Spicy, slightly sweet, and covered with a layer of coconutty frothy goodness, this plant-based latte will wake you up and warm your belly!
I love my coffee every single day of the year. Right now though, when temperatures are starting to drop and all kinds of spicy pumpkin-infused treats are making their way though my kitchen, well, I really love my coffee.
There was a time when I thought I'd never be able to enjoy my coffee without loads of milk and sugar. A big fat mocha lattee, filled to the brim with sweet foamy milk was pretty much my own personal heaven. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone here, right? The big thing I hear again and again from readers that they could never give up (aside from cheese and bacon, which really shouldn't be a problem given the number of vegan cheese and bacon recipes on this site) is dairy in their coffee. Old habits die hard.
I'm happy to say that I've successfully perfected up my morning latte, and it's at least as good, if not better, than my old cup of Joe.
Since how we fix our coffee is quite personal, I'm going to give you guys some customizable steps for building the perfect plant-based latte, in lieu of a traditional recipe. Follow along, make some choices and drink up!
Use good coffee! It may cost a buck or two more, but it's so worth it.
I'm a dark roast girl myself, but go more mid-range or light if that's your jam. Experiment with different brewing techniques. Drip coffee is convenient, but on splurge days I like to bust out the stovetop espresso maker for more intensity, or the French press for a bit more depth of flavor.
I like natural sweeteners for my lattes, not just because they're less refined than white sugar, but also because they're more fun and add some flavor.
You can keep things simple by going with a granulated sugar like coconut or turbinado, or use a liquid sweetener, which also happens to be convenient if you're making an iced latte. Maple syrup is great for adding a hint of flavor that goes nicely with spices. If you're feeling really adventurous, try a bit of blackstrap molasses (watch out though: this will be intense!).
My grandmother once made a delicious pie, and after serving it she went on to brag that she cut the sugar in the recipe in half, and made up for it by doubling the spices. That idea stuck with me, so now when I want to add flavor to anything sweet, I bulk up on the spices, instead of sugar. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are all delicious in coffee. Your best bet is to add spices right to your coffee grounds, before brewing, but be sure to save a bit for sprinkling on top at the end.
I love regular old soy or almond milk for drinking, but they don't tend to be quite creamy enough to lighten up a cup of coffee. Your best bet for coffee is to stick with a dairy-free creamer that's made for coffee. I really like So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Creamer, because it's thick and rich and made from coconut milk, which is an ingredient I use in my kitchen all the time. Bonus: it adds a hint of coconutty flavor, and I love coconutty flavor.
You can get So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Creamer at Target. Head over to the food section, usually along the far side of the store, along the wall, then over to the refrigerators where all the dairy products are stored. You'll find it right next to the other creamers. The supermarkets in my area are still a bit hit-or-miss when it come to selling plant-based dairy products, and particularly coffee creamers, but I've always been able to grab a pint of So Delicious Diary Free at Target, so it's all good. Download Target's Cartwheel App on your phone before heading out for your creamer - they've got a 20% offer going on for So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Creamer until October 22, 2016, so it will save you a few bucks!
Optional: Coconut Oil
This is totally not required, and a little bit goes a long way! It gives the latte just a bit of extra froth and coconutty flavor. I save this for special mornings, like weekends and such. It always gives me an awesome latte.
A little hand-held milk frother is the most convenient way to do this, but if you don't have one, just throw everything into the blender. Blend until frothy!
Pour, sprinkle with some more spice, and enjoy it while it's hot!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of WhiteWave Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.