Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – Overt Fat Free

I need to write a post about the current state of my diet, but long story short, I’ve gotten a handle on my moving + holiday eating frenzy and feel like I’m in a good place right now. Basically, I’m eating within a ration of 80% carbohydrates and 10% each fat and protein. And while my diet is high raw, it is not all raw, so it’s not the 80-10-10 of The 80-10-10 Diet – just the ratio.

Back to why we’re here today…I made cookies!

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Yup. Delicious, nutritious, overt-fat-free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies made with only four ingredients (five if you count the optional cinnamon) and sweetened only with fruit. 80-10-10 for the win!

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Overt Fat Free)

2 c old fashioned oats

1/2 c super thick date paste

1 medium banana, mashed (about 1/4 c)

1/4-1/2 c raisins (soaked if dry)

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

First, make date paste by blending soaked dates. Try not to use any of the date soaking water, so the paste is extra thick and sticky. Then, mash the banana using a fork (or pulse it in a mini-chopper). Don’t blend it because the liquid banana will add liquid to the dough.

Add oats and cinnamon to a bowl. Stir to combine. (Optional: Add a dash of salt.) Add mashed banana and date paste. Stir to combine. Add raisins. Stir to incorporate. [If  dough is too dry, add more date paste.]

Scoop dough onto a parchment or Paraflexx lined dehydrator tray. [I used an ice cream scooper.] Use the back of a spoon to flatter the cookies into desired thickness. Shape edges for prettier cookies (and so no little bits dry and fall off).

Dehydrate at 145F for about 30 minutes to quick set the cookies. Reduce heat and continue to dry at 110F for about 60 minutes. Flip cookies and continue to dry for 60-90 more minutes.

Makes 10 cookies at about 160 calories and 1.5 grams of fat each.

NOTES:

EFA’s: If your diet is a little low on EFA’s (essential fatty acids 3-6-9), try adding a flax “egg” (1 TBSP flax meal + 1-2 TBSP water). You might need to cut back on the date paste if you.

Baking: If you don’t have a dehydrator or don’t feel like using one, you can try baking the cookies. Try a low oven of around 200F and check on the cookies every 5 minutes. I’m guessing it will take somewhere between 5-10 minutes to dry out the cookies. (Be careful; without fat, these cookies will go from not-quite-done to burnt in the blink of an eye.)

Storage: Completely cool the cookies and store in an air tight container. You can probably store these outside of the frig, but I like to keep all of my goodies in the frig. [Remember, glass will help keep baked goods crispy, and plastic will help keep them soft. So, store according to texture preference.]

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Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

I love muffins. They’re great for on-the-go breakfasts  – and second breakfast! (Am I the only person who eats a second breakfast most days??)

Tuesday night, I went to bed thinking about muffins, and when I woke up before the alarm on Wednesday morning, I decided to do it! Doesn’t everyone make muffins at 5 am?! Ha!

In my groggy state, this is what I came up with…

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

1 1/2 c oat flour (I used certified gluten-free)

1/2 c almond pulp/meal/flour

1/2 tsp baking powder (aluminum free, please!)

2 flax eggs (2 TBSP flax meal + 3 TBSP water)

1/2 c coconut sugar (aka palm sugar)

3/4 c unsweetened applesauce (two individual containers)

1/2 TBSP vanilla extract  (or a pinch of vanilla powder)

1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

2 TBSP chia seeds (optional)

1/2 c raisins (soaked)

1/4 c goji berries (soaked)

Add dry ingredients to bowl. Whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Fold in drained, soaked raisins and goji berries.

Fill muffin tins/cups and bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Remove promptly from baking pan and cool on a wire rack so bottoms don’t get soggy.

Makes 9 nice-sized muffins at about 200 calories each. Freezes well.

Notes:

“Flour”: Is your freezer being overrun by almond pulp too?! Ugh. It’s getting a little crowned in there; time to thaw, dehydrate, and process into more almond meal/flour. But, before I do that, I need to use some of the last batch, so I’ve been sneaking it into anything and everything. If you don’t have any almond pulp/meal/flour lying around, I’m sure you could use all oat flour. (Side note: Make your own oat flour by grinding some old fashioned oats in a blender or food processor until smooth in texture. I use my magic bullet.) Additionally, this might work with all almond pulp/meal/flour. I haven’t tried it; if you do, let me know if it works!

Flax Egg: I find my flax gels up much better with less water. Some people like their eggs a bit runny, but I like mine thick and gooy. I like to use golden flax, too. It has a milder flavor and doesn’t show through the oat flour. I’m sure you could use  chia eggs as well (same amount of ground or whole chia seeds instead of flax meal).

Chia Seeds: These are totally optional, but I like putting them in muffins and quick breads for the added omega’s. Plus, I think they add some binding. Or not. That might be all in my head 😉

Applesauce: I used the applesauce for both the moisture and the oil sub. I’m guessing you could use some kind of oil (coconut oil would be my suggestion) and maybe a little non-dairy milk if you don’t have/don’t want to use applesauce. Additionally, liquified banana would probably work, as would pumpkin puree, prune puree, etc. Keep in mind, however, using a higher sugared fruit might mean an adjustment to your other sweetener.

Coconut/Palm Sugar: I’ve recently started using coconut/palm sugar more often. It’s not very sweet, but I like that. Subtle. Plus, the glycemic index is so low, reports are that it doesn’t spike insulin levels in those who are sensitive. (The carbohydrates in the oat flour could, though, so be careful if this applies to you.)

Dried Fruit: I love oatmeal raisin as a flavor, but if you don’t, try a different dried fruit. Dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, figs, bits of date, currents, etc, would all be great! I added the goji berries for an extra antioxidant kick, but something more exotic like golden berries would be nice too!

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Raw Oatmeal Cookies/Balls/Oatmeal

I tried something the other day. I soaked and dehydrated some oat groats and then ground them into flour. Woohoo! Raw oat flour!

I have quite a few ideas for my new found discovery, and to begin my adventure, I started with oatmeal raisin cookies. Or balls. Or oatmeal.

Raw Oatmeal Cookies/Balls/Oatmeal

1 c ground oat groats

3 T maple syrup

1 T water (if needed)

1 T chia seeds + 2 T water (to make a chia egg)

1 T vanilla

1 T raisins

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp cinnamon

Dash salt

Combine the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add chia egg, vanilla, and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Add raisins. Then, either shape into balls and freeze, flatten into cookies and dehydrate (1 hour at 145F and then 3-4 hours at 115-105F or until dry enough to make you happy), or just eat like oatmeal. I did all three!

No oat groats? No problem. Coarsely grind rolled oats or even steel cut oats into flour.

Don’t like raisins? No problem. Leave them out or use your favorite dried fruit (date bits, craisins, cherries, etc)

No maple syrup? No problem. Use your favorite liquid sweetener. Adjust for stevia.

Dough not sticking together? No problem. Try adding more chai seeds, more oats, or don’t add water to your next batch.

Don’t care for the flavors of pumpkin pie spice and/or cinnamon? No problem. Use whatever spices you like. Or don’t use any.

 

gRAWnola

I finally did it; I made gRAWnola!

After reading a lot of recipes for raw granola, I finally settled on a combination I thought would suit me. And it did 🙂

gRAWnola

1 c buckwheat groats, soaked

1 c almonds, soaked

1/2 c pumpkin seeds, soaked

1/2 c sunflower seeds, soaked

1 TBSP hemp seeds, heaping (not soaked)

1 c dates, soaked

1 TBSP (or more) date soaking water

1/4 c raisins, organic

1/4 c currants, organic

Optional add-ins: cinnamon, dash salt, cacao nibs, vanilla, other seasonings

First, make the date paste by blending the soaked dates and about 1TBSP of the date soaking water. (Use more if necessary.) You want the paste to be thick, but not too thick. It’s going to be used to make everything stick together. (NOTE: If you want to add a touch of vanilla flavor to your gRAWnola, add it to the date paste.)

Rinse and drain the buckwheat groats very well. Add them to a bowl. Add the rinsed and drained almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds to the same bowl. Add the raisins, currents, and hemp seeds to the bowl. Add any additional seasonings at this time. Finally, add the date paste, and stir to combine. Spread mixture onto dehydrator mesh sheets in a thin enough layer so nuts and seeds aren’t on top of each other, but not so thin that mixture isn’t sticking together. (If your gRAWnola contents are too small and fall through the mesh sheets, start your gRAWnola on a teflexx/paraflexx sheet, and transfer it to a mesh sheet after a few hours. To transfer, lay a mesh sheet on top of the teflexx/paraflexx sheet and flip.) Dehydrate for about an hour at 145F and at 110-115 for about 12 more hours.

Taste test your gRAWnola along the way. You might want it a bit chewier or a little more crisp. Dehydrate accordingly.

Oven directions: If you don’t have dehydrator or don’t want to use one, place your mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet (or use a Silpat) and bake at the lowest temperature your oven will accommodate until the mixture has reached the appropriate consistency. Check the mixture after two hours and then at least hourly after that. I haven’t tried this method, but I assume it will take at least 2-3 hours. (Kale chips done this way take 4-7 hours in my oven, which goes down to 170F.) Your gRAWnola won’t be raw anymore, but it will still be delicious!

Store your gRAWnola in an air-tight container. I have the best luck with a zip-top plastic bag (even better than a glass jar or glass bowl). Try eating it alone or with your favorite non-dairy milk.

Nut/Seed Free Options: Change up your add-ins! Don’t want to use nuts? Don’t! Don’t want to use seeds? Don’t! No hemp seeds? No problem! Try chia seeds, flax seeds or meal, sesame seeds, or don’t include any tiny seeds. The extra omega 3’s are nice, but not necessary.

Date Paste

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Raw Oatmeal

It’s definitely fall in my area, and that means cooler temps. A lot cooler temps. And cooler temperatures means I want heartier food. Notice I didn’t say warmer. That doesn’t seems to affect me much, but when I’m chilled, I want hearty, super filling foods. Instead of reaching for breads and pastas, this year, I’m reaching for raw grains. And the first little treasure on my list is oat groats.

I got the idea for this recipe from Rawfully Tempting’s Fabulous Living Oatmeal.

Raw Oatmeal

1 c soaked oat groats

1 lg or 2 sm apples, chopped

1/2 c goji berries, soaked

1/2 c raisins (red or golden – soaked if necessary)

2 TBSP hemp seeds, heaping

Additional sweetener as needed (try stevia, maple syrup, dates or date paste, coconut or maple sugar, etc)

Soak the oat groats over night. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Add groats to mini-chopper. Pulse to breakup the groats so they’re easier to chew, or blend until they’re mushy like regular oatmeal. Remove groats and place in a bowl. Sprinkle groats with hemp seeds. Top with goji berries and raisins. Place bowl in dehydrator for a few hours to warm or eat at room temperature.

Add-ons: Try adding seasonal fruit such as apples, dates, or pumpkin puree. Use your favorite nuts and/or seeds instead of pumpkin seeds. Give your breakfast a tropical flair by adding banana (sliced or mashed/blended), coconut shreds, coconut milk, pineapple, etc. If you like your oats a little more like cereal, add your favorite non-dairy milk. Try blending it with the groats. (I find the water from the soaked groats and the soaked pumpkin seeds adds enough moisture.)

Traveler’s Trail-Mix

I don’t know about you, but road trips make me hungry! Even if we’re just running errands to the next biggest city about an hour away, I pack snacks. Lots of snacks. Mr. M scoffs at my food, but he almost always ends up eating some of it 😉

Last weekend, a friend and I road-tripped to Chicago – 5 hours from home. Five hours requires A LOT of travel-friendly food!

This trail-mix (and some fruit and Tofu Two Ways salads) got us through the trip there – with some left for snacking at work this week.

Traveler’s Trail-Mix

(raw, gluten-free, oil free, sugar free, soy free, peanut free)

1/2 c raw almonds*

1/4 c cacao nibs

1/4 c raisins

1/4 c golden raisins

1/4 c currants

1/4 c raw sunflower seeds*

1/4 c raw pumpkin seeds* (pepitas)

pinch salt

Combine everything in a large bowl. Store in an air-tight container.

Makes about 2 cups.

You can, of course, choose any nuts, seeds, dried fruit of your liking to make your trail-mix. But, what’s nice about this one is that it’s RAW. I love that! It’s also oil free. Neither of which will you find in store-bought trail-mixes. Plus, many aren’t vegan because of the chocolate.

*Raw nuts and seeds should be soaked before consumption. Soaking and then dehydrating is an easy way to prep a bunch of nuts and seeds so you don’t have to worry about soaking and drying before making something. Using soaked/dried nuts will also help the shelf-life of your trail-mix, allowing you to leave it in a warm place like the car without fear or rancidity. (I didn’t soak/dry the nuts or seeds in this batch of trail-mix, and they tasted fine, but they did give me a bit of tummy trouble at first. Lesson learned!)

Basic Granola (GF)

I made granola for the first time tonight…and it turned out awesome!

I read a few different recipes and even had a friend share her tried-and-true recipe, combined all of those, and came up with my own, versatile recipe.

Basic Granola (GF)

Veggie V’s Easy Granola (GF)

2 c oats (I used GF old-fashioned)

1 c puffed cereal (I used puffed brown rice)

2/3 c nut mix (I used 1/3 c almond slices and 1/3 c whole almonds)

1/8 c (heaping) flax meal (I used golden flax)

1/4 c oil (I used coconut oil)

1/3 c liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup)

2/3 c dried fruit (I used 1/3 c raisins and 1/3 c craisins)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300F. Line a large baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

Combine oats, cereal, flax, and nuts in a large bowl.

In a separate, small, microwave proof bowl, microwave the coconut oil and brown rice syrup for about 45 seconds until coconut oil is melted. Swirl together to combine.

Add melted oil and sweetener to oats mixture. Stir to combine.

Place oat mixture on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring half way through. (I set the timer for 10 minutes, stirred, returned to oven, and set the timer for another 10 minutes so I wouldn’t get sidetracked.) Once time has elapsed, remove baking sheet from oven, remove oat mixture from baking sheet (or as much as you can) to the original mixing bowl, and add dried fruit and cinnamon. Stir to combine, and return mixture to cookie sheet to cool.

Allow mixture to cool for a couple of hours. Store in a glass container. (To keep baked goods crisp, store in glass; to keep baked goods soft, store in plastic.)

Enjoy!

I have all kinds of ideas for this granola: add coconut, add cocoa nibs, add chia seeds, change-up the nuts, change-up the cereal, use maple syrup as the liquid sweetener, add nut butter, change-up the dried fruit (dates, prunes, dried banana chips, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)…the possibilities are endless.

As I was making the granola, Mr. M came into the kitchen to investigate and promptly made a declaration that making granola is more expensive than buying it. Um. No. I didn’t have to make a special purchase for any ingredient in my granola. The ingredients I used can be found in any well-stocked (or even not-so-well-stocked) pantry. Even non-vegans are likely to have the above items in their pantries – the recipe is crazy versatile. Plus, you control the sugar! And the fat. And the salt. (I didn’t use any extra salt, so the only sodium in my granola is naturally occurring – bonus!) Plus, I know my granola is truly gluten-free because I used (trusted) gluten-free ingredients.

I’m not sure how long this granola will keep, but I’m pretty sure I’ll eat it all before I have a chance to find out 😉

An Almost Raw Dessert

To go with my raw kale salad, I also made an almost raw dessert. It was only almost raw because I don’t have any raw cocoa powder (yet!).

The original recipe for the Chocolate Cashew Tarts only made two tarts, but I thought that might be a little bit much for me (in calories and richness), so I made mine in mini muffin tins. I had to make a double batch of the chocolate cream (and there was  a little left, which I was ecstatic to eat directly from my finger the blender cup.

The flavor of these tarts is amazing. I can’t believe how decadent they are. Even with a pretty significant amount of maple syrup (I can’t use agave, so again, not raw with the maple syrup), the sweetness of this dessert doesn’t make me crave more sugar. I’ve been noticing lately (thank you, holiday baking season!) that processed sugar REALLY makes me crave more sugar. (That and processed, white flour.)

I didn’t run the numbers on these little babies, but I’m sure they don’t come at calorie bargain. They are really, really rich, though, so you definitely don’t need more than one!

The one thing I will do differently when I make these again (yes, I will be making these again!) is to use more raisins (or dates or prunes) in the “crust.” Mine was too crumbly and not nearly sticky enough. It barely stayed together on most of the tarts. I’m guessing the original recipe assumes you’ll eat the tarts with a fork, but I prefer my fingers 😉

Vegan MOFO Day 13: Bake Sale Goodies Part 1

The United Way committee had a bake sale at work yesterday and today, and by popular demand, I donated a couple of baked goods. I have been bringing my Chocolate Veggie Muffins (check back tomorrow for the recipe!) to work for a couple of weeks, so I already know they’re a hit. But on Monday, I also brought in some Carrot Cake Muffins for my co-workers to sample. Everyone who tasted them seemed to like them. I, on the other hand, loved them! I commented on my personal Facebook page that I want to smear the muffin all over my face and slowly lick it off for the rest of the day. Mmmmm…..

Carrot Cake Muffins

Carrot Cake Muffins

1 c wheat flour

1/2 c oat flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2-3 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 c sugar

4 pks stevia

1/2 c pumpkin puree

1/2 c non dairy milk (unsweetened almond milk)

1/2 c unsweetened applesauce

2 tsp vanilla

1/3 c raisins

1 c carrots, shreaded

Preheat oven to 350F

Combine dry ingredients. Stir with fork to combine fully. Add wet ingredients to dry. Stirl to combine, but don’t overstir.

Add to lined muffin tins (or spray muffin tins with cooking spray for easy removel).

Bake 20 mintues or until firm in the middle.

Serving Size: 12 muffins

Carrot Cake Muffin

Try not to smear it on your face 😉

Vegan MoFo is going strong. Check it out!

I’m sharing this recipe on DDD’s Wellness Weekends.

A Smoothie, A Loaf of Bread, and A Latte

The title of this post sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.

A smoothie, a loaf of bread, and a latte walk into a bar…

Ha ha ha.

Joking aside, I’ve basically been living on smoothies, baked goods from the freezer, and warm drinks. 

I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but I lose my ambition in the kitchen and my motivation to work out. I’ve kept up on my work outs (can’t. give. up.), but my cooking has all but disappeared. A string of bad dishes hasn’t helped the decline. Sure, I’ve made a couple of things here and there, including, thank goodness, a giant pot of soup, but for the most part, I’ve been cleaning out the freezer.

Mr. M regularly complains there’s no room for his stuff in the freezer (his “stuff” equates frozen pot-pies and random pieces of animal carcass), so besides working through my cooking slump, I’m also slowly eating my way through the freezer and making some room for what I’m guessing will be meatballs. (Seriously. Why does one man need 50 meatballs?!)

The smoothie that’s been getting me through early, rainy mornings is VERY filling. It’s full of fiber and natural sugars, so it perks you up quickly, but then sustains your energy for quite a while. And it’s superbly delicious.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Smoothie

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Smoothie

1 c non-dairy milk*

1/3 – 1/2 c oats (one serving according to product)

1 frozen banana, chunked (peel and chunk bananas before freezing)

1 serving protein powder (I use unflavored)

1 TBSP chia seeds (flax would work too)

1+ tsp vanilla

1+ TBSP cinnamon (or to taste)

1-2 TBSP raisins (1 mini box)

In a high-powered blender, add loose ingredients first: protein powder, chia seeds, oats, cinnamon. Then add remaining ingredients: raisins, non-dairy milk, and banana. Blend until smooth.

*I like to use unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but I think either sweetened or unsweetened hemp milk would be amazing in this smoothie. It’s rich and thick and delicious  – all on its own.

If you don’t like chewy chunks in your smoothie, let it sit for a few minutes so the oats and chia seeds can absorb some of the non-dairy milk and make it a little smoother. If you’re fond of eating your smoothies in a bowl, this will also make the smoothie more bowl-worthy.

Oatmeal Raisin Smoothie - Thick & Delicious

Like I said, this smoothie keeps me full for quite a while (it’s fairly caloric), but sometimes I eat breakfast so early, I must have a second breakfast because I’m hungry again before lunch. I know. I know. I can eat whatever I want whenever I want, but I love breakfast and am more than happy to extend it 🙂

Lately, when I’ve gotten had to eat Second Breakfast, I’ve been reaching for a slice of Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

I got the original recipe for this sweet, yeast bread from Happy Herbivore (click here for the original recipe). It sounded too good to pass up, but I didn’t want to use any refined sugars, and Mr. M had just bought a lifetime supply of grape juice (thank you, Sam’s Club), so I used it to replace the water in the recipe, which made it VERY sweet. I also mixed up the flour a little, reducing the wheat flour and adding oat bran (yup, still on my oat bran kick) and psyllium (not the laxative powder, the thicker, less processed whole grain). The result was amazing!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

3 c whole wheat flour

1/4 c oat bran

1/4 c psyllium

1 pkt dry yeast

2 TBSP maple syrup

1 tsp salt

4 TBSP cinnamon

1 c applesauce

1/2 c grape juice

1 c raisins

First, plump the raisins in warm water, warm juice (grape or apple), or a little warm liquor. (Did someone say Rum Raisin Bread?!)

Next, combine the applesauce and juice and heat until warm. Don’t overheat, or you’ll kill the yeast when adding to the dry ingredients.

Then, combine half of the whole wheat flour, yeast, salt, cinnamon, and raisins. Stir to combine. (I use a fork to combine and aerate.)

Slowly combine the warm liquid to the dry ingredients. Add the remaining flours (the rest of the whole wheat and the oat bran and ). Mix to combine. A heavy, wet dough should result.

Cover the wet dough with a towel and allow to rise. (If you have a gas oven, place the covered bowl in there to rise. Even turning the oven light on in an electric oven will provide a nice, warm environment for your dough.)

Remove your dough from the oven, if you put it in there, and pre-heat the oven to 375 F.

Remove the dough from the bowl and spread it into a loaf pan. Flatten it with your hands to create an even loaf.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Let the loaf rest until it’s cool enough to remove from the pan, and allow to rest a total of 1 – 1.5 hours before slicing. And eating. If you can.

This recipe is a keeper. Even Mr. M eats it, and he usually thinks my treats are too healthy tasting.

Aside from living out the freezer, I’ve been preparing for the beginning of fall all week by enjoying Pumpkin Spice Lattes. (I need warmed up after all that frozen food!)

Fall in a Cup!

A couple of weeks ago, I started pursuing the net for Pumpkin Spice Latte recipes. I found a bunch of really good ones and tried a couple. After a little trial and error, I came up with one that works for me. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

2 c. really strong coffee (use espresso if you can)

2 TBSP pumpkin puree

1/2 c non-dairy milk

1 TBSP liquid sweetener (I use maple syrup)

1 TBSP cinnamon (or to taste)

1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice (or to taste)

Add non-dairy milk, pumpkin puree, sweetener, and spices to blender. Blend well. Add mixture to large cup. Add coffee. Stir.

I prefer my coffee a little less than hot, so I don’t heat the mixture, but you may want to. The  most important part of the whole process, at least to me, is blending the pumpkin mixture. Without blending, the drink is grainy.

Feel free to add more sweetener, dairy free whipped topping, or anything else you’d like to your latte. I like mine kind of plain (I even use decaf coffee) and not too sweet, so no extras for me 😉 And if you have little ones in the house who want to share your welcoming fall spirit, try doubling the pumpkin mixture and warming it up for a coffee free fall drink. Yummy!

Hot, Rich & Frothy

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