Starbucks seasonal pumpkin spice latte is back, but did all you vegans know there's dairy in your drink, even if you order it with soy milk? A few vegan protestors discovered the popular fall-release latte syrup contains condensed milk, which means that -- whether for health or ethical reasons -- your seemingly vegan-friendly drink ordered without milk or whipped cream, actually isn't without milk.
According to Change.org petition creator Brent Caldwell, "there is currently no vegan option for [the Pumpkin spice latte] drink mix, which is a total bummer. After speaking with numerous other friends of mine from across the country, I have decided to start this petition to ask Starbucks to please change the ingredients of this beloved beverage so that all of their loyal patrons may enjoy it every autumn -- even the vegans and lactose-intolerant customers!"
Starbucks recently confirmed its pumpkin spice lattes do, in fact, include some dairy -- as well as several other flavored drink mixes like the white chocolate and salted or unsalted caramel latte drink mixes. However, there's one option the vegan pumpkin spice crowd can savor for the time being: the Starbucks VIA Pumpkin Spice instant coffee, and add soy milk. It's no latte, but it's better than nothing.
For those that care, the petition is asking Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to make a latte that doesn't do dairy. With more than 4,000 supporters since posting several days ago, today you can be one of the 900 or so remaining signatures needed to move the petition forward by going here.
Rather than wait around for change to happen, we suggest making your own pumpkin spice latte -- however you like it. Here's how to make a vegan-friendly version, no trip to Starbucks required. Keep reading for a do-it-yourself, dairy-free recipe you can make at home.
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte
Ah, the pumpkin spice latte. Why wait for a single season when you can make it at home -- any time of year -- with the ingredients you choose? This recipe calls for real pumpkin puree and a fresh pumpkin pie spice blend. As a result, there may be some "settling" of ingredients at the bottom of your mug -- but at least it's free from chemicals, corn syrup and other processed ingredients. Nothing a good stir can't fix.
Pumpkin Spice Base Ingredients:
2 cups vanilla soymilk (sweetened or unsweetened depending on taste)
1-2 shots espresso OR 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee
2 Tbsp canned pumpkin (unsweetened)
1 Tbsp agave syrup (maple syrup, or choice of sweetener)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pumpkin Foam Ingredients:
1/4 cup soy milk
1/4 tsp canned pumpkin (unsweetened)
1 tsp agave syrup
A dash of pumpkin pie spice (same as used above)
A pinch of salt
1. Over low heat whisk all the ingredients together in a small sauce pan. Note: If you are using coffee add it directly to the pan now.
2. Stir all ingredients until simmering. Continue to whisk while heating as pumpkin dissolves to avoid clumps. When mixture comes to a slow boil remove from heat, pour into a serving mug. Set aside.
3. Whip pumpkin foam by heating all the ingredients in a tall circular glass until warm. Then whip into a foam with a hand foamer. (If you do not have one skip this step and add foam ingredients to base mixture.)
4. If you opted for espresso, add to base now. Top with pumpkin foam. Enjoy!
Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.