Monday Musings & Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

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Lauren Zembron
Lauren Zembron
I am a 34 year old living outside of Boston with my wonderful husband, energetic daughter, sweet son, and playful dog. I have degrees in both psychology and guidance counseling, and have worked in a variety of school settings. I strive to find a balance between the two basic food philosophies of “eat to live” and “live to eat“. I believe that food should be (and is!) one of the great pleasures of leading a healthy lifestyle.

1. This marks my first hot OIAJ since last winter. For those of you scratching your head right now, OIAJ is a food blogger acronym for “Oats In A Jar”, and refers to eating oatmeal (hot from the stovetop or cold overnight) straight from an almost-empty nut butter jar. If you haven’t already tried this trend, I implore you to do so!

[Iced tea spoon to reach the nut butter at the very bottom of the jar optional but highly recommended].

Reaching the bottom of a peanut (or almond, cashew, etc.) butter jar is an exciting event!

It’s the little things.

*On my last trip to Trader Joe’s, I was informed that my beloved organic peanut butter has been discontinued 🙁. Something about the growing practices and how it wasn’t lucrative enough for the farmers. THIS is why I wish more people would consider buying organic – we need to support the growing practices of organic farmers if we value their methods; and as far as prices go, this organic peanut butter was less expensive than many peanut butter varieties available on stores’ shelves.

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

In the jar: stovetop zucchini bread oatmeal (yes, I put the green summer squash into granola, pancakes, and oatmeal) with vanilla almond milk, banana slices (for me, oatmeal without banana is like s’mores without chocolate… I don’t sweeten my oatmeal with maple syrup or sugar, so those bananas are a must!), cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, finely grated zucchini, walnuts, and grain-sweetened chocolate chips.

If you haven’t already come to this conclusion, I’m all about zucchini bread-inspired breakfasts for the sole reason that it gives me an excuse to eat chocolate chips first thing in the morning ;).

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

2. Just a few days after digging into hot oatmeal on a rainy 55° morning, I was craving a ripe juicy plum on a sunny 80° afternoon.

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

Heeeelp! I’m stuck between seasons!

3. I attempted to find a happy medium between summer & fall with a parfait of cold pumpkin overnight oats, banana soft serve, & crushed whole wheat graham crackers…

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

[The night before, combine in a bowl: 1/3 cup each rolled oats, milk, and Greek yogurt, ~ 3 Tbsp pure pumpkin puree (I didn’t really measure), and cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves to taste; refrigerate overnight. Also the night before: cut a peeled banana into slices, place in a ziploc bag, and freeze. The next morning, toss the frozen banana slices into a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Place a few graham crackers sheets in a ziploc bag, and smash into crumbs using a pan or heavy mug. Layer the pumpkin oats with the banana soft serve and graham crackers crumbs.]

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

4. … which I promptly chased with a homemade Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

This went down way too quickly.

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

Printer-Friendly Recipe

yield: 1 serving


  • 3/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 Tbsp pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground ginger
  • tiny pinch ground nutmeg
  • tiny pinch cloves
  • ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup strong cold-brewed coffee (I used coarsely ground TJ’s Fair Trade Organic French Roast Decaf); or brewed coffee that has chilled thoroughly in the fridge


  1. Combine milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and spices in a blender or mini food processor; blend until well-combined and frothy.
  2. Pour mixture into a large glass filled halfway with ice cubes. Slowly pour in the chilled coffee. Serve with a dusting of cinnamon, if desired.

Nutritional Information (using unsweetened vanilla almond milk; this will vary depending on the type of milk you use):

63.4 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 2.6 grams fiber, 5.4 grams sugar, 1.6 grams protein

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s going to be a fabulous fall ;).

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