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I'm Crystal Vaughn

a classically trained chef taking holistic plant-based nutrition on a grand adventure through North America. When I’m not creating in our traveling kitchen, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or a hiking trail.

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Oct 09, 2014


Fall is definitely my favorite season.  I was even lucky enough to experience two falls this year!  I visited Patagonia during fall in the southern hemisphere and it was pretty amazing.  I love hikes this time of year, when there is a slight nip in the air and the leaves are starting to change.  This weekend we spent time outside enjoying the season.  The leaves weren't quite starting to change near one of my favorite hiking spots but I'll share this photo from a couple years ago of Hudson enjoying the view!

Once fall rolls around you start seeing pumpkin everywhere and it seems like everyone can’t wait to get a pumpkin spice latte.  The sad truth is this is way more unhealthy than you probably imagine.  Food Babe did an investigation on it a few weeks ago and I will not be hitting up the local Starbucks for one of these anytime soon.  It isn’t possible to get it dairy free and there isn’t actually any pumpkin in it.  So basically your most beloved fall Starbucks drink is a total fraud. 

Please don’t fret we can cure that craving easily in your own home!  Here is my delicious and healthy version that you can make in your own kitchen.  And there is actually pumpkin inside.  Oh yeah!

I am not much of a coffee drinker because I don’t handle caffeine very well so I decided to make this version with chai tea but it can definitely be made with coffee as well (we actually tried it this weekend and it was just as delicious).  I do really love coffee but I can’t quite get on board with decaf because the chemical extractors that are typically used to release the caffeine.  I am still looking into the water extraction process so I may have more information on that in the future.

Okay, back to the latte.  All you really need to do for this drink is brew up some chai tea (or coffee/espresso) and whisk together some non-dairy milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, a little vanilla powder and some spices (pumpkin pie spice would work well here).  Heat the pumpkin mixture and then froth it up.  I have a manual milk frother and an attachment on my immersion blender.  This step is totally optional but it gives it the traditional latte feel.  And it is kind of fun playing barista sometimes.


Pumpkin Chai Latte
Makes 2 Lattes


3 tbsp pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cups oat milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/8 tsp vanilla powder (or 1/4 tsp vanilla extract)

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground ginger

pinch of ground nutmeg

1 to 1 1/2 cups brewed chia tea


1. Brew chai tea.

2. In a small saucepan whisk together pumpkin puree, oat milk,  maple syrup, vanilla powder and spices.  Heat until barely starting to simmer.  Then remove from heat.

3. Optional step:  Froth the pumpkin mixture with an electric or manual frother.

4. In your mug add 1/2 to 3/4 cup chai tea and fill the rest of the way with the pumpkin milk mixture.

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The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any health condition or disease. It does not replace medical advice from a licensed professional.