Once more, I can cease some grumbling and forget the search for mass-produced pumpkin syrups (and in case you’re wondering about the big chains, Starbucks isn’t vegan but Peet’s is, old news) and count on another handy dose of obsessive creativity to make it through the season.
The thing is, I’m legitimately waiting for a jet plane to carry me across the globe for a bit, so I had to get my pumpkin-flavored-fix in a little early this year. I can’t hide the fact that it irks me to buy canned, pureed squash and not hack one open myself (Northwest lifestyle, blah blah blah), but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.
And sometimes, it’s making your own pumpkin coconut creamer.
I had been investigating DIY coffee creamer recipes on the internet for some time now…basically, since my small stash of So Delicious Coconut Barista series ran out after VVC2013. As usual, most of the recipes I saw looked stupid (okay, contained half & half) or even oil (Pass.), but there were some promising ideas once I decided to make my own condensed milk — out of coconut milk, no less. Of course.
It was a two-part process that I spread out over two days, and the result was a rich, über-creamy combination of lush coconut and all the spices that make you smile throughout fall (no matter how much it’s drizzling in my normal neck of the woods): cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger. It’s thicker than store-bought creamers and thanks to a high-powered blender, results in an automatically frothy, cream for your coffee, and anything else that strikes your fancy.
The Breakdown: Pumpkin Coconut Coffee Creamer
We’ll get back to this.
PART ONE: THE SWEETENED, CONDENSED COCONUT MILK
lightly adapted from Ari’s Menu
- 3 cups full-fat coconut milk
- ⅓ cup plus 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar > which I’m using because I adore it and the nature of the project
Bring the ingredients a boil in a small saucepan, and simmer at just below medium heat, careful not to boil over, for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally. Let cool for 10 minutes, jar and refrigerate until further use.
Makes approximately one cup.
The makings of condensed coconut milk
The type of photo that goes on food blogs
Here it is: Condensed Coconut Milk with Coconut Palm Sugar
PART TWO: The Pumpkin Infusion
You’re going to want:
- 1 ¾ cups unsweetened nondairy milk (ideally not lowfat) > I used a combination of soymilk and coconut milk
- 1 cup condensed coconut milk
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon > feel free to add as much as 1.5 to 2 teaspoons’ worth if you really want a punch of cinnamon in your face
- ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup > this will add a touch of flavor. If you like things sweet, go for 1 teaspoon
Add the spices to the nondairy milk in a small sauce pan, slowly coming to a low boil (this way, the powdered spices properly infuse into the liquid). Next, puree all of the ingredients until well incorporated in a blender. If you don’t have a high-powered blender, you may want to strain the mixture.
Store in a jar in the refrigerator. Shake well before each use. Will keep well for approximately 2 weeks — as if it’ll still be there…
Very Serious Note: Easily make this seriously pumpkin whiskey or super serious pumpkin maple creamer — or both, by adding a tablespoon of each ingredient into your
Those very seasonal spices
Steamed with coconut milk
The entire mixture in the trusty Vita-Mix
Showing off that we just super-cleaned and redecorated the baker’s rack corner. Thanks, Jules!
Yeah, I almost included a stupid inside-the-blender aerial shot here.
I’ll also note that this recipe does not contain any natural coloring additions, so it’s a bit paler than you may see elsewhere. The color here comes naturally from the spices, pumpkin puree, and almost caramelized coconut palm sugar in the condensed milk.
Come on, we all know what this says and that I’m not a high caliber food photographer by now.
Inevitable no more.
And Good Day to you & me
And if I had been in town longer, you bet I would have hit this up in a pumpkin latte milkshake.
For my latest & daily VeganMoFo updates and upcoming travels, you can find me on Instagram, @jdfunks