This High Protein Pumpkin Chai Latte is a fun way to dress up a regular protein powder. These mixes make cold weather camping feel bougie!
It’s a great thing! The flavours of both masala chai - with the warm spices that chai lovers know well - with the addition of pumpkin puree.
That homemade pumpkin spice chai latte tastes like an exotic pumpkin pie filling, and it’s the perfect fall drink.
With that time of year - pumpkin season! - looming, I’m already thinking about the flavors of fall, and the upcoming holiday season.
I AM a food blogger, after all!
Anyway, while I love that homemade pumpkin chai latte, it’s not as ... instant ... as I’d like for cold weather camping.
Also, it’s definitely a “treat” recipe, not an everything indulgence, IMHO.
Lately, I’ve been developing a bunch of high protein drink mixes inspired by local coffee shop offerings. OBVIOUSLY I was going to do a version of that pumpkin latte!
High Protein Lattes!
This pumpkin spice chai tea latte may be based with a protein powder, but in NO WAY does it feel like you’re doing a protein shake.
It tastes like a regular chai latte that you’d find on any coffee shop’s fall menu. It’s rich, delicious, spicy ... the kind of warm latte you’d drink while curled up with a good book.
It’s a great way to get your protein in, while not feeling like you’re chugging protein powder. It feels too bougie and luxurious to picture slamming one at the gym, you know?
Anyway, I’ve been making these homemade chai latte mixes up, assembly line style.
It takes me just a few minutes to make a batch of 10 or so, then I’ve got a bunch on hand for whenever I want one.
... that usually ends up being a twice daily thing, so it’s a good thing that I’ve come up with 12 different high protein drink mix recipes!
I’ve covered a lot of the delicious drink options that people look forward to this time of year, along with some more “year-round” type options - be sure to see the link list near the end of this post!
Anyway, let’s get to that recipe!
Pumpkin Latte Ingredients
While the full ingredient list for these pumpkin chai tea lattes may seem a little long, they’re mostly all simple ingredients and pantry staples that will be easy to find in most grocery stores.
... with one exception, anyway!
Some notes for you:
Vanilla Protein Powder
The Vanilla Flavored Whey Protein Powder brings a few things to this recipe.
Obviously, there’s the protein content... but then there’s also some texture (milky/creamy), sweetness, and the vanilla flavour.
Using a vanilla protein powder negates the need to use vanilla extract, which is handy - I like to do this recipe up assembly-line style, making a bunch of packets for future use!
I use Revolution Nutrition's High Whey in Vanilla Cake, as it’s the best vanilla protein I’ve ever had.
That said, feel free to use your favourite protein powder. It doesn’t even need to be a whey protein - if you want to make a vegan protein chai latte, just use a plant based protein!
The big thing to keep in mind is to use one that you actually like the taste of. Also - ideally - one that mixes smoothly!
Pumpkin Powder is the one “weird” ingredient in here.
Usually when I make regular pumpkin coffee drinks, the pumpkin flavor comes from real pumpkin puree - whether canned or homemade.
Because I’m doing these up as instant packets, I needed a dry alternative.
Pumpkin powder is dehydrated pumpkin that’s been powdered down to a granulated form. A few things to note:
1. Look for one that has ONLY pumpkin - pumpkin should be the only ingredient.
2. While you can get powdered pumpkin as a culinary thing, a lot of the time - at least here in Canada - you’re more likely to see it sold as a nutritional aid for dogs. As long as it’s ONLY pumpkin, it’s all good - IMHO.
3. If you can’t find culinary pumpkin powder and don’t want to buy a fiber supplement meant for dogs, you can make your own! There are several tutorials out there for making your own pumpkin powder.
4. Pumpkin powder is known to be more granular than powder. If you find this to be the case with the powder you end up with, just run it through a mini food processor or spice grinder until it’s a fine powder. This will help it fully dissolve in your drink!
While most chai lattes use some form of fresh brewed tea - black tea bags, chai tea bags, or loose leaf tea - or a chai concentrate, none of those really work for making a dry mix.
So, I use Instant Black Tea Powder, which dissolves cleanly - unlike regular loose tea.
Just be sure to use one where black tea is the only ingredient. You don’t want it to be sweetened, flavoured, or thinned out with fillers, for the purposes of this recipe!
I just find allulose to work much better than the erythritol blends - it doesn’t do the cooling sensation thing. While that can be fun with minty items, it doesn’t really work with chai!
If you’re not watching your carb intake, feel free to use regular brown sugar.
I modeled the chai spice mix in this recipe after the proportions I first used in my Chai Cupcakes ... and which later made its way into my Chai Cinnamon Rolls, Chewy Chai Blondies Recipe, Gluten-Free Chai Doughnut Holes, Milk Chocolate Chai Truffles, Chai Bagels and my regular Pumpkin Chai Latte.
... just with the addition of ginger, for the “pumpkin pie” aspect of the flavour profile!
That said, if you don’t want to measure out a bunch of extra spices, you can use a store bought Pumpkin Pie Spice, (or a homemade pumpkin spice mix!).
Just use ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice per drink packet, plus ⅛ teaspoon Ground Cardamom and a pinch of salt.
Milk of Your Choice (or Water)
You can use either milk or water with this - and either way, it can be hot or cold.
Milk - any kind of milk - will result in a creamier drink than water, though... and is more likely to give you a frothy milk layer, when mixing it up as a hot drink.
As for what type of milk to use ... I’m avoiding dairy milk (aside from in cheese!), so I use plant-based milk.
Generally speaking, this is Unsweetened Almond Milk, which is what we always have on hand.
I’m not personally a fan of soy milk, but if you like it, feel free to use it!
If you’re fine with dairy, skim milk, 2% milk, and whole milk will all work - the higher the milk fat percentage, the creamier the drink!
Not technically an ingredient, but I recommend having a good shaker bottle on hand, if you’ll be doing these up as a regular thing.
I love my 20 oz BlenderBottle - the perfect size for all of these protein drink mixes I make.
It also has a wire whisk globe in there, which makes blending the drinks smoothly so much easier!
How to Make High Protein Pumpkin Chai Latte
The full recipe is in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, here is the pictorial walk through with detailed instructions:
For Hot Protein Pumpkin Chai Latte
Combine dry ingredients in a shaker bottle or blender.
Add hot water or hot milk of choice*; shake until well combined, smooth, and with no undissolved tea granules left on the bottom of the bottle.
(Alternately, you could mix this with an immersion blender or milk frother, if you prefer!)
Pour your hot drink into a large mug, garnish as desired (whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, whatever!), and enjoy right away!
For Protein Iced Pumpkin Chai Latte
Combine dry ingredients in a shaker bottle or blender.
Add cold water or milk*; shake until well combined, smooth, and with no undissolved tea granules left on the bottom of the bottle.
Pour into a large glass filled with ice, enjoy right away!
Pro Tip: For easier dissolving, you can add a small amount of hot water or warm milk* to the dry mix, shake until dissolved, then top up with cold liquid.
Another option is to make it with hot liquid, cool it almost to room temperature, then chill it in the fridge for later use.
For Protein Powder Pumpkin Chai Latte Mix Pouches
Measure dry ingredients directly into individual snack-sized plastic baggies, seal and shake well to combine.
Press as much air as possible out of each baggie, seal the zipper.
Transfer baggies to an airtight container, labeled with the date, recipe name, and a note to use 12 oz of water or milk*, if you like.
* Note: Using milk - whether dairy milk or a plant based milk - will result in a creamier drink than water. It also gives you more of the froth on top, especially when it comes to hot drinks.
More High Protein Drink Mixes!
Looking for more high protein, low carb drink mixes that can be made ahead? I've developed a whole series of instant drink mix recipes:
Chai Latte (Low Carb, High Protein)
Cream of Chicken Soup (Low Carb, High Protein)
Cream of Mushroom Soup (Low Carb, High Protein)
Gingerbread Latte (Low Carb, High Protein)
Matcha Latte (Low Carb, High Protein)
Mocha Latte (Low Carb, High Protein)
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate (Low Carb, High Protein)
Peppermint Mocha (Low Carb, High Protein)
Protein Cappuccino (Low Carb, High Protein)
Protein Hot Chocolate (Low Carb)
Pumpkin Spice Latte (Low Carb, High Protein)
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Protein Powder Pumpkin Chai Latte Mix Recipe
- 1 Shaker Bottle Or Blender
- 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
- 1-2 tablespoon Brown Sugar Substitute
- 1 tablespoon Instant Black Tea Powder
- ¾ teaspoon Pumpkin Powder See post for important info
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon Ground Cardamom
- Pinch Ground Ginger
- Pinch Ground Cloves
- Pinch Ground Nutmeg
- Pinch Salt
- 12 oz Unsweetened Almond Milk Hot or Cold, or water
For Hot Protein Pumpkin Chai Latte:
- Combine dry ingredients in a shaker bottle or blender.
- Add hot water or milk; shake until well combined, smooth, and with no undissolved tea granules left on the bottom of the bottle.
- Pour into a large mug, enjoy right away!
For Protein Iced Pumpkin Chai Latte:
- Combine dry ingredients in a shaker bottle or blender.
- Add cold water or milk; shake until well combined, smooth, and with no undissolved tea granules left on the bottom of the bottle.
- Pour into a large glass filled with ice, enjoy right away!
- Pro Tip: For easier dissolving, you can add a small amount of hot water or milk to the dry mix, shake until dissolved, then top up with cold liquid.Another option is to make it with hot liquid, and chill it in the fridge for later use.
For Protein Powder Pumpkin Chai Latte Mix Pouches:
- Measure dry ingredients directly into individual snack-sized plastic baggies, seal and shake well to combine.
- Press as much air as possible out of each baggie, seal the zipper.
- Transfer baggies to an airtight container, labeled with the date, recipe name, and a note to use 12 oz of water or milk, if you like.