It was big news when Starbucks opened in my neighborhood, which is made up of mostly small independent shops and cafes. Of course it had to open near the end of my pregnancy, when I was desperately craving chocolatey/milky things daily. My husband and I got a bit too used to the 2 minute walk around the corner and also chose to ignore the significant amount of money flying out of our wallets. Well, now that baby is out, we have cut back significantly. A big reason for me besides spending too much is that too much dairy consumption by me noticeably affects my boy – in a spit up way! Not that it is causing him discomfort, but I was getting a bit sick of changing my/his clothes a couple of times a day.
Taking all this into account, I decided I still needed a daily treat (trust me, when you are taking care of a newborn, you need this) but I didn’t want to spend lots of money, and I didn’t want to have dairy or soymilk. So, I decided to invest in a thermo-cup and create my own version of a mochaccino – 1/2 instant coffee, 1/2 chocolate almond milk. Of course it doesn’t taste like a Starbucks mocha, but more money in the bank and less laundry makes it worth it. Besides, I love almond milk, and it does taste pretty dang good.
If you don’t like to have too much dairy and you have never tried almond milk, I highly recommend it. It has a nice consistency – thinner than soy milk but not as thin as rice milk, and it tastes great (not too almondy like you would think). I use the original unsweetened on cereal, have used the vanilla for baking (makes cupcakes extra moist!) and the chocolate is good straight up in a glass.
Stay tuned for another faux Starbucks drink attempt soon – green tea lemonade!