Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

I warned you guys about the overdose of pumpkin come this fall right? Yes, I believe I did. Here comes another all-things-pumpkin I-love-fall post. Enjoy  

This is actually an old post of mine from 2 years ago that got very little exposure since I really didn’t have readers then, so I thought I’d redo it. 

One of my favorite things about fall is the comeback of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. However, I’m sure you all have seen that article floating around about how bad it is for you. Never would have guessed, right? It doesn’t surprise me at all.

And honestly, who has money for $5 latte’s all the time anyway? These days I would much prefer to make something myself so I know what’s in it. 

I know there’s about 134,657 other pumpkin spice latte recipes already, so what’s another one floating around on the internet? I’ve made quite a few of those recipes though and finally have one I’m happy with, so I feel that’s worth sharing.  I don’t like mine particularly sweet. I prefer a strong coffee flavor with a kick of pumpkin. Feel free to adjust this as needed to your own taste. It is a good base recipe, though.  

Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte2014-09-21 07:57:20

Serves 1A healthy version of this favorite fall drink you can make at homeWrite a reviewSave RecipePrintPrep Time5 minCook Time5 minTotal Time10 minPrep Time5 minCook Time5 minTotal Time10 minIngredients

  1. 1 1/4 vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  2. 1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin puree canned)
  3. 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  4. 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  5. 1/4 tsp. (or more) maple syrup
  6. 2 shots or 1/2 cup of strong coffee

Instructions

  1. Brew some stronger than normal coffee and keep warm.
  2. Mix all the ingredients except the coffee together in a sauce pan. Whisk together until pumpkin puree and spices are well combined. Bring to hot but not boiling, mixing often.
  3. Put pumpkin milk mixture into blender and blend on high for 30 seconds or until a thick foam appears on the top.
  4. Pour the milk mixture and coffee into a large mug at the same time, so it mixes itself. Don’t stir with a spoon as the froth will die down.
  5. Top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice or cinammon for a coffee-house feel.

Notes

  1. Using pumpkin spice flavored coffee gives this a great flavor. I like Dunkin Donuts brand.
  2. Note that after the drink is about half drank, the pumpkin puree can settle at the bottom. Stir before drinking the rest or it will be a little gritty.

I’m usually not nuts about vanilla in things that aren’t cooked for long. If 1 tablespoon of vanilla sounds crazy to you, trust me, you can’t taste it and it doesn’t make it bitter. If anything, I like to add a little extra for flavor. 

Frothing the milk mixture in the blender is really what makes this fancy to me. I had foamy goodness on the top just like you get at Starbucks. 

Also, just to give you an idea how healthy this actually is, Starbucks’ grande PSL is 380 calories with 13 gram of fat. This version is about 100 calories and has 3 grams of fat (not including whipped cream). 

Happy sipping, my friends! 

Questions for You: 

  • What’s your favorite seasonal drink? 
  • Does it feel like fall where you live yet? 

Pumpkin Spice Iced Coffee

Yesterday, I got a shipment of the fall Mary Kay products that I have been highly anticipating. Getting a big box of Mary Kay is like Christmas for Consultants. And any girl, really. Who doesn’t want a whole box full of makeup?!

I definitely have my work cut out for me today. Having to try all those new pieces? Oh, darn  Expect a review soon!

Last night, I finally took the chance to really chill out. I put an end to all my work or chores, made myself a mug cookie, lit my new candle, painted my toe nails, and sat down to read a good book.

My perfect way to chill out. What a relief!

IS IT FALL YET?

I don’t know about you, but I am so beyond ready for fall. I know fall means winter is just right around the corner, but I could care less. This 90+ degree weather we’re having this week? No thanks!

I’m already stocked up on my fall candles (but it’s too hot to burn them!) and I’m already craving all-things pumpkin and spice. I woke up today in the mood for fall foods, so I made some pumpkin spiced iced coffee.

Pumpkin Spiced Iced Coffee

Ingredients: 

  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 cup coffee, room temperature or cold
  • 2 tbsp. pumpkin puree (canned)
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • a few ice cubes (3-5)

Throw in the blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

This drink was like a combination between iced coffee and a frappe. If you want it to be more frappe like, freeze the coffee beforehand and let it thaw just a bit before making it. I liked it with the smoother consistency because it was easier to drink.

Very refreshing for a still-hot morning, for sure.

I also paired it with a breakfast quesadilla, which, if you’ve never had, needs to change asap!

A great pinterest find, of course.

Well, it’s time to get to work for me! See ya!

Questions for You:

  • Does fall make you all giddy inside or does it make you dread the coming cold weather?
  • Are you adventurous with your makeup looks or do you keep it tame? I’m going to be trying a lot of colors and looks that I normally wouldn’t wear, but I’m so excited to experiment!

Vanilla Latte Recipe

Goooood morning!

I completely let myself slide with my whole wake-up-at-6-am routine in exchange for some much needed rest. After some long hours at work lately, I was wiped!

The sleep was well worth it, though. And I’m not mad at myself one bit for “giving up” on my plan because my body truly needed rest. But after all that glorious sleep, I was pretty groggy. All I could think about this morning: LATTE. 

Personally, I believe every good coffee drinker should know how to make a latte they enjoy. I love me some Starbucks, and even if I could afford that every day, my waistline and my lazy butt cannot. Making it at home is so much easier!

EASY VANILLA LATTE

Are you ready for how easy this is?

You need:

  • 1 1/2 cups coffee 
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla creamer
  • 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Latte Ingredients

Side note: has anyone else noticed that Blue Diamond’s Vanilla unsweetened almond milk mysteriously went from 40 to 30 calories a serving? Weird.

Directions:

1. Brew your coffee. I usually make it stronger than usual for my lattes.

2. Combine almond milk, creamer, and vanilla in a sauce pan. Heat until warm.

3. Take milk mixture and put into blender. Blend until frothy.

4. Pour coffee and milk mixture into a mug. I pour both of mine into a cup at the same time so it’s well-blended.

5. Enjoy!

Easy Vanilla Latte

I love how easy but totally yummy this latte is. And it’s only about 100 calories 

I don’t use any extra sweetener because I find that almond milk and the vanilla creamer are plenty sweet already. If you use an unsweetened creamer, though, this will need some sweetener added to it.

Now that I’ve had my cup a joe, I’m ready to take on the day. The plan for today is a quick workout, lunch, and then off to work I go! Have a great afternoon 

Camp Chef Pellet Grill vs Traeger

When confronted with the dilemma of Camp Chef Pellet Grill vs Traeger, the best thing to do is to figure out the pros and cons of each of these popular grills. It will do you good if you would look at the various customer reviews as well as expert reviews about these two popular brands. Moreover, it is good to look at the important factors to consider when buying a grill.

Camp Chef Pellet Grill vs Traeger

Factors to Consider When Buying a Grill

With so many brands and models of grills in the market today, it is easy to get confused as to which grill to buy for your grilling needs. Thus, you need to know the important factors to consider when buying a grill. These factors include your budget, size of your backyard, fuel choice, salient features of the grills, frequency of use, sturdiness or durability, ease of cleaning, and accompanying warranty.

So, when choosing between Camp Chef Pellet Grill and Traeger, you need to make a comparative analysis of the merits of buying any of these grills.

Camp Chef Pellet Grill and Traeger Compared

The Camp Chef comes with a cooking area of 570 square inches. Traeger, on the other hand, comes with 410 square inches of cooking area. Thus, if you want a larger cooking area, your choice should be Camp Chef.

When it comes to temperature control and management, the Camp Chef’s manufacturer has come up with a digital temperature reading system for its product. This makes it easier for you to figure out the exact temperature of the inside of your grill.

The Camp Chef also comes with a selection dial for the temperature. This allows you to readily select the specific temperature you want by simply turning the dial and letting its auger supply the correct amount of pellets to its hopper.

It also has a provision for a probe-style thermometer. Hence, you don’t need to worry about it. Temperature management and control with the Camp Chef is pretty simple. 

Traeger, on the other hand, also comes with a digital elite controller that allows the grill to cook the food evenly. With this digital elite controller, you are assured that your food will be evenly cooked. This machine can grill, smoke, and braise your food. It can do it because it has the capacity to control the temperature so well compared to many other pellet smokers.

When it comes to the level of technology used in the system, the Camp Chef can boast of advanced technologies that it has equipped its smokers. First, it comes with an automatic auger. Thus, you don’t need to add manually those pellets, for the pellets are automatically delivered into the hopper. It also boasts of the Pellet Purge System which ensures that you will not have a hard time removing the unused pellets.

Traeger, on the other hand, comes with an Electronic Auto-start Ignition. This makes it easy for you to fire the system without having to look for an igniter.

Design and Construction

When it comes to design, the Camp Chef comes with a pretty much nice design. It looks robust and boasts of quality materials. It comes with a large cooking chamber with a gigantic hopper on its side. It also comes with a worktable that can facilitate the process of cooking for you. Additionally, it comes with casters or wheels for easy mobility.

Traeger, on the other hand, has a very nice construction and design. It boasts of high-quality steel material that makes this machine very durable. It also comes with a sturdy grill stand that keeps the smoker sturdy and steady.

Although the smoker appears to be robustly built, it is not, however, heavy. You can easily move this smoker anywhere you want because it comes with wheels.

Ease of Cleaning

The Camp Chef comes with an attached cup below the burn chamber. This cup collects all the ashes. Moreover, it comes with a small bucket for collecting grease during the cooking process.

The Traeger, on the other hand, doesn’t come with a bucket or a cup for collecting ash and grease. However, it comes with porcelain grill grates that are easy to clean.

Conclusion

These two brands have proven their worth to many customers. Hence, the question of Camp Chef Pellet Grill vs Traeger is sometimes not necessary to ask. If you travel from one place to another, the Camp Chef will be a great choice. But if you want a brand that you can often use at home, then, the Traeger would be a great choice. Lastly, your choice boils down to what you really want to have, when it comes to choosing between Camp Chef and Traeger.

Traeger Tailgater Review 2019

Traeger is one of the most reliable and efficient brands when it comes to the production of grills. This brand produces different types of grill such as gas, charcoal or propane and so on. One of its outstanding models is Traeger tailgater. This product has a lot of exceptional performances and comes with a high number of unique features. It is an effective grill to make food for a tailgater party or a get-together party. There is a lot of knowledge you need to acquire about this Traeger grill before going for it. This article would help you with a review. Also, you would know the advantages and disadvantages of this grill.

Traeger Tailgater

Traeger 10526 Bronson 20 Pellet Grill

For users who love a grill that is simple to operate and also easy to move from one place to another, this is a grill they would like to have. Traeger tailgater comes in a compact design that can be installed anywhere without taking up too much of space. This grill uses woods to make delicious foods with full-flavored Smoky flavors.

There are there significant models of this grill. These are Traeger Junior Elite 20, Traeger Tailgater 20 and Traeger Bronson

Features

Cooking Space

One of the qualities that make Traeger Tailgater grills unique is that they have an ample cooking space. With about 300 square inches, you would be able to make food for a large population. Also, it has a grilling area of about 20 × 15 inches making it an ideal one to cook up to 12 burgers, 2 chickens, 18 hot dogs or 3 ribs racks at a single time.

Portability

Another feature of this grill is that it comes in a compact size. This grill measure in at just 36 × 37 × 18 inches which means it would only take up a little amount of space. Also, it weighs about 62 lbs making it easy to move from one place to another without any difficulties.

The foldable legs of this grill enhance this mobility. So, whenever you are traveling, you would be able to take this grill along without much stress.

Multiple Cooking Styles

Unlike other pellet grills in the market today, this grill can use to make varieties of foods. With it, you can grill, smoke, bake roast, braise or make BBQ depending on your choice.

Wood Pellet Grill

What makes Traeger Tailgater different from other grills is that it uses wood pellet in replacement of gas or charcoal that most grills use. With this pellet, you would still enjoy your delicious food with full-flavored Smokey flavor. Apart from the fact that wood pellet grills are easy to use, you would not also be facing any problems making foods with it.

Durability

Traeger Tailgater grills are made with high-quality materials that help them to last for a long time. They are made out of heavy-duty steel that can withstand the heat from the grill and at the same time retains the elements from outside. You can be sure that it would withstand the test of time without fading or becoming inefficient. It comes with a 3-year warranty from the manufacturer.

Advantages

1. Not costly

Apart from the fact that you won’t be purchasing any models of this grill at an expensive rate, also you would be getting the fuel to make food at a cheaper price. Therefore, this product is easy especially for those people on a budget.

2. Easy to use

Many users have praised this grill for its simplicity feature. With this product, you won’t be having any difficulties operating it as it comes with a powerful ignition that helps you to start your grill anytime you wish. Likewise, you would also enjoy its digital control temperature which gives you the liberty to cook either at a slow, low fast or hot level.

3. Large Cooking Space

Another benefit that users would be derived from this grill is its ample cooking space that can be used to make food for a family union or a large number of people. Also, it has a large capacity that can cook at a single time up to 12 burgers, 2 chickens, 18 hot dogs or 3 ribs racks.

4. Lightweight design

For grillers who love to make delicious foods whenever there is camping, hunting boating, vacation or other outdoor activities, this grill would make that work out correctly. This grill weighs only 62lbs making it easy to move from one place to another with ease.  Likewise, it features EZ fold legs that make it mobility easier.

Disadvantages

1. Ineffective Power Usage

This product has earned a lot of poor ratings from Amazon has a result of its power system. Many users have complained that this power system goes up to about 500 watts when first used and later reduced drastically to about 50 watts or less few minutes after usage.

2. Small Hopper

Another major con of this grill is that it comes with a small upper that makes it most of the time challenging to keep the grill easily.