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Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie Bowl

The truth is, I’ve never had a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. I’m not really into drinking diabetes with my coffee, nor am I into going broke by being double charged for almond milk. Seriously, can someone start a change.org petition to prevent coffee shops from charging extra for non-dairy milk?

See, the standard price of the drink already includes the cost of cow’s milk, but you don’t get that cow’s milk even though you’re paying for it. On top of that, you pay $.60 for the almond milk that you do get. The net result is that you’re being charged twice for something you only get once.

It’s like going to the grocery store and buying a carton of almond milk, but the checker charges you for a carton of cow’s milk and then a carton of almond milk and you’re expected to pay for both even though you only get one. Why are people not rioting about things like this?

Sorry, what were we talking about? Oh, pumpkin spice latte smoothie bowls! This recipe is exactly what it sounds like – equal parts pumpkin spice latte (milk, coffee, pumpkin spice) + a smoothie bowl with banana, chia, rolled oats and more for a complete nutritious breakfast that has the same caffeine as a full cup of coffee.

If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you know that I *really* like to put caffeine right into breakfast foods. There are almost too many examples to count, from matcha muffins to matcha chia pudding, to mocha bran muffins, pancakes, and more.

This was actually a really difficult recipe to develop. It seemed so simple going into it, but my first attempts were quite bland and bitter from the overpowering coffee and spices. I kept working at it, though, and the addition of cashews added some much-needed creaminess, a few dashes of salt boosted all the good flavors, and stevia rounded out the sweetness without adding extra sugar. Please don’t leave anything out of this one, every ingredient has its purpose! 🙂

Makes: 1-2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 frozen bananas
  • 6 oz almond milk
  • 1 packet Starbucks Via
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 serving stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 dashes of salt
  • Coconut whipped cream (for garnish, below)
  • pumpkin seeds, for garnish

Step One: Blend

As with most smoothie bowls, the best part about this one is how easy it is to make. Simply add all the ingredients (minus the last two garnishes) to a blender and blend on high until totally smooth. However, here’s a few notes for best results:

  • You’ll want to use a high-powered blender like a Vitamix in order to fully blend the cashews. If that’s not available, soak the cashews for an hour ahead of time
  • I used Starbucks Via (instant powdered coffee) because it’s so easy to add the coffee flavor without adjusting the liquid. However, you can also use a double shot of espresso and reduce the almond milk.
  • The amount of almond milk to add depends on the consistency you’re going for. If you want it really thick, start with 5-6 oz and add more if needed. You could add 8+ and drink it like a smoothie. Keep in mind: it will thicken as it chills.
  • If it was up to me, I’d probably leave out the maple syrup, as there is already sugar from the banana, but it will be more bitter with the coffee and spices, so feel free to adjust that to taste.

Step Two: Chill

This smoothie bowl can be eaten as-is right out of the blender, but because the chia seeds and oats will gel and absorb water (even after being blended) it definitely benefits from an hour of being chilled. Blended cashews, too, seem to get creamier after chilling. Give this an hour in the fridge if possible, or simply make the night before and store in sealed mason jars.

Step Three: Garnish

Judging by Instagram, garnishes seem to be the most important part of smoothie bowls. Invest as much time here as your inner #smoothiebowlartist needs. If you’re very insecure like me and judge your worthiness in life by the number of likes you get, this process could take most of your day.

For the optimal ego boost, add pumpkin seeds because they are both an homage to the pumpkin spice, and because they’re really crunchy/tasty. You can also add chia seeds or rolled oats (but make sure to lay them down in *perfect* rings around the center), and definitely a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. BUT, to really go viral, you gotta add some coconut whipped cream…

I wrote a whole coconut whipped cream recipe years ago, so check that out if you’re interested, but you simply take the fat layer from a can of coconut milk, whisk it until fluffy and voila – whipped cream. It pairs perfectly with this smoothie bowl and looks like a clever dollop of whipped cream on a latte.

P.S. yes, my pumpkin does have a bunch googly eyes.

5 Comments

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  1. Looks yummy. Question: how much is a “packet” of Starbucks? I don’t even know what this means. I will likely just use my own coffee which I grind every night, but I need some kind of measurement. Thanks! Can’t wait to try it!

    • Well it’s Starbucks “Via”. Via is instant coffee powder, as mentioned in the recipe. You’ll struggle with brewed coffee because you have all the liquid to account for, but any instant coffee (even espresso) should work.

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