I Said Self Torture Not Monkey Torture!!!

Joes Barbell
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Every now and again Eliza and I like to torture ourselves with the game, “things we can’t eat anymore.”  The latest installment was a breakfast themed grapple with temptation.  You should have heard us rattling off paleo no no’s; Pancakes (real ones), Cheese Danish, Donuts, McDonald’s Breakfast Biscuits, Peanut Butter Crunch Cereal.  The list was huge.  In fact, as we kept going it got pretty specific; Shipply’s Apple Fritters, Taco Taco’s Breakfast Taco’s (home of the greatest handmade flour tortillas and only place I’ve ever been to that makes fresh re-fried beans). 

Another hot spot we spoke of with great affection is a sweet little pancake house or haus in San Antonio.  If you are ever in the friendliest city in the country (not just my opinion… its fact) look up Magnolia Pancake Haus, it could change your life and expectations’ regarding what constitutes a fantastic breakfast experience.  Don’t worry, if your keeping it paleo they have awesome omelets to go with all their other evil goodies.  One particular item that we found ourselves digging on was their Authentic Munchener Aphel Pfannekuchen.  Don’t ask me how to pronounce it just ask me how it tastes.  If you are a fan of apples, pancakes, wip crème and pure breakfast goodness this is the dish for you.  I won’t go into the details (already did and had to take 20 minutes alone to calm myself down) but whoever Oma is, her take on this German Classic is ridiculous.  Definitely worth the cheat.  Sorry, something are worth experiencing.
Usually after playing “things we can’t eat anymore” and wanting to destroy our taste buds and whatever part of our brain it is that loves cereal grains, gluten, and sugar we end the game with an internet search.  A search centered around ways to modify none paleo platters into perfect paleo stand in’s.  With breakfast on our mind Eliza found an awesome recipe for a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Yes, paleo is now flexing its strong muscles at the coffee people.  Here are the facts; specialty coffees at places like Starbucks just aren’t good for you.  They are loaded with sugar, fat, and concentrated and artificially flavored syrups.  Those flavored lattes can blow a lot of hard work.  Plus, they are expensive and aren’t around all year.  So, they may not even be around when you need them most.  If your jonesing for a sweet cup of coffee try making a healthier version for yourself.  Compliments of Love Veggies and Yoga I present to you a Paleo Version of the Pumpkin Spiced latte. 

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Vegan, Gluten Free)
1. Make coffee (a pot, a cup, in whatever fashion and however you prefer making your coffee.   The stronger the better)
2. Make Pumpkin Milk
1 c milk (I used almond milk but use any kind you want from half and half to rice milk)
1/4 heaping cup pumpkin puree (more if you really love pumpkin)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice blend, or to taste
1 tsp cinnamon, or to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract
sweetener of choice, to taste (I suggest 2 tbsp agave or 2 tbsp brown sugar or a pinch of stevia to taste; or try honey, maple syrup, etc. to taste)  We used that awesome local honey featured on the 808 blog not to long ago.
Optional: pinch of ground nutmeg, ginger, garam masala, cardamom, or other warming spices to taste
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well by hand or blend all ingredients using a Vita or blender
Optional: Warm the finished pumpkin milk mixture in the microwave or on the stovetop (I do a quick nuke of about 1 minute)
3. Pour 1 c of brewed coffee into a mug and pour half the pumpkin milk mixture over the top of the coffee and enjoy.  (Optional: Finish by garnishing with real whipped cream/whipped topping such as CoolWhip or TruWhip; and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon on top)
The other half of the pumpkin milk mixture is for the refill you know you will want.  If you truly don’t want a refill, refrigerate it for up to a few days and use for your next latte, in a smoothie, or drink it as is.  As long as you’re dirtying dishes, I always make a little extra for refills or for later.
The spices will not “blend” or entirely dissolve.  This is to be expected and normal.  If this bothers you, this may not the recipe for you and you may want to experiment with other recipes or techniques.
All spices and seasonings are to taste; in this case, mine.  If you want to reduce the spices (or increase them), obviously adjust everything according to your own taste preferences.  Some people may find the amounts I used a bit strong, but I like robust flavors.

Eliza and I made a huge batch of the stuff this morning and were fighting over who got to finish the pot.  This really is one of those Paleo recipes that is much better than the original.  If you eat paleo and try this you may never go to Starbucks again.  This version is cheaper, really tastes better, and is made with much better indigents.  Plus, if you want more pumpkin you can add more pumpkin.  Isn’t that better than asking for an extra pump and getting charged for it?  Give it a go.  We did and we may have just saved our diets and our wallets a bunch of hassle.