Monday, October 22, 2012

A Taste of Fall: Pumpkin Pie Spiced Lat-tea (dairy, gluten, coffee free ;)

Just a quick note before I begin here.  Delete the tea bags from this recipe and this would make an awesome coffee creamer for your daily cup of joe or you could also omit the tea bags and add this stuff as one kicking creamer for your daily tea.  I just thought it added a little something something to the recipe to steep the tea directly in the lends such a wonderful richness to the final product.  The mix I'd give a week in the fridge tops, though, so be sure to make only as much as you think you'll use relatively quickly :).  Whatever you decide to do, though, enjoy it!

So, the other day, while contemplating missing some fancy coffee drinks like pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks once a year (I was too cheap to do more than that *laugh*), I starting missing coffee.  A lot.  See, one thing that I've had to pull out of my diet completely the last little bit and haven't been able to re-introduce with any degree of success has been my beloved coffee.  How a beverage that I used to drink about 3 cups a day would turn on my poor stomach so terribly somehow seemed more tragic than the loss of gluten to my daily consumption.

While I do like tea and have gained an appreciation for a variety of teas, I still miss those fancy coffeehouse drinks that I'd get once in a while as a treat.  So, the other night I started thinking of ways to give myself that "treat" while at the same time being kind to my stomach AND my checkbook.

And I came up with this recipe.  And it is yummy.  You can even make up as much of the lat-tea (as I'm liking to call it) mix ahead of time, refrigerate it and make it into a frappe type of application the next day (read on as to how).  It's awesome.  And it tastes so good you won't even miss those fancy coffee house drinks.   Least it fills that gap for me.  And hey, I know exactly what's in it without any corn syrup touching the stuff.  Got to love that!

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Lat-tea (dairy, gluten, coffee free ;)
  • 2 Black Tea Bags (I used Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea) or plain tea of choice
  • 2 cups vanilla flavored coconut milk (I used Silk brand), divided
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp. cinnamon with a pinch of ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves)
  • 1 to 2 TBS honey (depending how sweet you like it)
  • Small pinch of salt
1.  Whisk 1 1/2 cups coconut milk with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, salt and honey in a medium saucepan. 
2.  Bring to a boil slowly while whisking occasionally to completely dissolve honey. 

3.  Add tea bags (be sure to cut them loose if they have strings attached to make your life easier) to milk mixture and lower heat to simmer.  Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes (depending how strong you like your tea).

4.  Fish out tea bags and add last 1/2 cup of coconut milk.  Whisk to combine everything and either pour into a large mug (if you're me) or two standard mugs and enjoy or cool mixture and make Pumpkin Pie Tea Smoothie.

Note:  If you like a super smooth texture to your drinks, you can run the final product through a wire mesh strainer and/or some cheesecloth to remove any odd sized pumpkin puree bits.  I don't mind them, but I just wanted to warn you ahead of time.

Pumpkin Pie Tea Smoothie (this is actually my fave of the two ways to drink this)

1.  Take above recipe for Pumpkin Pie Spiced Lat-tea.  Place in fridge until cold (I just put mine in the fridge overnight).

2.  Run mixture through a wire mesh strainer to remove large pumpkin bits (you could also use cheesecloth if you want a really smooth texture to the smoothie).

3.  Pour now strained mixture in you favorite handy dandy blender (that can handle making icy drinks).  Place 1 to 1 1/2 cups of ice cubes in blender with the Lat-tea mix.  Puree until smoothie texture is reached.

You could top this with your whipped topping of choice, but I like mine without anything added to it.  It's so refreshing and just out and out yummy that it's become one of my favorite go-to drinks right now :).


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