Summer has come & gone and now we are approaching the always festive & bountiful harvest season. There are visions of squash soups & pumpkin pie aromas filling the senses with the comfort of autumn, and for many people also comes the craving for a pumpkin spice latte! But is all of this pumpkin pie madness just another excuse to indulge in comfort food?
Thankfully, the answer is not necessarily. The desire to have a slice of pumpkin pie after a large meal can be more than just a craving for comfort- the spices in pumpkin pies actually have digestive benefits, mental stimulating abilities and yes, even can act as aphrodisiacs! But despite the small quantities of these spices in a slice of pie, the aromatherapy effect alone can trigger a multitude of feel-good hormones in the brain. For example, the warming quality of cinnamon acts as a stimulating digestive aid. Smelling cinnamon can energize and focus the mind, which assists in alleviating depression, promoting creativity & a general air of well-being. Nutmeg, another warming spice, calms nausea and assists in breaking down food in the body and is alleged to have aphrodisiac properties because it eases nervous tension in the body. Clove, another integral element in pumpkin pie spices, warms the internal digestive system as well, and the scent can improve memory by stimulating the brain. Finally allspice, similar in characteristic to clove, also assists in relieving flatulence, nausea & cramps but also is a natural liver tonic, which also helps in relieving depression and tension. All of these elements combined produce a very pleasing sensory stimulation to the brain, allowing for a strong sense of euphoria and contentment to surge through the body.
So what does this mean for our dear latte drinkers? Well, that anyone can take a truly mental health break with their morning or afternoon coffee by indulging in a pumpkin spice latte not just for the uplift of caffeine but also for the comforting sensory experience. This also means that it’s time for a trip to Liquid Planet for a wonderful cup of self-care!
Can’t get downtown to indulge? Here are all of the ingredients you need to prepare your own authentic pumpkin spice latte at home, compliments of the OhMyGoodyGoodness blog:
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened canned pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot brewed, strong coffee
- 2 tablespoons half & half cream
- 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar, or more to taste
- whipped cream, optional
- ground nutmeg
- In a glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, spice and vanilla. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes- watch closely and remove it from the microwave when the milk is hot and frothy.
- Pour the pumpkin milk into a tall mug or glass. Add hot coffee. Pour in the cream. Add a teaspoon of sugar. Stir, and taste. Add more sugar, if desired.
- Optional, but oh so good… add whipped cream on top and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Bang, zip, voila! You now have a fantastic cup of heaven awaiting you.