Maple Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Vegetarian • Gluten free • Makes 14 cups
3/4 cup Pumpkin, canned plain
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/3 tbsp Pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp Vanilla
4 cups Espresso or very strong coffee
1/2 gal Milk
Combine, cover, & cook. Add everything to a slow cooker, whisk it together, and cook on high for 2-3 hours. This makes 14 cups. I make it in a 6-1/2 qt Crock Pot. If your slow cooker isn’t big enough, you can make a smaller batch or cook it in a large pot on the stove. On the stove top, heat it at a low setting so the milk doesn’t scorch. Whether in the slow cooker or on top of the stove, it needs to cook awhile to mull the flavors.
Note about the pumpkin: Some of the pumpkin dissolves into the liquid and flavors it throughout, but some pumpkin will remain undissolved and settle into the bottom of the cooker. I prefer to ladle my latte’s off of the top, leaving the pumpkin in the cooker. But that’s up to you. If you want the actual pumpkin in your mug and not just the flavor, stir the mixture and dip from the bottom when you serve up a cup.
A FEW TIPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS:
- To brew espresso strength coffee for this recipe, in a drip coffeemaker use 1.5 cups ground coffee to 4 measuring cups of water. Or, use a cold-brew coffee concentrate; see my post on making iced coffee to learn how to make cold-brew concentrate.
- To make your own pumpkin pie spice mix, it’s easy to combine the spices from your pantry.
- For an iced latte, after cooking to mull the flavors, chill in refrigerator and serve over ice.
- To make it caffeine-free, substitute decaf coffee or espresso.
- To make it sugar free, substitute your favorite sugar substitute for the maple syrup.
- Don’t like maple? Substitute brown sugar for the maple syrup.
- Spike it with a shot of rum in each mug before adding the hot latte mixture.
- Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle top with cinnamon or nutmeg, garnish with a cinnamon stick. (all of these are optional)
- Have leftovers? Refrigerate the leftovers and reheat them later. You can even reheat these latte’s a cup at a time in the microwave.
- To make Spiced Mocha Lattes. Same recipe, except omit the pumpkin, add 1 cup cocoa powder (or more, to taste). If not sweet enough, add some sugar or honey.
So I sound this recipe on Pinterest this morning and figured this would be great to share.
A Slip, Not a Slide
How to stop (and reverse!) small weight gains that can nudge you away from your goals. Zap small weight gains and get back to losing.
No one likes seeing the scale go up instead of down, especially when you’re not sure why it’s happened. But that’s life. When you’ve had a small weight gain, particularly if it’s happened at a few recent weigh-ins, follow these steps to stop that little creep in its track!
- What’s different? Think about the past couple of weeks: home, work, family, travel, health, special events, exercise routines. Did your work schedule change? Were you hosting out of town visitors? Did family issues crop up? Note anything that veered away from “the usual.” Sometimes, the answer is “nothing I can think of” – snd that’s ok. See “Home on the (weight) range,” right. What’s different?
- Pinpoint a possible weight link. How did this change in routine play out? For instance, having houseguests can mean elaborate and points plus heavy meals, and sitting around chatting. Or if you were feeling low, you ate more “comfort” foods. How might it have triggered a gain?
- Plan your comeback! How can you adjust for the change(s), get back on track, and keep your slap from turning into a slide? If you’ve said “so long” to your guests, dial down the rich food in favor of salads and simple grilled dishes. Next time you host, plan more activities; for example, book time at a local tennis court instead of a restaurant table. What is your plan?
- Go with what’s worked before. Along with ditching unhelpful actions, do what does help: restart an exercise routine. Get more sleep. Shop the perimeter of the supermarket. Remember, going back to basics – tracking, attending your meetings, measuring food – works, too. What are your go to moves?
Home on the (weight) range. Sometimes it’s not clear why you’ve gained – weight fluctuates from day to day, even hour to hour. To keep yourself from going nuts when your weight isn’t where you want it to be, it can help to set a steady weight range of 3 to 5 pounds instead of a single number. Then you can live with those who know why weight gains and losses (while keeping tabs on your progress) and make small corrections if your weight strays outside that range.