Light Pumpkin Hot Chocolate

With snow in the forecast this week, Simon and I wanted to take advantage or our last true days of fall.  It is definitely fall here.  Do you know how I know?  Our lawn has all but disappeared.  So we took a walk, crunching through the leaves, taking in the last days of fall, and freezing our butts off.

No joke, it is cold out there, I can’t believe the little guy needs a hat in October.  He is also wearing fleece footie pajamas over his regular clothes.  He was actually pretty happy, besides some cold hands (knitting baby mittens is next on the list).  We had just moved to Missouri this time last year, and I remember going to for walks and it being really warm.  Not so much, here in upstate New York.  Winter comes fast and hard, and I’m a little surprised that fall has even lasted this long!

On our walk home, I had my mind on hot beverages.  How could I not?  When you come in from playing in the cold, you want something warm to drink.  I was specifically thinking about a few recipes I had seen on Pinterest (as I do so often these days) for pumpkin white hot chocolate.

Have you ever had white hot chocolate?  I don’t really care for it, as it doesn’t really taste like white chocolate.  So I figured, why bother?

That’s right, this hot chocolate has no chocolate.  But Warm Pumpkin Drink doesn’t really have the same ring to it, does it?  So I whipped up a super simple, vegan, under 100 calorie Pumpkin Hot No-Chocolate.

You Need:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
a pinch of ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp cornstarch (optional)

You Will:
1.  Heat the milk, pumpkin, spices, and maple syrup in a small saucepan.
2.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
3.  Optional, if you want it a little thicker, you can dissolve the cornstarch in a few tsp of cold water, or milk.  Add some of the warm liquid to the cornstarch mixture, then add the cornstarch to the pot, and stir until thickened.
4.  Drink!  Try and let it cool a little first.

I calculated this out to be 97 calories.  Score!  And I’m pretty sure pumpkin counts as a vegetable, so really you could almost call this healthy.  Make sure you use pure maple syrup (the Northern New York sweetener of choice, of course) and not pancake syrup.  If you don’t have maple syrup, you could use agave or even just brown sugar.

Yummy yummy.  Warmed us me right up.  Simon didn’t have any, but only because he can’t really drink liquids very well yet.  I would have felt fine letting him drink this.
Okay, let’s be honest, I just wanted to drink it myself.  He’s actually gotten quite proficient with a straw cup!

Enjoy your last days of fall!  We’ve got a lot of chilly raking to do this weekend.  Probably with Pumpkin Hot No-Chocolate to follow.

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