Latte Season: Tahini Cardamom, Pumpkin, and Activated Charcoal Lattes

Latte Season: Tahini Cardamom, Pumpkin, and Activated Charcoal Lattes

’Tis the time of year for spending most of our time indoors, cuddling up with fuzzy blankets, creating boundaries with family members and telling your Aunt Sally what “it’s all Gucci” means. The month of December, to me, means gathering with loved ones, turning inward, and enjoying big cups of warm tonics to get me through the dark mornings, short afternoons, and early bedtimes. 

However, it can also bring about a ton of stress, family drama, anxiety and mile-high to-do lists.

On top of that, coffee shops around the country are rolling out their seasonal drinks and we don’t always welcome the extra cortisol to our already imbalanced stress hormones. And sometimes we just want to stay indoors and forego that mocha-tripple-espresso-frappa-who’s-a-what’s-a. Maybe it’s just too cold to go outside, or “Elf” is on TV, or we want something that won’t make us more jittery than the site of Uncle Ben’s Christmas sweater and ramblings about climate change. Behold, three seasonal lattes to get you through the holiday season. No milk frother, or even milk, needed.

I’ve spoken before about why I add collagen to my diet. If you need a refresher, or are new to collagen, head to this post or this one to get allll the info you need.

In short, collagen is known to supplement hair, skin, and nail growth. It helps my hair grow faster and my nails grow stronger. It’s also recommended for people with achy joints and bones, as it acts as a kind of lubricant in the body and gut. I was first turned onto it by my naturopath to help assist in healing my leaky gut back in 2016. 

Not only is collagen a great source of protein, but it has culinary advantages too, and that’s one of the biggest draws for me. Collagen is great to add to drinks because it makes them thicker and more frothy. I can get that coffee shop milky texture every single time, without the milk frother or $6.00/latte price tag. When I want a thick creamy latte at home, I know to add some collagen.

Today’s blog post offers you lattes three different ways. All of the lattes are naturally caffeine-free, so you can enjoy them any time of day. 

Things to note:


There are two types of animal collagen you can use: Marine or Peptides. Collagen Peptides have more protein, cashing in at 20g per serving, while Marine has 12g per serving.

I get my collagen from Vital Proteins. Both types are flavorless and best consumed in hot liquids for best results, in my opinion. 


I use a Vitamix, but you could also use a Nutribullet, Ninja, etc. Your blender doesn’t have to be a Vitamix to get the same effects, but you do need to use some sort of blender to garner the best results. 

When to Drink

I recommend drinking these lattes any time of day since they are herbal. If you’re drinking one in the morning, have it alongside some food. They are also delicious as a 3pm pick-me-up. 

The tahini cardamom latte is my favorite to drink before bed, in place of dessert.

Cashew Milk

I use homemade cashew milk in all of the recipes below, but you can substitute with any non-dairy milk. However, can I just say that my recipe for cashew milk is fantastic and you should really give it a try? It’s so nice. I recommend making this nut milk ahead of time before making the lattes to make your drinks that much more special, rich, and creamy. Sure, store-bought nut milks may be easier, but once you try this milk you’ll never want to go back to the watered-down nut milks that even the best health food store offers. It’s best to consume this milk within three days of making, but trust me, that won’t be hard. 

Lee’s Cashew Milk:


1 cup raw organic cashews, soaked for 6 hours or overnight in filtered water

4 cups filtered water

Pinch salt

optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract


  1. Rinse your soaked cashews in a colander under the sink in cold water for a minute. 

  2. Add 4 cups of filtered water to a high speed blender.

  3. Add the soaked and rinsed cashews.

  4. Add a pinch of salt. Next, add the vanilla, if you are using. The vanilla adds a slight sweet flavor. 

  5. Blend on high for 45 seconds.

  6. Strain the milk with a cheesecloth, panty hose, sieve, or nut milk bag.

  7. Place in an air-tight container for up to three days in the fridge. Do not leave it out on the counter- the more time it has exposed to air the quicker it will go rancid. Preserve the life of your cashew milk and keep it chilled at all times! Enjoy in lattes, cereals, oatmeals, baking recipes, or anywhere else you’d use milk. 

The Lattes

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Tahini Cardamom Latte

Dessert in a cup! This latte is slightly sweet, nutty, and such a perfect treat for this time of year. The cardamom brings a comforting spice to this down-to-earth latte. Cuddle up by the fire, put on your fuzzy socks, grab your favorite book, and zen out. 


2  rounded tbsp tahini 

2 scoops collagen peptides (1 serving)

2 tsp honey

1 pinch cardamom 

1 pinch sea salt

2 tbsp cashew milk (or other non dairy milk)

11 fluid oz hot water


Add all ingredients to the blender. Blend for 1 minute and enjoy immediately.

Pumpkin Latte

Kicks the big-chain pumpkin spice lattes right in the gut! This pumpkin latte is made with real ingredients and only a touch of natural sugar from a real date. Get your pumpkin spice fix without the sugar rush. Plus, you get a healthy dose of fiber and beta-carotene from the date and the pumpkin. 


1 date, pit removed (if you like it sweet, you can add 2 dates)

1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled

2 tbsp organic pumpkin puree (canned or boxed is fine, just make sure it’s only made with one ingredient- pumpkin!)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice

2 cloves

2 scoops collagen 

1/4 cup cashew milk

10 oz hot water (not boiling)


Add all ingredients to the blender. Blend for 1 minute and enjoy immediately.

Activated Charcoal Latte

This recipe is incredibly calming and detoxifying. Perfect for when you may be experiencing IBS symptoms or want to switch out your regular milk latte for something perhaps a tad bit more gentle on the system. Some of the charcoal may drop to the bottom of your cup, and it’s perfectly normal to have residue at the bottom. Use less charcoal for a less gritty texture. *Before adding charcoal into your diet, check with your doctor first to make sure they agree with any current medications you are on.


2 emptied capsules of activated charcoal 

1 tsp honey 

2 scoops collagen

1/4 tsp ashwagandha

1/4 tsp reishi

1/4 cup cashew milk (or other non-dairy milk)

10 oz hot water


Add all ingredients to the blender. Blend for 1 minute and enjoy immediately.

This post was brought to you by Vital Proteins - my favorite collagen brand. Thank you Vital Proteins for supporting Lee From America.