Sometimes I come across an ingredient that can be transformed into several dishes. That was the case with a small pumpkin I picked up at the market. No bigger than a cantaloupe, this tiny squash was very useful in making my mornings a bit brighter with pumpkin spice coffee and pumpkin granola. It even produced a little snack of pumpkin seeds that I inhaled while meal prepping for the week. I roast all of my squash seeds and talked about it back in 2011 here.

Photo by Crystal Grobe

As for the pumpkin itself, after scooping out the seeds and membranes, I put the halves cut-side down on a baking sheet and roasted at 375 for 25-30 minutes until tender. Once cooled, I scooped out the inside flesh and pureed it until it was smooth, which resulted in exactly 1 ½ cups of pumpkin puree, just what I needed for the pumpkin spice coffee and pumpkin granola.

I’ve never been huge into coffee shop specialty drinks since they are usually packed with sugar and void of actual coffee. If you’ve ever looked up the nutritional value on those specialty drinks, this does not come as a surprise. So, year after year, I take matters into my own hands and create something I’ll actually enjoy, like this Pumpkin Spice Coffee. Using a recipe from The Kitchn, I pulled together the basic flavors and adjusted it to my liking with less sugar, less vanilla extract (that stuff is expensive!), and easy-to-integrate into brewed coffee since I don’t have an espresso maker.

First, I pulled together the ingredients:

Photo by Crystal Grobe

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup sugar

Next, I stirred the ingredients together over medium heat to cook out the raw pumpkin flavor and dissolve the sugar.

Lastly, I stirred in ¼ cup vanilla extract and transferred the mixture to a glass mason jar to store in the fridge.

In the morning I warmed ¼ cup cashew milk and blended it with a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin spice coffee mixture before adding it to my mug of hot coffee. Off to work I went, relishing in the comforting aroma of pumpkin spice and hot coffee.

Photo by Crystal Grobe

See you next week when I talk about how I used the remaining cup of pumpkin puree in pumpkin granola.

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