Autumn is in! The weather has finally started to change, making you look into getting your hot beverage fix in order. There’s just something about sipping into your aromatic cup of joe in this season. But the one sure-shot way to make the most of this season is to enjoy the flavorings of pumpkin spice. So you might be asking what is in pumpkin spice? It’s pretty simple, actually. The spices listed below are used in varying portions when we talk about making use of pumpkin spice, especially when creating our very own version of the very popular pumpkin spice. There are actually several health benefits of spices, including these spices being anti-inflammatory and completely packed with unique antioxidants. Social Diary looks into what this mix of spices are:
Cinnamon is the base of pumpkin spice and has anti-inflammatory properties and is loaded with antioxidants. Some studies show that it can also help with blood sugar balance.
Ginger adds that spicy aspect and is very beneficial to health, boosting the immune system and reducing nausea if that’s an issue for you.
Clove has a strong, astringent flavor and unique antioxidants that are used in pain relief and have been shown to kill bacteria.
Nutmeg is best when freshly grated; that’s actually the only way I use it. It’s so delicious on eggnog and eggnog baked goods and is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and potential immune booster.
Now you might be wondering why pumpkin reigns as being one of the most popular spices. Actually there are a lot of reasons to use pumpkin in recipes all year round though it pops up mostly in fall of course. Pumpkin is a winter squash and it is such a nutrient-rich ingredient to add into recipes whenever you can. It is packed with vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and B vitamins, along with lots of minerals and fiber. These vitamins also help boost your immune system and help fight infections which is super helpful heading into cold and flu season. Pumpkins are known for their deep orange color and whenever you see that color, you can be sure that you are getting a rich source of natural vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant and is especially good for eye health and helps reduce inflammation; it also can help prevent risk of cancers and other chronic diseases. Specifically, pumpkins contain a high amount of carotenoids, mainly beta-carotene, which the body turns into Vitamin A. Remember to include this part of the “rainbow” in your diet regularly. Other good options include other types of squash including butternut, cantaloupe, carrots, pink grapefruit, watermelon, oranges and tangerines, corn, guava, mango, nectarines and peaches (among many others). You’ve got a lot of great options in this category so make sure to eat your red and orange fruits and veggies.Pumpkins are also a great source of dietary fiber which is extremely beneficial for a healthy digestive system and can also support heart health and make you feel fuller for longer. The type of fiber in pumpkin grabs onto cholesterol molecules and escorts them out of the body via the digestive tract. It’s always really fun to me to consider how many incredible health benefits are sitting right there in normal foods that we eat every day. You just have to make sure to actually eat them on a daily basis!
Making Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte!
When it comes to enjoying a foamy latte with hints of pumpkin spice, it is always best that you make use of some of the best spices right at home! You can ensure you can get the taste of international coffee shops when you are getting an interesting mix of the ingredients needed. So here it is. Check out this simple recipe on how you can enjoy your very own version of the very popular Autumn drink “Pumpkin Spice Latte’
What You Need:
4 cups your favorite medium to dark roast coffee
2 cups milk (I used nonfat)
2 tablespoons to ¼ cup brown sugar, packed (depending on how sweet you like your lattes)
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cornstarch
How You’ll Make It
*Heat milk, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in cornstarch until completely combined. Scald mixture but do not boil.
*Stir coffee into pumpkin and milk mixture. Using a frother, immersion blender, standing blender*, or a whisk, blend until frothy. Let cool for 1 minute.
*Pour into your favorite mug, top with a little foamed milk or a dollop of whipped cream, a pinch of cinnamon and a little raw cane sugar. Serve immediately.
*If using a standing blender, be sure to let the latte cool somewhat before blending. If it’s still steaming hot, the pressure of the heat will blow the top right off of the blender when you press blend!
*This recipe makes about 4 servings!