Be Your Own Barista

By Ashley | Recipes

Oct 28
My first cappuccino in Tuscany

My first cappuccino in Tuscany

So . . . Tuesday is the first class at the Vegan Cafe in quite a while. Yayyy! I happen to be the teacher and I am thrilled that I got to choose the topic: Raw Brownies, Hot Chocolate, and Lattes (Visit http://www.rawvegancafe.org/Classes.html for details). This time of year I live on hot beverages and I assume that I am not alone. For me, the greatest disadvantage of raw food is that it’s not hot . . . soooo frustrating during the winter months. But with beverages you can kind of cheat because it’s just the water you’re heating?? Not sure if these lattes are considered “raw” by hardcore raw vegans, but I can guarantee that they are a lot healthier and just as delicious as any dairy-based drink void of nutrients.

Ever since my stay in Tuscany I have been even more determined to perfect coffee and espresso based beverages at home because they are one of life’s greatest pleasures and I refuse to become a Starbuck’s junkie because that is simply a waste of gas, money, and paper cups. I made some pretty tasty lattes last winter, but this year I am kicking it up a notch and really having fun with ingredients. Tonight I will share my recipes for a vegan mocha latte, pumpkin latte and vanilla latte. Because this isn’t a raw food blog I did include some “cooked” ingredients such as pumpkin puree an a soymilk option. I cannot stress enough that the quality of your ingredients makes the difference between a good and out of this world beverage. The great thing about these “recipes” is that they are very much open to interpretation. I really just see what ingredients I have, pair a few together, buzz in the Vitamix, strain, and warm on the stove, and Wah-lah! a steamy, vegan, guiltless latte is all mine =)

raw vegan hot choc

Vegan Mocha Latte (omit the coffee and you’ve got hot chocolate)
3 tbsp extra strong Teeccino Mediterranean Herbal Coffee or 1 shot Espresso
3 tbsp soaked almonds, pecans or a combination
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 soaked dates or date soaking liquid to taste
1/4 c raw cacao
pinch sea salt
pinch cinnamon
In a high-speed blender, blend all ingredients with 16 oz. hot water
Strain through a fine mesh strainer into 2 mugs, or in my case 1 very large mug
*If you are not using hot water, warm liquid in a saucepan after straining

Vegan Pumpkin Latte
1 herbal chai teabag, or alternately, 3 tbsp extra strong Herbal Coffee
16 oz. organic soy or almond milk
1/4 c pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch ginger, allspice, and cardamom
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar or 1 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
pinch sea salt
If using tea bag, combine milk and tea bag in a saucepan over medium heat. Once milk is warm let tea steap for a few minutes. Increase heat and whisk in remaining ingredients. Let simmer for a minute or so then strain into 2 mugs.

Vegan Vanilla Latte
3 tbsp extra strong Herbal Coffee
16 oz. organic soymilk or 1/4 c soak cashews plus 16 oz. hot water
Seeds from 1/4 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
pinch cinnamon
2 dates or date soaking liquid to taste
You get the idea by now. Whiz all ingredients in a high speed blender, strain and enjoy!


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