Recipe: Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte

Last weekend, Rob and I shared some delicious mussels that were served in a bowl of the most beautiful blue cheese broth and topped with juicy chunks of pancetta and caramelized onions. They were amazing. Sure I'm allergic to lactose, I thought as I shoved them into my face, but this will be worth it

Not worth it. 

Fast forward to the next morning, where I am waking up with what I have recently begun referring to as a "dairy headache." The room was spinning, I felt nauseated, and I actually ended up leaving brunch before our food even got to the table. That's it--I am never having dairy again, I thought as I walked back to Rob's apartment to take a nap.

But then fall happened. All week it rained and was chilly, and I wanted a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, dammit! The truth is that I don't actually even like Pumpkin Spice Lattes (they taste like a bad seasonal candle to me); in my dairy days I was actually more of a Salted Caramel Mocha girl. But when summer ends and the weather and leaves begin to turn, I want something pumpkin just like everyone else and their mother on Twitter. 

Last night, I made a Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte. It's not a big deal or anything, except that it totally is, because it's delicious and doesn't have any milk or sugar or questionable syrups in it, and therefore isn't going to make me sick. 

Amen I say to you, fall can happen for real now.

This recipe was inspired by Java Java Cafe in Charlottesville, Virginia. They make a killer Pumpkin Pie Latte with canned pumpkin and sugar instead of "Pumpkin Spice" syrup. I always thought that was clever. And delicious. 
(Hi Bahar, Masood, and Anita! Miss you guys.)

Makes at least two drinks.
5.46 (yep, that's real) ounces of canned coconut milk
4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin (I just put the rest in a Tupperware)
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
A tiny dash of ginger
(Feel free to add more or less of something if you really love or hate one of these spices)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
An ounce or two of regular unsweetened coconut milk (in a carton)

A shot or two of espresso or some strongly-brewed coffee

1. Open your tiny can of coconut milk. Put a spoon under the thick part and pour the liquid underneath into a bowl. That's what you're using for your latte. The thick part will be whipped cream later, so put it in a separate bowl.
2. Mix everything except for the coconut milk in the carton together in a bowl and stir them up.
3. Once all the spices are incorporated into the pumpkin, add a few splashes of coconut milk from a carton to the mixture until it seems more liquid than thick. Heat up on the stove while you make some espresso or strongly-brewed coffee.
4. Take the bowl with the thick portion of canned coconut milk and whisk it up with a bit more vanilla and agave.
5. Fill a mug halfway with coffee and add the pumpkin mixture from the stove. Stir it--this stuff separates. Don't get freaked out.
6. Add a few dollops of the coconut cream and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.