As I’ve said before, coffee was never a big part of my life. It wasn’t until I started ignorantly dieting several years ago that my interest in the drink really blossomed (What? No calories??). I would drink the stuff black during my brief stint as an office assistant the summer after my freshmen year of college. Brewing and drinking coffee (and cleaning up the machine afterward) gave me a break from my eight hours of scanning and shredding.
As a result, when I returned to school in the fall for my sophomore year, I was completely clueless about the nutrition of specialty coffee drinks. I had a few extra minutes before my Western Civilization class, so I stopped at Java City, the Starbucks-like company on our campus. I was in the mood for something sweeter (so not black coffee), but I had no idea what anything on the menu went (mocha? latte?? americano??!?). I did, however, see a large poster promoting the in-season Pumpkin Spice Javalanche (the equivalent of a frappuccino). Feeling adventurous, I ordered one of those.
It wasn’t until I returned to my room after class and did my online research that I realized I had just consumed over 500 calories through a straw. I honestly went into panic mode and called my mom in hysterics.
Moments like that taught me two lessons. First of all, splurging once in a while will not cause you gain ten pounds overnight. Obviously. But on the other hand, it taught me to be aware of the insane nutritional content of commercial food.
For this reason, I love recreating restaurant meals at home, using herbs and spices and proper cooking methods, as opposed to salt, sugar, butter, and cheese. Even better, I like recreating meals as porridge…like this pumpkin spice latte oatmeal!
What you'll need:
- 2/3 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1/3 cup milk of choice, or water
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- pinch of salt
How to make it:
- Bring coffee and milk of choice to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium.
- Once more of the liquid has dissolved, add pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, a tiny pinch of salt, and maple syrup. Stir. Adjust amount of sweetener as necessary.
- When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Serve with another splash of your milk of choice and/or more coffee, and any other additional toppings (shredded coconut, honey, nuts, etc.).