Thursday, October 6, 2011

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte With Soy=NOT Vegan

I guess I didn't get the memo that the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has milk in it, even if you get it made with soy. Bummer, big time. According to Your Daily Vegan, Starbucks pumpkin spice latte syrup contains: Sugar, condensed nonfat milk, sweet condensed nonfat milk, anotta (a colorant), natural and artificial flavors and caramel coloring. 

I distinctly remember seeing advertisements a year or so ago for Starbucks new 'vegan' soy drinks, so I assumed a soy pumpkin spice latte would be dairy free. I figured they used a sugar syrup, so how could it not be vegan?! I think they should consider making vegan-friendly seasonal alternatives! My suggestion is to replace the condensed nonfat milk with condensed soy milk and the sweet condensed nonfat milk with sweetened soy condensed milk.  I'll just have to enjoy my pumpkin spice lattes at home for now.

Hibbard Kitchen Original: Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte 
6 oz freshly-brewed coffee (or espresso, if you have it)
1/2 cup almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
2 TBSP vegan sweetened condensed milk (recipe below)
3 TBSP pumpkin spice syrup (recipe below)

Combine all ingredients into a cup. I like mine iced, so I brew my coffee over ice, then add the other ingredients.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (I used 4 cinnamon sticks)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons pumpkin purée

1) Combine water and sugar in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook until sugar has completely dissolved.
2)Whisk in remaining ingredients.
3) Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow mixture to come to a boil.
4) Strain syrup through cheesecloth into a large glass measuring cup or bowl.
5) Transfer to bottle of your choice and store in the refrigerator. I poured my syrup into a salad dressing mixer, which is awesome for mixing it up before pouring it into my coffee.

Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk
Powdered soy milk (re-constitute using package recommendation...I used 24 ozs of water and 3/4 cup of NOW Foods powdered soy milk)
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 Tbsp vegan butter/margarine (I used Earth Balance)

1) Add soy milk powder and the accompanying water into a pot and heat until mixture boils.
2) In a separate pan, melt 6 tbsp of vegan butter/margarine
3) Add sugar to the melted butter
4) When sugar begins to melt, add the hot milk from the other pot and add a dash of salt.
5) Bring the mixture to gentle boil for at least 5 minutes. The mixture should be finished cooking when it gets a little thick.

I think this pumpkin spice latte tastes very similar to Starbuck's version. If you skip the sweetened condensed soy milk, it will likely fall short of your expectations though.

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