Cranberry, Blueberry, Mango, Oh My!

I want it to be spring. I really do. I’m sure you do too, right?

Look, if there’s no snow, there’s no point in it being dreary and cold. Don’t argue with me.

Unfortunately there’s little we can do about it, huh? Except pretend it’s spring.

Buy tulips. Play outside every moment the sun peeps through the clouds. Make tropical smoothies.

spring tulips playing outside

tropical fruit smoothie

Instead of my normal coconut milk/spinach smoothie base, I started with cranberry juice. Umm, yum? It adds a whole new flavor dimension. I need to remember to think outside the box blender sometimes and not get stuck in a monotonous rut.

cranberry blueberry mango smoothie

This, my friends, was not a rut. Not at all.

ocean-spray-diet cranberry juice

I started with a recipe Ocean Spray for a mixed berry smoothie and altered it to my tastes a bit: I used just blueberries {the seeds in raspberries & blackberries don’t go over well for me in smoothies- they’re not smooth!} and added mango, because I’m thinking tropical here people. {Please? Just 60s, that’s all I’m asking for.}

cranberry smoothie recipe

Mmm.

Cran-blueberry Mango Smoothie

by with a Side of Sneakers

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Ocean Spray Diet Cranberry Juice Drink, any flavor
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 mango, diced
  • 1/2 banana, cut into slices

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend for a few seconds on high speed or until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pour into a large glass.

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ocean spray diet cranberry juice

Using the Diet Cranberry Juice as a base was yummy. A serving provides a full dose of vitamin C for 5 little calories, flavor not compromised. Swapping out full-calorie juices can help you fuel for the day while still tasting that delicious cranberry flavor. Psst they have sparkling flavors as well. Mmmmm.

fruit juice smoothie

What’s your favorite smoothie flavor? I’d have to say I’m a big pina coloda fan.

This post was sponsored by Ocean Spray. Hence the logos. And brand names. Winking smile

Overnight Pumpkin Spice Latte, Hot & Iced

Wake up to a comforting vegan pumpkin spice latte without even getting out of your pjs – it’s dairy free, vegan, low sugar, and can be made hot or iced. Plus it’s made in your crockpot overnight so it’s entirely fuss-free – just like a perfect fall latte should be.

Jump to Recipe

 

Fall. It’s all everyone is talking about. The calendar has rolled over into a new month and Labor Day weekend is behind us. Apparently that is a more significant signal of a season change than say, the actual changing of the weather.

There are no crisp fall mornings cropping up. The leaves aren’t beginning to turn. My jeans and scarves simply make me sweat more instead of keeping me cozy and comfortable.

But as with most things, people seem to be in a rush to push time along. There’s been talk of Halloween, pumpkins, apples, and hot toasty drinks.

vegan pumpkin spice latte recipe

Do you know what I’m getting at? The ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte. It’s all up in my face. You can’t escape it. Only I wish I could because I think it’s revolting.

Yes, I, lover of lattes and all things pumpkin, hate the artificial combination of coffee and pumpkin.

But give me real pumpkin. Cinnamon sticks. Cloves. Freshly ground coffee beans. This vegan pumpkin spice latte has all of that – plus it’s dairy free!

vegan pumpkin spice latte recipe dairy free gluten free

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

This comforting vegan pumpkin spice latte is not only a dairy free version of the popular PSL, but it's made right in your crockpot overnight - wake up to the delicious comfort of a latte without getting out of your pjs.

Course Drinks
Keyword coffee, crockpot, latte
Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting time 6 hours
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups almond milk or coconut milk {I used Silk PureAlmond Vanilla Unsweetened}
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree heaping
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tbsp sweetener such as maple syrup or molasses, plus additional as desired
  • Strong brewed coffee or espresso 2 Tbsp coffee grounds per 6 oz water
  • Coconut whipped cream, optional recipe below

Instructions

  1. Combine milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla, spices, and sweetener in slow cooker.

  2. Feel free to add cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, or a vanilla bean for added “oomph”.

  3. Cook on low 2-3 hours, or on “warm” setting overnight.

  4. Serve with hot or iced coffee. Try 1/2 cup brewed coffee with 3/4 cup pumpkin spiced milk or adjust as desired.

  5. Top with maple coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

starbucks pumpkin spice latte in crockpot

That I can get on board with.

I’m especially a fan of this at home version of the pumpkin spice latte for 2 reasons: 1. I can drink it! Alternative milks are increasingly popular, but until Starbucks moves beyond traditional cow’s milk and soy milk, I’m out. By making it at home I can use almond or coconut milk. 2. It makes itself overnight. Yeah, that’s right. Slow cooker to the rescue, yet again.

silk almond milk

We’re a milk free household and have been since long before baby allergies were an issue. I tend towards the almonds and coconuts of milk, while the husband prefers soy. I don’t think cow’s milk is a necessary part of our diet and it’s easy to replace since there are so many available options. Silk has soy, almond, and coconut milks in a plethora of varieties. They also have a fruit version that I want to try as soon as I can have soy again.

I like to stick with the original unsweetened versions of these dairy alternatives, but for this recipe I decided to give the vanilla almond milk a try. {Side note: the dark chocolate almond milk is INSANE. This comes from a non-lover of chocolate.}

how to make a pumpkin spice latte

I mulled my almond milk with the traditional plethora of fall flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, vanilla, and a hint of maple. I let it simmer on super-low overnight, awakening to the most amazing smells wafting up the stairs. It may be muggy and humid, but at least until I open the door, it’s fall for a few stolen moments. Infant in one arm, strongly brewed coffee in the other, I poured my steamed spiced milk into an oversized mug and applauded myself for playing the role of both sleep-deprived mom and barista all before 6am.

pumpkin spice latte recipes

I even thought far enough ahead to freeze some coffee + almond milk ice cubes for a refreshing iced coffee version when the full force of it’s-still-summer-reality hits me later in the day.

vegan whipped cream recipe dairy free

Maple Coconut Whipped Cream {Vegan}

Ingredients

  • 1 can coconut milk, chilled
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Drain liquid from coconut and add solid portion to a chilled mixing bowl.

Whip on high until peaks start to form.

Add in maple syrup and vanilla. Adjust sweetener to liking.

Serve over pumpkin spice lattes with a sprinkle of cinnamon for the perfect fall treat.

 

Feel free to toss your brewed coffee into the Crock Pot with your milk and spices so you have even less to do in the morning. I prefer to keep the milk separate so I can decide on my own coffee-to-milk ratios depending on whether I’m serving it hot or cold, or so I can use the delicious milk concoction for other fabulous fall-inspired meals, like this breakfast quinoa I devoured this morning.

 

Not a coffee fan? {Gasp! The horror!} Try this latte with brewed chai tea or as a base for hot chocolate instead. Mmmm.

This pumpkin latte recipe would be delicious served along side of a Starbucks-inspired pumpkin scone!

Originally sponsored by Silk.

Overnight Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe

 

 

Are you in the pumpkin spice latte fan club? When do you consider it actually fall?

Sparkling Grapefruit Zinger

Sometimes you just need something easy, light, and refreshing, especially in the midst of this seemingly unending summer heat wave.

sparkling grapefruit zinger

This sparkling grapefruit zinger kicks the fancy factor up a notch with snazzy basil, peach, & lime ice cubes. Feeling really fancy? Make it a cocktail instead.

grapefruit refresher

These ice cubes will add fun & pizazz to any summer beverage, but I especially love them paired with the crisp flavor of the grapefruit juice.

peach ice cubes

Peach Basil Ice Cubes

basil peach ice cubes

by with a Side of Sneakers

 

Ingredients

  • Water
  • Lime juice
  • Peaches
  • Basil

Instructions

Dice peaches & rip basil into small pieces.

Fill ice cube trays half full with water.

Add a few peaches & basil pieces to each cube.

Fill remaining space with lime juice.

Freeze & add to favorite beverage or water.

lime ice cubesfancy ice cubes

Sparkling Grapefruit Zinger

grapefruit juice drink

by with a Side of Sneakers

 

Ingredients

  • Sparkling water
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Batch of Peach Basil Ice Cubes

Instructions

Place a few Peach Basil Ice Cubes in each glass.

Fill glass with half sparkling water & half grapefruit juice.

Serve & enjoy ice cold.

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summer party drink

sparkling drink recipe

What’s your favorite way to cool off during the summer?