Make Fancy Coffee Drinks at Home
I have nothing against coffee shops. In fact, they are my favorite places to write when I really need to get some work done. But there is a price to pay, and if you like the more elaborate, or frozen, drinks you are the one paying heavily.
Just seeing a gingerbread latte on the menu gets me in the mood for some holiday fun. It also makes my wallet 5 bucks lighter and that’s not what I need that time of the year.
The picture of the latte above may not seem complete without whipped creme, so feel free to add what makes you happy. Soyatoo makes a thicker one just for coffee and it’s dairy-free and vegan too! You could also sprinkle it with minced candied ginger to impress your holiday guests.
Unlike at most coffee-shops you can pick the non-dairy milk that you like best. I’m grateful that soy seems to be plentiful these days, but I like to also use almond, coconut, and even hazelnut when the mood strikes.
Another bonus is that you can use the sweetener of your choice. I’ve been using a brand of stevia called Nu-steiva that I’m fond of. It’s not bitter like some of the other brands.
In this latte recipe I use So Delicious coconut milk and creamer along with some cold brewed coffee (follow link for cold brewing instructions).
I find that having some coffee concentrate in my fridge makes spur of the moment coffee drinks alot easier. It’s also impossibly easy to make in a French press. Just add coffee and water and let sit about 12 hours. Then push the press and pour your coffee-concentrate into a bottle with a lid and store in the fridge.
It also makes it easy to make cold or frozen coffee drinks. It’s already cold, so it won’t melt your ice.
This Pumpkin Spice Cheap-o-chino is based on cold brew coffee, pumpkin puree, spices and a pinch of xantham gum or pectin to hold it all together.
If you’ve ever tried your hand at making one of these at home and failed it was because it was missing the secret ingredient of xantham gum or pectin. Pectin is cheaper and easy to find during canning season, but a small bag of xanthan will keep you in cheap-o-chinos for months.
Just in time for the Winter menu here is recipe for a Peppermint Mocha Cheap-o-chino. If you’re having an unusually warm fall like we are you’ll appreciate the cooling taste of peppermint in this icy drink.
No matter have you like your coffee – hot or cold – you’ll save enough money making these at home that you can buy yourself something special for the holidays!
Kathy Hester lives in Durham, NC with her 2 cats who would rather not live together, a cute dog with a belly rub addiction, a picky eater and has more slow cookers than any one person should be allowed to own. She is also the author of The Vegan Slow Cooker and HealthySlowCooking.com