Veggie and the Beast, whoever wrote that article simply does not comprehend the glory that is fall. They’re just jealous, because they’re vegan and can’t have pumpkin spice lattes and they don’t look cute in scarves. Hmph.
Channeling a little Regina George and, representing “basic white girls” everywhere who love fall for damn good reason, I just want to know… why are you so obsessed with me?
Defensiveness aside, if you’re reading this post, it’s because you get it. You get how brilliant pumpkin and their spices mingle with fresh espresso, how sipping a pumpkin spice latte amidst that first crisp breeze feels like total relief from the oppressive summer heat and humidity, how combos like yoga pants and knee-high boots are soon to follow.
The only trouble is.. if you’re vegan, there are no pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks in your near future. Starbucks includes milk products in the syrup, so there’s really no soy-ing around that problem. That was, until, I developed the vegan and refined-sugar-free pumpkin spice latte.
Enough basic white girls gifs for one post? Duly noted.
I was pretty amazed at how beautifully this recipe actually came out, and I can’t possibly imagine going back to the $4.76 monster from Starbucks. Instead, I’m content to sit at home on my new porch (thanks, honey!), sipping away on my way-less-than-a-buck concoction, feeling guilty about neither the nutritional yield of the ingredients nor the ethics in question.
There’s just a smidge of pumpkin in the syrup, giving it that gorgeous color and pumpkin taste without overpowering the mixture in its texture. The spices are simmered just long enough to infuse the syrup with their dreamy aromas and cozy warmness. I used a nut milk bag to strain the syrup since cinnamon isn’t water-soluble and would otherwise sort of always float around in your latte. That’s fine, if that’s what you’re into, but I recommend straining the syrup thoroughly with either a nut milk bag or a couple layers of cheesecloth.
When it’s finished, the syrup is actually incredible versatile and works well with a smidge of almond milk in your morning coffee or even as a major component in some vegan ice cream (working on that recipe, you fine people!). The agave is so versatile on its own, without any overpowering flavors, that I loved having a batch on hand.
You don’t need a fancy espresso machine for this–a stovetop percolator will work just fine–that’s what I use–or you could even go with strongly brewed coffee instead, if you’re not illin’ for a caffeine fix (like moi). Either way, just make it. I’m serious. Your life.. changed. You basic white girl, you.
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte
Combine all syrup ingredients in a medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain very well, using a nut milk bag or cheesecloth. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
To make latte: Froth milk with frother or do manually: heat almond milk over medium heat. Whisk vigorously until milk is foamy. Pour espresso into serving mug and stir in about 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice syrup, less or more to taste based on how sweet you like your espresso drinks. Pour milk into mug, holding foam back with spoon. Spoon foam over latte and sprinkle with cinnamon to serve, optional.