I can’t bear the idea of tasting the pumpkin lattes I see in the cafes and coffee shops. I like my pumpkin as pudding, muffins, and pies, but not with my espresso. Until this morning that is, when I added some of the Pumpkin Spiced Nut Milk I made yesterday to my espresso. Who knew?
And so now, I am sipping a very tasty and not-too-sweet Pumpkin Espresso Latte (very carefully, near my computer) as I write this post.
I learned a few unexpected things while thinking up and testing this rather simple couple of recipes, and I’ll talk about them in my newsletter on Friday. Turns out there are significant differences between date sugar, date sugar paste, and date paste made from whole dates.
But today, on World Vegan Day, I am here to introduce you to my Pumpkin Spiced Nut Milk. I have included baseline amounts of spices for you to start with, but know that as the Pumpkin Spiced Nut Milk mixes in the blender or cooks in a saucepan on the stove, you should taste and adjust the add-ins slowly until you have a beverage that tastes best to you! (Yes you do see the pits on the tray. I always want to make sure I know how many I used.)
This is a 1-2-3 recipe but you know me… explain, explain, explain, explain.
Fruit pastes not only offer sweetness and flavor, but also the nutrients from the dried, whole fruits. Some of these nutrients, such as chromium and fiber, are said to help the body process sugar more effectively to keep blood sugar steadier and more balanced. But remember, dried fruits are still calorie dense and sweet! This is especially true of dates.
Sure I keep cartons of nut milk in my pantry for convenience, but more often these days, I make my own, both for reduced cost and higherquality, as nut milks made without stabilizers and sugar sell for up to $7.00 per container! DIY is easy, and cost efficient. Use a high-speed blender and a nut milk bag or cheesecloth lined fine mesh strainer. I spread the pulp left from the milk out on parchment lined sheet pan, bake in 350°F oven and store as add into cereal.
Almonds contain manganese and B vitamins, Vitamin E and fiber for lowering cholesterol and moderating digestion plus calcium for bone and heart health. Cashews, which are slightly sweet and rich, contain magnesium and good fats for heart health. Brazil Nuts contain selenium, which protects joints and protects cells from damage
The Timeline for the Pumpkin Spiced Nut Milk
- Soak the rinsed nuts – all together in one container is fine. Remember, the soaking water for the nuts is discarded and fresh water is used to make the nut milk. Do this overnight for convenience.
- Soak the dates, and when softened, remove the pits. Its easier to remove the pits first before soaking but my Halwai dates were purchased at the Hollywood Farmers market many months ago, and they were too hard to pit, pre-soaking was necessary. Use your choice of dates. Do this overnight for convenience. Blender puree the soaked dates in the soaking water, adding more as needed. (Tip: You could of course save washing the container by making the nut milk right after you make the date paste—dates paste will be added here. To keep the milk unsweetened, rinse the container.)
- Measure out the spices and keep the containers at hand so that it’s easy to make more.
- Measure the pumpkin (or squash) puree, fresh or canned or from a container. Refrigerate the rest and make pumpkin muffins.
Following you will find the recipes, which are components to making the very tasty, whether served hot or cold, Spiced Pumkin Milk. I would love to know how you would serve this, and what else you might make with it – a pudding, or sauce, or a coffee drink. Please let me know! Leave a comment and a random winner of a bag of date sugar will come your way. (U.S. residents only.)
Mixed Nut Milk
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup raw skin on almonds
- 4 brazil nuts
- 2 cups filtered water
- pinch sea salt, optional
Rinse the nuts in a strainer, and then put into a container, large enough to hold them and water to cover by 2-3 inches.
Drain and add to blender container.
Add 2 cups water and the optional pinch of salt.
Blend until smooth.
Pour into a nut milk bag set over a bowl or large measuring cup and milk the nuts: squeeze the milk from the nut pulp, until no more liquid is left. Refrigerate the nut milk in a clean jar until needed.
Fruit pastes are made by soaking dried fruit in water, sometimes with spices or citrus, and then pureeing the thick or thinner mixture until smooth. Commonly made from dried dates, figs, apricots, or mangoes, fruit pastes are staple ingredients for a plant-based diet.
- 1/2 cup 2 1/2 ounces dried dates
- 1 cup water
Soak the dates until very soft.
Drain, saving the soaking water. Add to blender container.
Add the soaking water (start with 1/2 cup).
Blend until the paste is smooth and no skins are visible. Add more water as needed.
Refrigerate in covered container for up to 3 weeks.
Tip: Add more water to the blender container and run on high to rinse and capture the date paste that is in the container. Refrigerate and use as a light sweetener.
Pumpkin Spiced Nut Milk
- 3/4 cup Mixed Nut Milk
- 1/4 cup Date paste
- 1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice purchased or homemade
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, grated, fresh, more for topping
- 1/8 teaspoon tumeric powder, optional
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, optional
Either blend everything together in container of blender until thoroughy combined or cook on stovetop over medium heat, whisking until hot. Remember nut milks thicken.