There's nothing like holding a steaming cup of pumpkin spice latte as the seasons change and the leaves begin to fall off the tree. And for me, there's nothing like sipping a pumpkin spice latte ANY time of the year because they're just so darn good.
I love pumpkin spice lattes but since caffeine doesn't always sit well with me, I wanted to try another version with my favorite form of caffeine... chai! It still gives my body a nice little boost but without the jittery buzz and sometimes nausea the caffeine in coffee gives me. This version also has plenty of healthy fats to keep your blood sugar stable, and is naturally sweetened with honey instead of refined sugars. And did I mention it tastes delicious and is easy to make?!
But don't worry, if caffeine is your friend, you can easily swap out the chai tea for coffee to make a more traditional version at home. Either way, making it at home will save you a good chunk of $, and gives you control over all your ingredients.
DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice
If you don't have pumpkin pie spice on hand, try making your own! Sometimes I'm unable to find it in stores, so I've had to make this from time to time. It's as easy as mixing all your spices together and stashing it in a glass jar. If I'm going to be getting all my spices out, I like to go ahead and make a big batch so I'll have enough for the following days and future recipes too.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Ingredients
3 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
Black pepper, dash (optional)
Pumpkin Pie Spice Directions
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an air-tight container.
Having said that, an even easier solution, if you don't have any pumpkin pie spice on hand, is to simply swap it out with all cinnamon. It still gives it that fall spiced flavor but saves you the hassle of having to make your own batch.
Key PSL Ingredients and Substitutions
Thankfully, the ingredients are simple and you probably already have all of them in your cupboards. This is what you'll need:
Chai Tea: This is clearly the key to this recipe as it's all about swapping out the coffee for an alternative. But if coffee is your jam, feel free to swap it in! I have it both ways and love both options equally. I do love the flavor of chai. In fact, 50/50 would be a great option too!
Coconut Milk: I like coconut milk in this because it's super creamy and it's easier to find without a bunch of gums and thickeners. I use this brand with the label "simple" because it doesn't have any whatsoever.
Honey: Don't have honey? Switch it out for maple syrup. Keep in mind that honey is sweeter than maple syrup so you'll need more maple syrup to get a similar level of sweetness. I think 2 tablespoons would be about right.
Pumpkin: It wouldn't be a pumpkin latte if it didn't actually have pumpkin in it! I still find it hard to believe (and sad) that the Starbucks version didn't have any pumpkin in their version for the longest time. This version definitely has pumpkin! Just be sure to use pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling.
Pumpkin Pie Spice: Add this spice to really bring out the seasonal flavor. Feel free to swap it out for cinnamon if you prefer and if you don't have the blend in your spice drawer, try making it yourself! Recipe above.
How to Make Pumpkin Chai Spice Latte
It couldn't be easier to make this at-home version although it'll be a little different simply because its base is tea and not espresso (or coffee).
Start by brewing your tea for approximately five minutes. Everyone likes to brew their tea differently, and even I have a few different methods based on what I'm in the mood for. The simplest method is to boil water and add it to your mug with a chai tea bag inside. If you do this, I recommend covering the top of the mug with a plate or something similar to lock all the flavors in. What I prefer to do most often is brew loose leaf tea in a teapot like this one.
Once your tea is brewed, add all ingredients to a saucepan over medium-high heat and warm up until the desired temperature is reached and stir to combine. Pour into your mug and enjoy!
Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. You may want a little more honey if you're a fan of the Starbucks variation. If the pumpkin separates, simply give your latte a quick stir to incorporate the ingredients back together.
And don't forget to enjoy it with my Paleo Pumpkin Bread!