I know many of you may be thinking “Pumpkin chai tea lattes, now? I think you missed the boat on that.” And you may be right. I have missed the general time frame when people share pumpkin recipes. However, there are a couple of reasons why I’m doing so now.
One, when I was still able to partake in Starbuck’s “frou-frou” drinks, I was always really bummed when they were no longer selling my favorite seasonal beverages. I wished that I could make them myself so I could have them whenever I wanted. Well, wish granted.
Two, this is not a seasonal drink for me. It is a replacement for other hot drinks that I can no longer have (hot chocolate and occasionally coffee). And when it is cold, I often want something more substantial than tea. That want is often magnified when other people are sipping on hot chocolate or when I catch a scent of coffee.
Three. Well, sugar pie pumpkins are still available at my grocery store, which means I’m still buying them. So there.
I started to experiment with this recipe after being hospitalized.
After my return from the hospital, I was once again on an elimination diet. I began slowly adding foods back into my daily life while evaluating my needs and wants. Nothing demonstrates the constant battle between what I need and what I want more than one rainy day in October.
My mother and sister were sitting in chairs sipping on hot chocolate while watching whatever Halloween movie was on. And I was so jealous. I wanted something more substantial than hot tea to sip on and relax. I love tea but it does not have the same feel as coffee or other hot drinks. Drinking a coffee sometimes makes me feel like I’m having a meal, with the thick savory aroma wafting in my face and the richness of the flavor exploding on my tongue.
Because of the season, I began looking at pumpkin drink recipes and found some that fit with my SCD diet. The only problem was that they all had ingredients that I couldn’t handle because I was not yet far enough along in my healing process. I may want to have a Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte made with thick and creamy full fat coconut milk. But I knew I wasn’t ready. For me, coconut milk takes a little more effort to digest. This forced me to begin to think of ways that I could have what I wanted while still putting what I needed first. This is a recipe that grew out of dreaming of a thick, hot, and creamy drink that fills me up. I also ended up liking it better than the ones I tried making with coconut milk once I was better, so everything worked out all right.
You can use canned pumpkin or a freshly pureed sugar pie pumpkin. To use fresh pumpkin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the stringy fibers and the seeds.
Place the pumpkin halves face down on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for 40 minutes or until you can insert a fork into the skin. Take the pumpkin halves out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
Scoop out the pumpkin flesh (don’t get any of the skin) and put it into a food processor or blender. Pulse/blend until smooth. You can store it in the fridge in an air tight container or freeze it. Be happy. Now you have a ready supply of pumpkin for all sorts of creations.
Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat and place the tea bag in. Steep for 2 minutes and then take the tea bag out. I use regular old Lipton Black Tea because it is kind of plain and does not overpower the chai masala spices.
And now we come to the difficult part. I’m really picky about chai. The only way I really like it is when actual spices are added to the tea. I had a really difficult time choosing which spices to add to my mix (black peppercorns, red peppercorns, freshly ground black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, star of anise, etc.). Whole spices or ground spices? It was all too confusing.
Then I came across this one post by the blogger The Hathi Cooks and I was sold (http://thehathicooks.blogspot.com/2011/11/how-to-make-best-chai-ever.html). Her recipe for chai masala was massive (I was able to fill a whole 32 ounce mason jar full of the mix) and uses all ground spices. I like the ground spice option because it is easier to make small, one cup batches of chai.
I also liked how big the recipe was because I now have an endless supply of chai masala to use expressly for making Pumpkin Chai Tea Lattes. Once I mixed all of the spices I had to tweak it a bit to my own tastes. There was a little bit too much pepper and not enough cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. I just kept adding my favorite spices until the balance was where I liked it.
So you can choose to make her version of chai masala and then tweak it to your tastes. Or if you don’t want to mix your own, you can buy chai masala mixes in some stores and online. I don’t buy them because a lot of brands don’t disclose all of the ingredients and ones that do often have crystallized ginger in them, which has sugar. Mountain Rose Herbs does have two whole spice blends that are SCD safe. If you end up using a blend that contains whole spices, I would follow their brewing instructions (example: brew 5-10 minutes for every 8 ounces of water), add the honey and pumpkin pie spice mix, and then follow the rest of the instructions for the Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte.
Add 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 teaspoon chai masala spice mix, and 2 shakes pumpkin pie spice mix. Bring to a boil (slowly) on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Keep at a boil for a few seconds and then turn the burner off.
Pour into a high speed blender. Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and yogurt or french cream. Blend on high until steam starts to escape from the top of the lid, about 2 minutes.
Pour into cups and enjoy. The pepper and other spices in the chai masala blend perfectly with the pumpkin and heat you up from the inside out. This drink is definitely a desert on its own. No pastries or pies required. Serving wise, it can be split between two people for a medium-small sized drink or one person can be selfish and greedy (umm….me) and have it all to themselves.
Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte
- 2 cups water
- 1 tea bag I use regular Lipton Black Tea
- 1/4 teaspoon chai masala mix
- 2 shakes pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon SCD yogurt or SCD french cream
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat and place the tea bag in. Steep for 2 minutes and then take the tea bag out.
- Add 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 teaspoon chai masala spice mix, and 2 shakes pumpkin pie spice mix. Bring to a boil (slowly) on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Keep at a boil for a few seconds and then turn the burner off.
- Pour into a high speed blender. Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and yogurt or french cream. Blend on high until steam starts to escape from the top of the lid, about 2 minutes. Pour into cups and enjoy.