Gingerbread Lattes, Peppermint Mochas: The Festive Fuel

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I’m not, by and large, a big fan of seasonal Starbucks drinks.  That being said, I’m not a big fan of Starbucks.  Something happens, however, when they release those red cups.  I just want a ridiculous piece of the consumer cuteness.  They suck me in, I’m weak in the face of advertising.  At least I know it, right? Sure, keep thinking that Emilia.

What about you?  Do you like those red cups and festive drinks?

Whether or not you stop by once a week for a white chocolate mocha or steer clear of everything green mermaid related, I think we can all agree that these drinks aren’t suited for regular consumption.  Do you really need all the sugar from their flavored syrups and all the milk they use?  Probably not.  Luckily, it couldn’t be easier to make some top-notch flavored lattes at home with fresher tastes and less sugar.  They’re so good that even die-hard coffee lovers might find themselves coming over to the sweet side.  I’ve made this trio so far and I couldn’t be happier with the results.  One is of my own creation and the other two are recipes I’ve found on blogs.  Take a break to make one or all of them this weekend and be sure to share them with someone you love!

This pumpkin spice latte from Eating Bird Food is to die for.  It has the perfect ratio of spices, sweetness, pumpkin and coffee, which is highly rare in the pumpkin spice latte recipes that circle around the internet!  Not to mention, it doesn’t ask you to make any simple syrup, you don’t even need to use sugar.  Okay, so this might tickle your fall tastebuds a bit more than your Christmas ones, but I’m pretty sure you have a can of pumpkin lurking in your cabinet left over from Thanksgiving festivities.  Besides, squash doesn’t really come into season until the winter, so it is quite timely.

The gingerbread latte from Chocolate Covered Katie actually started my flavored latte obsession this year.  Huge, sweet and spicy, it’s a perfect holiday indulgence!  I’m the kind of person who will have this along with a little baked oatmeal for breakfast and be in a fit of smiles for the rest of the day.  Perfect for opening gifts on Christmas morning, wrapping presents or writing Christmas cards and much less of a sugar-bomb than the version from Sbucks.

For those who prefer a little chocolate with their coffee, here is my personal peppermint mocha recipe.  No sugar or peppermint extract required!

Emilia’s Peppermint Mocha

serves one

Coffee – ground for your brewing preference

1 mint tea bag

1 and 1/2 Tablespoons coco powder

2-3 drops stevia (or a little less than 1 Tablespoon sugar)

1/2 cup almond milk (or your favorite type of milk)

Cut open the mint tea bag and combine it with the coffee grinds.  Brew your coffee.

Combine milk, coco powder and sweetener either in a small saucepan over low heat or in a microwave.  If you combine it in a saucepan, heat for about 2 minutes.  If you combine it in the microwave, heat for thirty seconds, stir and then heat again.  Add brewed coffee to the coco powder/milk mixture and heat until desired (I’d say either 20 more seconds in the microwave or a minute on the stovetop).  Pour into a festive mug and enjoy!

Now all I have to do is try and make an eggnog latte.  Unfortunately, I am only kind of joking.  Any recipe suggestions?

Do you enjoy flavored lattes?  If you do, which is your favorite kind?  If you don’t, is there a festive drink you prefer?

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