Friday, September 16, 2011

Pumpkin Chai Spice Frappuccino

I haven't had a Chai or Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino from Starbucks for over two years.  I used to drink them on occasion before I switched to a vegan diet and never ever gave it a second thought as to how many grams of sugar they contained.  Did you know that a tall 12oz Pumpkin Spice has 47g of sugar!  My recipe is a little better coming in at about 25g for 16oz.  However, mine contains real pumpkin puree.  It is a little high in fat because of the cashew milk (about 7.5g fat) per 8oz, but as long as you share it with someone else, (which might be hard to do), it's a lot healthier for you than a soy frappuccino at Starbucks.

Now, you don't need a Vita-Mix to make this recipe, any blender will do.  But I finally broke down and purchased a Vita-Mix two weeks ago.  I've wanted one for years, but couldn't justify the huge price tag.  I still have a hard spending so much for a blender, but I use it everyday to make my own almond milk, green smoothies, sauces, and I made a strawberry-lime sorbet in 2 minutes.   That's pretty amazing that a blender can do that!  Anyway, I'm really happy with it so far and I know that I'll get a lot of use out of for many years to come.  

Pumpkin Chai Spice Ingredients:
(Serves 1 or 2)

1/2 cup almond milk (look for low sugar brand or make your own)
1 cup cashew milk (see recipe below)
1 black tea bag, steeped for 15 minutes
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon, steeped
1/2 tsp ground ginger, steeped
1/4 tsp ground cardamon, steeped
1/4 tsp ground cloves, steeped
3 tbsp organic 100% pure pumpkin puree
1 tbsp agave syrup, or more depending on taste
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 cups ice

  • In a small sauce pan, heat almond milk to scalding, remove from heat, add tea bag and spices, cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
  • Strain mixture into blender, pressing with a spoon so that most of the spices go into the blender.
  • Add cashew milk, pumpkin puree, agave syrup, salt and ice and blend on high until smooth.
  • Garnish with sifted cinnamon, and cashew cream (optional) see below.
Cashew Milk:

1 cup cashews, soaked for four hours or overnight
6 pitted dates
3 cups filtered water
Note:  You will have cashew milk left over.  You can use it for breakfast in place of almond, soy or rice milk.  I used less water in this recipe to give the frapp a creamier texture.  If you want to use the cashew milk for other recipes, you can add water to thin it out a bit.

  • Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  If using a high-speed blender you don't have to strain the milk.  If using a regular blender, strain the mixture to remove solids.
Sweetened Cashew Cream:

1/2 cup cashews, soaked for four hours
3/4- 1 cup cashew milk
2 tbsp agave syrup

  • Add ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before using to thicken further.

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