Good morning, pumpkin! Or, more specifically, the Pumpkin Spice Latté, a seasonal treat that has once again popped up all over the country this autumn. Whether you prefer Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or your local coffee shop down the street, this autumn brew is the “in” beverage this season. If you’re as much as a coffee aficionado as I am, I’m sure you’ve been keeping up with the latest buzz in the latte world, and that this popular treat is an “overpriced cup of chemicals.” Whether that information is true or not, this version is healthier and not to mention much cheaper, so file this under “The Best Coffee Recipe Ever!”

A DIY version that is equally delicious costs a fraction of the typical store bought kind, and is made only with natural ingredients (stuff that you can actually pronounce). Avoid the extra calories and sugar, and try this homemade version that isn’t packed with coloring and artificial flavors. Pure pumpkin, cinnamon, sugar, a little water and pumpkin pie spice are cooked to form a syrup to be added to pure coffee, with milk. It is everything we love, and nothing we don’t. Real wholesome ingredients that can be enjoyed all year round.

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*Recipe from Good Housekeeping Magazine, by Erin Phraner

*Recipe makes 4 lattes
Ingredients:
For the syrup
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
• 1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin

FOR THE LATTE:
• 8 ounces whole milk
• 4 ounces strong brewed coffee or espresso
• Whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice, for garnish (optional)

1. Prepare the syrup: Bring the sugar and 2 cups water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking, until the sugar dissolves. Add the cinnamon sticks, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin. Simmer, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Set aside 5 minutes, then strain twice through a fine-mesh strainer into an airtight container. Refrigerate until cool. Store in the refrigerator for about 1 month. You’ll end up with about 4 cups total.

2. For each latte: Microwave the milk on High about 1 minute or until very hot. (Transfer to a blender and blend 20 seconds for extra frothy milk, if desired.) Put 1 to 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice syrup in the bottom of a mug. Top with the coffee and warm milk. Garnish with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice, if desired.