Low Waste Cafe: Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and Pumpkin Muffins

Happy October, everyone! I am SO excited that it’s finally October. This year has been, well, just a bit rough and it makes me so happy that my favorite month is finally here.

One of the things I struggle with during this time of year is all the treats that are arriving on the shelves everywhere. Target, Trader Joe’s, CVS- every store has something to offer that is Halloween and Fall themed.

Unfortunately, a lot of these come with excess packaging. Why is it that the Reese’s pumpkin-shaped peanut butter cups taste SO much better when individually wrapped? Or Starbucks still won’t take To-Go cups when there is proof that COVID isn’t being spread by reusable items?

Sometimes, a girl needs to take matters into her own hands! I’m excited to be featuring low-waste solutions for fall treats on the blog this month. I certainly can’t highlight ALL the fall treats that are out there this month but I’m hoping to tackle some of the more popular ones.

First up in the series are some cafe favorites of mine- Starbucks’ Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Muffins.

The seasonal Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew comes from a recommendation from my friend, Bridget. I’m not a Pumpkin Spice Latte fan (I know, that’s very off brand for me) but the cold brew is right up my alley. Though it’s delicious, there’s 2 problems with this: 1. It doesn’t come with a dairy-free option and all that cream does not suit me and 2. Starbucks isn’t taking reusable mugs, yet. Plus, they’re going for approximately $5 for a small and that’s insane! We can definitely make it for cheaper AND plastic-free. Plus, the pumpkin syrup that you use in the cold foam is the same syrup used in the infamous PSL so it’s really a two-fer!

The second recipe is my take on the Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Muffin. Overall, the waste factor on here is fairly low, coming with a paper wrapper and in a bag made from recycled paper. The paper wrapper has to be tossed because you can’t recycle anything with food stains. The paper bag can possibly be recycled if it didn’t get food on it but my order also came with approximately 10 napkins and that was after I asked for none. Overall, I just felt that though there wasn’t any plastic involved, I could do better both environmentally and recipe-wise because seriously, there is never enough streusel on those pumpkin muffins!! I’ve opted to make a pumpkin coffee cake instead of muffins. It came out just as tasty and moist as the Dunkin’ muffins, has a pumpkin spice icing (another use for that Starbucks syrup!) but has WAY more streusel. So many wins!

So instead of this post being incredibly long with two recipes, I have created a separate post for each so you can find them easier: The Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and my take on the pumpkin muffin, the Pumpkin Coffee Cake.

Additionally, I’m also adding this link for a list of low waste baking ingredients. I’ll be adding quite a few baking recipes throughout the month. Instead of going through all the ingredients in each recipe, I’ll continue to update that list and include a link on some plastic-free alternatives.

Let me know if you try any of these or if there is something you’d like to see this month. I’d love to hear from you!

2 thoughts on “Low Waste Cafe: Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and Pumpkin Muffins

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