November is pumpkin month! That means it is now officially acceptable to incorporate pumpkins into everything we make and do. Finally!
A bit about pumpkins: Pumpkins are members of the cucurbit (gourd) family, their siblings being squash, cucumbers, and melons. Although there are only four main species in the cucurbit family, there are hundreds of varieties, and each can vary in terms of color, size, shape, texture, and taste. That’s one of the reasons why decorating with pumpkins is so fun!
Pumpkins look great on a porch, but perhaps we love them best served at the table. And these orange beauties are good for you! (Wish we could say the same about pumpkin pie!) They’re high in fiber, protein, iron, B-vitamins, and beta-cerotene, and low in calories and sodium. And their vibrant color makes for lovely pies, cakes, and soups. Nothing says fall like a pumpkin.
Today we’re sharing one of our favorite drink recipes: a pumpkin spice latte! All you need is coffee, cream, and this simple syrup, and you’ll be as happy as a Hogwarts student sipping his pumpkin juice.
Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 heaping tablespoons cooked pumpkin (or pumpkin puree)
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 of a nutmeg
5 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Why not use ground spices? You can, of course, but I find that when I use fresh or whole, my simple syrups have a stronger flavor and don’t have spices that sink to the bottom! But if needed, use ground cinnamon (1 t), ginger (1 t), nutmeg (1 t), and clove (1/4 t). It’s still great!
Stir the water and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves, mix in the pumpkin and ginger (you can even muddle a bit for strong flavor), then add everything else. Bring up to a boil, then immediately turn down and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat, add the vanilla, and let it all steep for ten minutes. Strain the syrup once or twice, and it’s ready! Keep refrigerated.
To make your Pumpkin Spice Latte, froth 1/2 cup of milk and add a shot of espresso (or strong coffee) and 1 teaspoon of your simple syrup. (Taste and add more if desired.) Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Beautiful!
What is the pumpkin recipe you always look forward to making? Please share!