PUMPKIN CHICORY LATTE WITH COCONUT CREAM

Ever since I discovered Starbucks, Winter became even more exciting to me. I would await their limited edition Christmas menu, eager to get my freezing cold hands on a paper cup of sugary cream (with a hint of coffee). The gingerbread latte, toffee nut latte, eggnog latte and the almond hot chocolate are delicious, warming drinks especially for busy people constantly on the go. I used to order the toffee nut latte and would quickly go about eating the cream - encrusted with toffee sprinkles - before it had a chance to melt. This recipe, however, calls for homemade coconut cream which, in my opinion, is much tastier than the ‘squirty cream’ we all remember from out childhoods. This cream is thicker and doesn’t taste of the confinement of a metal can (or nitrous oxide). It is smoother, creamier and has a mild coconut flavour which is extremely tasty, but for those of you who don’t like coconut, it melts deliciously into the rest of the drink in no time, so you’ll hardly notice it once it’s dissolved. 

Chicory - most commonly known as a leafy salad vegetable - has been curated into a tasty caffeine-free coffee alternative. It is roasted and ground into a granule-like consistency, and once hot water is added, dissolves into a nutty, earthy, warming, nourishing drink. Chicory has even been proven to aid digestion, so this drink is perfect enjoyed first thing in the morning to get your body working smoothly, and to satisfy your coffee cravings.

INGREDIENTS
1-2 Tablespoons Ground Chicory (available in most health food stores including Holland & Barrett)
1 Teaspoon Maca
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Coconut Palm Sugar
250ml Pumpkin Milk (choose method below)

Nut Milk Options:
1 Cup Almonds soaked
1/2 Cup Toasted Pecans (or nuts of choice)
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
250ml Water
1/2 Cup Pumpkin, chopped and raw
3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds (optional)
or
250ml Shop Bought Almond or Coconut Milk
3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds (optional)
1/2 Cup Pumpkin, chopped and raw

METHOD
Start by making the pumpkin juice. Take your chopped pumpkin and juice it. If you don’t have a juicer, blend the pumpkin with 1 cup of water until smooth. Sieve the liquid to remove any large lumps of pumpkin, and set aside the juice. (If you used a juicer, set aside the juice whilst you make the milk)

For the nut milk, place your soaked almonds, toasted pecans, salt, water and chia seeds into your blender. Blend on a high speed for 2-4 minutes until smooth. Pour the liquid through a jam straining bag or a nut milk bag, into a jug. Then transfer the milk back into the blender, adding the pumpkin juice. (If you are using shop bought, pre-made almond milk, simply blend together the milk and the pumpkin juice). Blend for 1-2 minutes until everything is smoothly combined. Pour the milk through a sieve into a medium saucepan and add the ground chicory, maca, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and coconut palm sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon, simmering on a medium heat, for 12-15 to infuse the milk fully. When the chicory has dissolved and the flavours have combined, sweeten to taste and serve.

TOP WITH
A Generous Dollop of Coconut Cream (recipe below)
Toasted Pecans
Chia Seeds
Cinnamon
Coconut Palm Sugar

COCONUT CREAM

1 Tin Coconut Milk from the fridge (strictly the solid part only)
1 Teaspoon Date Syrup

METHOD
Spoon the solid part of the coconut milk into a blender. Save the liquid for making smoothies, porridge or chia seed puddings, don’t let any into this recipe. Add the date syrup and blend on a low speed until the ingredients are combined smoothly. (You can, alternatively, place both ingredients into a bowl and mix, whipping vigorously, to combine the two). Pour into a bowl or container and place in the fridge to harden for 1-2 hours. Serve either in scoops (will need 2 hours to set) or as a double cream alternative (no need to set).