Cozy up to a mug of this Chestnut Praline Latte, a healthier and dairy-free version of Starbuck’s latest holiday latte, made with real chestnuts and pecans.
Have you tried the newest Starbuck’s Chestnut Praline Latte? Recently, I saw an article that said this latest drink does not actually contain any chestnuts or nuts in it. The name certainly is enticing – it conjures up images of folks sitting in front of a toasty fireplace, curled up on the couch with a cozy blanket during the holidays.
I was curious, so I actually tried one of these lattes the other day because I wanted to see if I could recreate a better version of this drink using real whole ingredients. It was cloyingly sweet but I did like the toasty notes and praline flavors. When I got home, I sat down to scribble down ingredients that would go into a Chestnut Praline Latte if it really was made with chestnuts and praline. Pralines are a Southern candy made with pecans, sugar or brown sugar, cream, butter, and vanilla. I remember having them once as a kid – they are like eating pure sugar that taste kind of caramel-y with toasted pecans.
In developing this recipe, I knew I wanted to incorporate the true flavors of toasted pecans and roasted chestnuts. So, I thought – why not just use real, whole ingredients that the name of the drink implies.
Roasted chestnuts can now be found in more stores these days, and if you have an Asian grocery store nearby, you can find them there as well, probably at a fraction of the price. Of course you can roast your own chestnuts, but I didn’t think it was worth it for the amount of chestnuts I was using.
My husband has a milk intolerance and borderline high cholesterol, so I used Silk’s new Cashewmilk to make this latte dairy-free and cholesterol-free. I’ve made cashew milk before and love how naturally creamy it is compared to other dairy-free milks. When I presented this mug of Chestnut Praline Latte to him, he immediately said, “But I can’t have dairy,” to which I proudly replied, “I know, but this is dairy-free and it’s a copycat of Starbuck’s new Chestnut Praline Latte.” He loved this latte and was so impressed by how creamy and delicious it was – he couldn’t believe it was dairy-free. Silk’s unsweetened Cashewmilk is creamier than skim milk, yet has 1/3 the calories of skim milk, so it’s a unique dairy-free alternative that provides the mouthfeel of something rich and creamy with fewer calories.
In addition to being dairy-free and cholesterol-free, Silk Cashewmilk has 50% more calcium than dairy milk. Silk Cashewmilk has also been verified by the Non-GMO Project, is free of gluten, soy, casein, peanuts, egg, and MSG, and has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. I’ve used dairy-free milk in smoothies, muffins, cornbread and pancakes with excellent results.
Do you like how creamy and frothy the top of this latte is? I just whipped everything up in my blender until smooth and creamy. Chestnuts are naturally creamy as is nut milk, so you won’t miss the dairy in this latte. The praline topping is just a crumbly, sugary topping of sorts, so I used a little brown sugar, crushed toasted pecans, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
I have to admit I’m pretty proud of this recipe – now if someone could just open a coffee shop and make lattes using real ingredients, instead of flavoring them to taste real.
- 1 cup (8 ounces) hot strong coffee
- ½ cup unsweetened cashew milk or other non-dairy milk, heated
- 3 roasted chestnuts (~ 1½ tablespoons)
- 6 toasted pecans (~ 1½ tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons organic coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon organic coconut or brown sugar mixed with a dash of cinnamon, ground ginger and cloves
- a few crushed toasted pecans
- Place hot coffee, hot cashew milk, chestnuts, pecans, coconut sugar and vanilla in the blender; blend until smooth; strain into coffee cup.
- Mix together sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Sprinkle on top of latte with some crushed toasted pecans
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.