Towards the end of summer in Vancouver, we begin to see the posts. Usually, they are signalled by the seasonal shifts of Starbucks cups and marketing focuses; and their role in introducing (and promoting, extensively) the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte. The incredibly speed at which the “PSL” not only hit the market, but influenced an entire line of similar products, flavours, and features, has been undeniably tremendous.
It has been tremendous for a reason. Call it what you may, write about it how you wish, but when it comes to it: Pumpkin, and Pumpkin Spice anything, is pretty darn dreamy. Flavours of Fall, comfort, warmth, and flavours that can easily be adapted to a series of drinks, dishes, and even beauty and body products.
As many vegans and veg folks are aware, the PSL blend at Starbucks has dairy by-products (as do many of them). Many of the conventional baked goods we see come out at this time of year follow suit. With those factors in mind, this list has been assembled: how to get your PS fix, support local businesses, reduce your general sugar intake, all whilst remaining vegan-friendly.
1) Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Eternal Abundance ( 1025 Commercial Drive): Boasting an impressive list of only 7 ingredients, this Latte is (surprise, surprise) made with real pumpkin, completely organic, and sweetened with the goodness of maple syrup and dates.
While you’re in the neighbourhood, stroll down the block to…
2) Sweet Cherubim ( 1105 Commercial Drive): In addition to the seasonal return of their infamous Pumpkin Pies (available by the slice, or by the whole pie), SC boasts the super-food charged Live Pumpkin Latte: yerba matte, pumpkin, fresh raw cashew milk, dates, spices, green stevia, and vanilla.
3) Pumpkin Spice Blend from Harmonic Arts (harmonic arts.ca): Available in one of two sizes (50g or 454g), this divine mixture is a blend of Organic Cinnamon, organic Ginger, organic Nutmeg, organic Allspice, and organic spices. Use it to create your own beverages at home, add it to baking, and even to your savoury mains if you are so inclined.
4) Pumpkin Spice Body Lotion from Me&You Body ( https://meyoubody.com): This is the creme de la creme of body moisturizers. Not only is the Me&You line completely all-natural, everything is handmade in BC. The products are earth-friendly, effective, and never (ever) tested on animals. Enter this dreamy concoction, which is Shea Butter based, fast absorbing, leaves your skin smooth and supple, and the best part: smelling exactly as amazing as its beverage counterpart(s).
5) Shiawase (Vegan Pumpkin Pudding) from Shizenya (two locations: 1102 West Broadway, 985 Hornby St): “Shiawayse” means happiness in Japanese, and Shizenya’s website indicates that this “pudding brings you happiness until you enjoy the last scoop, and even after you leave Shizenya.” As someone who has been eating this pudding for well over a year, I can fully support and endorse this statement. With a list of simple ingredients (local farm produced pumpkins, organic coconut sugar, and Canadian maple syrup to name a few), this dish is perfect with a cup of tea, on its own, or following a round of Shizenya’s incredible vegan-friendly sushi. (Take note of the quinoa rolls.)
Wishing you all the (basic) best of Pumpkin Spice goodness this season, and beyond.
ZP || firstname.lastname@example.org || IG @zoemarg
Photos: Pinterest | Sweet Cherubim | Me&You | Shizenya