Pumpkin Spice Latte
 

The first signs of fall usually come sprinkled in pumpkin spice everything. Pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin spice air fresheners, pumpkin spice-pumpkin spice. But all other iterations aside, the original catalyst of the pumpkin spice craze seems to have been the good old fashioned pumpkin spice latte, so we decided to make our own. This recipe is not only plant-based, but when skipping step 5, it becomes paleo!

Follow along to make the perfect pumpkin spice latte!


What you will need:

1 oz Pumpkin Butter (or puree)*

1 oz organic maple syrup

1 oz  water

1 tsp pumpkin spice

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2 oz espresso (or strong coffee)

6 oz non-dairy creamer or plant based milk

BP15_008.jpg

*A note about our selected ingredients: we found this pumpkin butter at our local Trader Joe’s when looking for nut butters and spreads for a different blog post. (check it out here!) We went with this as our main pumpkin flavoring, but really any other pumpkin puree or butter will work just as well. 


How you will do it:

Step 1:

BP15_001.jpg

Start by adding the wet ingredients (pumpkin butter and maple syrup) to your mug. Measure out your spices and mix until a thick paste is formed. 


Step 2: 

BP15_002.jpg

Next you will begin to warm and froth your milk. There are plenty of ways to get milk to that perfect frothy, but not foamy, consistency. We used an inexpensive countertop milk frother, but an immersion blender, a whisk (electric or otherwise), and even a french press are equally great ways to get the job done. 


Step 3:

BP15_003.jpg

Add your strongly brewed coffee or espresso to your mug with the pumpkin spice paste and stir to combine. We’re aiming for a lump-free, silky texture here so stir away! At this point your milk should be ready to pour, and depending on your frothing method of choice, now is the time to transfer it into a pitcher or other vessel equipped with a spout. We used a stainless steel milk frothing pitcher but glass, ceramic, or plastic work great too. 


Step 4:

BP15_005.jpg

Give your pitcher a good stir and a couple of firm taps on your countertop to remove any excess foam or bubbling which may have formed. Make sure to pour in your milk slowly to ensure even mixing and a silky texture. Gently stir and enjoy! Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and pumpkin spice, and finish by pairing it with one of our delicious Paleo Bars.

The “optional, but you might want to do this” Step 5:

BP15_006.jpg

Go all in and add layer upon layer of almond whipped cream. If you plan on keeping this recipe paleo, leave this step out. The artificial sweeteners in most whipped creams are a no-go when following the paleo diet, but you can always opt to make your own whipped topping at home from a plant-based milk and skip the sweetener altogether. 

Happy sipping!

— Best Express Staff

 
Auzeen Abdi-Mendoza
Our Favorite Nut Butters & Spreads to Pair With Our Snacks
 

Every once in a while, we like to do taste-tests with our Best Express staff. It’s our way of injecting some fun into our daily work life and is a lovely excuse to munch on some of our favorite products. For this tasting, we took inspiration from a recent shot taken for our Instagram feed featuring an almond butter spread on our Paleo Bars. It got us thinking: what else could we layer onto our snacks? This question eventually led us to clear the nut butter and spread aisle shelves at our local Trader Joe’s, as we picked up everything from sunflower seed spread to cashew butter. We loved all of the spreads and nut butters we taste-tested, but some went better with our snacks than others. Below are some of our staff’s favorite combinations. Enjoy!  

Aussie Bites + Speculoos Cookie Butter

IMG_003.jpg

This stuff should really come with a warning label. Something along the lines of: “caution, one spoonful may lead to binge-eating fueled shame.” It’s good on just about everything, but when spread on top of our Aussie Bites, it’s life changing. Trader Joe’s describes it as, “a deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits,” but we described it as, “oh, wow,” because both our Aussie Bites and the cookie butter live in the goldilocks zone of not too sweet, but sweet enough, the underlying flavors of each—honey and oats from the Aussie Bites, and molasses and spices from the cookie butter—go amazing together without being overwhelmingly sweet. If you love cookie butter, try it on an Aussie Bite!


Honorable mention:

IMG_005.jpg

We also loved sunflower seed spread on our Aussie Bites because of the added depth of flavor it provided. We picked up an unsweetened version, so if you’re not one for sweets, you’ll likely enjoy this duo. A quick note about the texture: this was the most runny out of all the spreads we taste-tested, so we recommend serving with a spoon.

Paleo Bars + Cashew Butter

IMG_006.jpg

If we had to choose just one word to describe cashew butter, it would definitely be creamy. The salted cashew butter we selected was rich, nutty, and equally easy to both dip into and spread. Although its flavor seemed to get lost when paired with some of our other snacks, we found that this cashew butter went amazingly well with our Paleo Bars. The slight saltiness of the cashew butter balances the honey from our Paleo Bars, allowing for the flavors of each to shine through. 

Honorable Mention:

almondSpreadv2.jpg

If you find a certain chocolate hazelnut spread too sweet, cocoa almond spread is for you. We discovered this delicious Nutella alternative when looking for a hazelnut paste or spread, and once we tried it on our Paleo Bars we knew it was a keeper. You can’t really go wrong with chocolate and almonds!

Coconut Bites + Cocoa Almond Spread

IMG_008.jpg

Chocolate Coconut Bites anyone? Yes, please! The previously mentioned cocoa almond spread was best paired with our Organic Coconut Bites. Truth be told, chocolate and coconut just go really well together, but something about this creamy spread really brought out the coconut flavor in our bites. Same goes for texture, the combination of shredded coconut and velvety smooth almond spread are a must-try!

Honorable Mention:

Coconut_sunflower.jpg

For a more toned down and overall neutral snack, try adding sunflower seed spread onto our Organic Coconut Bites. This spread tastes just like its name would suggest: sunflower seeds! Again, we chose an unsweetened version to go with our bites to keep things from getting too sweet.


Do you have a spread or nut butter favorite? Drop us a comment on Instagram and let us know! 

Looking to stock up on some of your favorite snacks? 

— Best Express Staff

 
Carolina Diaz
Perfecting the Coffee Pour-over
 
Blog post 12-v.1 Copy.png

The pumpkin spice latte may be back, and it seems to show up earlier every year, but not everyone wants a sweet and spicy latte all the time. So with national coffee day coming up, we thought the timing was right to enjoy a lovely cup of bean juice—straight-up. 

One of the easiest, and least expensive methods (no fancy machinery required) for single serve coffee is the pour-over method. It consists of literally pouring water over coffee at short intervals to brew. It can however, look more intimidating than it actually is. Contraptions like the Chemex, a coffee dripper and carafe in one which is typically made from glass, can look a lot like mad scientist work-ware. Pour-over kettles resemble watering cans for plants, (please don’t use watering cans for your pour-over coffee. Trust us, it doesn’t work!) and the majority of pour-over images found on social media carry with them an air of unattainable perfection. We’re here to tell you that none of that really matters. It’s all about just making a simple, delicious cup of coffee. 

Follow along to craft the perfect cup in under five minutes. 

Here is what you will need:

Coffee because, obviously. We used a blend from a local roaster.

A Chemex or pour-over dripper and carafe. (If your set-up does not come with a reusable filter, pick up some disposable ones as well.) And a digital scale.

A pour-over water kettle. These typically feature a thin, long spout. 


Directions:

1. Begin by boiling 350g of water

2. If using whole bean coffee, grind to a sand-like texture

3. Place the empty Chemex (or pour over dripper) and coffee filter on your digital scale and tare to ensure the marker reads 0g

4. Some coffee filters need to be pre-moistened to remove residue. If this is the case for the filters you are using, go ahead and pre-moisten and tare the scale once again.

5. Add 30g of ground coffee into the filter

6. It’s time to “bloom” the coffee. Add 30g of water to your coffee, ensuring all of the grounds are touched by the water evenly. Do this by pouring in a slow circular motion, going from outside to inside.

7. Wait roughly 45 seconds and repeat the process until your scale reads 150g (give or take). Allow the coffee to drip for another minute or so. The idea is to ensure your coffee grounds are never completely dry!

img_008.png

8. Add 100g of water in the same fashion, slow pouring to make sure all grounds are saturated, and allowing roughly 45 seconds for water to drip through the coffee grounds. Repeat until your scale reads 350g.

img_009.png

9. Wait and watch your coffee brew. Once all the water has dripped through, your coffee is ready to drink.

img_010.png

Now is the time to add cream, milk, sugar, honey, or whatever suits your fancy. We like this coffee black, perfect for dunking some of our Organic Almond Biscotti into. They’re firm enough to withstand some serious dunking, and sufficiently sweet to compliment a strong coffee brew. So drink, dunk, and enjoy. You’re now a pour-over coffee master!

— Best Express Staff

 
Auzeen Abdi-Mendoza
Coffee Tonic with Organic Coconut Bites
 

Coffee tonics have been around for a while, but if you’re hearing about them for the first time here; welcome, we’ll learn all about them together. The team here at Best Express Foods first came across coffee tonics when we were putting together a list of our favorite coffee blends to match our pastries (read that blog post here), and although we had already made our final selections, we were intrigued by the concept. So, thinking it would be easy, we dove right in and tried it—we failed. 

Let us warn you now: those majestic photos of coffee and tonic water perfectly separated, bubbles frozen in time, are a lie. It took us lots of trial and error to achieve that same effect. After toying with everything from temperature to glassware we finally prevailed all to find that our desired outcome lasted only seconds long enough to snap a picture. That’s when it hit us, the average coffee lover should know exactly what they’re getting into when attempting the same feat, less they suffer the same struggles we did. So we made a guide, guaranteed to save you time, frustration, and lots of coffee. 

First off, it’s important to understand what a coffee tonic is: a fizzy marriage of coffee and a carbonated drink. Although traditionally made with espresso and tonic water, and sometimes referred to as just “E&T,” versions of the coffee tonic made with seltzer, sparkling water, and even soda exist. Some mixologists prefer cold brew over espresso, some add sugar or other sweeteners, and some even add fruit. Because we were looking to enjoy our coffee tonic with some Coconut Bites—this organic treat is like the more delicate version of the coconut macaroon and goes fantastically with cold brew—we chose a brighter brew and lighter tonic water, but adjust as needed.

Ready to make coffee magic happen?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 oz Fever Tree Naturally Light Tonic Water

  • 4 oz Stumptown Coffee Original Nitro Cold Brew

  • 2 oz crushed ice

Like always, feel free to substitute ingredients to suit your taste. Try a different cold brew, test out a different tonic water, or experiment with a new garnish, just make sure to keep the ratios the same. 

And finally, before we get into it, some very important tips:

  • One of the major hurdles we had to overcome when making our coffee tonic was the almost instant loss of carbonation. To mitigate this, pre-chill everything. The colder your coffee and tonic water are, the more fizz you’ll get.

  • To further aid in keeping your beverage bubbly, use a tall, thin glass, similar to a champagne flute. This will not only ensure bubbles are much more tightly packed, but the length of the glass will keep them around longer.

  • Add ice after pouring your tonic. The cold blockade of ice helps slow the coffee and tonic from mixing.

  • Work fast. Seriously. 

img_003.jpg

Step 1. Brew
Because espresso can taste somewhat bitter, we chose to use cold brew for our tonic instead. You can either brew your own ahead of time, or crack open a bottle or can of the store-bought variety. (We used Stumptown Coffee Original Nitro Cold Brew.) 

img_004.jpg
img_005.jpg

Step 2. Bubbly + Ice
To further avoid a carbonation volcano, gently pour tonic water along the sides of your glass while holding it at an angle. Carefully drop in your ice, making sure not to splash or encourage the loss of carbonation.

Step 3. Pour
To achieve that two-toned Instagramable effect, slowly, very slowly, pour your coffee mixture over the iced tonic water. Garnish and enjoy after snapping the perfect photo. 

Fantastic, you did it! Now nestle some Coconut Bites next to your cold, fizzy coffee tonic and share your results with the world.

—Best Express Team

 
Auzeen Abdi-Mendoza
5 Aussie Bite Transformations to Indulge In
 
B10TIitle.png

In the past, we’ve mentioned that the Aussie Bite has a hard time fitting a mold in the snack world. Not quite a muffin, a cookie, or a biscuit, the Aussie Bite just sort of is. So we asked ourselves: how versatile can this little snack be? 

Of course we had to get our hands dirty and our bellies full to find out. After a delicious tasting process, we came up with 5 delicious ways to transform our customer favorite Aussie Bites, into a fun, fancy, or flashy snack. 

But first, a word of caution. These are decadent, indulgent treats meant for your next event or weekly cheat meal. They’re the dressed-up, tricked-out version of an otherwise healthy snack. Having said that, we suggest you save them for special occasions. 

Aussie bite cupcakes

The first, and perhaps the most obvious of transformations is easily the Aussie Bite cupcake. The shape and size of this little snack is perfect for piping gorgeous towers of buttercream. Not only do they look absolutely adorable, but are also much easier to put together than the average cupcake. You can completely skip the baking process (leave that to us!) and skip right to the decorating. We used good old fashioned canned frosting for our version, but you can easily cut down on sugar by making your own. Finish by topping with sprinkles, and enjoy. 


Strawberries & cream Aussie Bites

This next transformation is a slightly modified version of a recipe from one of our lovely customers, and although it may look very gourmet, it’s surprisingly easy to put together. We topped our Aussie Bites with whipped cream straight out of the canister, but cool whip or mascarpone cream are also good alternatives. Finish by adding some sliced strawberries, making sure they are thin enough to stay put. Because whipped toppings can be a bit fickle, we recommend eating these immediately after serving. 


Chocolate covered Aussie Bites

BP10-012.jpg

Because who doesn’t love chocolate? This transformation really is as simple as dipping Aussie Bites in melted chocolate and topping with sprinkles. Now, the type of chocolate used is entirely up to you, but we prefer a semi-sweet or bittersweet variety—milk chocolate was too sweet and dark chocolate too overpowering. To make this recipe even more eye-catching, try using white chocolate and food coloring to create an Aussie Bite rainbow. 

Aussie Bite sundae

BP10-014.jpg

To make an Aussie Bite sundae start off with some good quality vanilla ice cream, add a layer of chocolate fudge, and finish with a cherry on top. Out of all recipes, our staff liked this transformation the best.There’s just something about a rich vanilla bean ice cream that compliments the oat and honey flavors in our Aussie Bites so beautifully. For that reason, and to ensure the Aussie Bite flavors are still able to come through, we recommend sticking with simple ice cream flavors, like vanilla.  


Aussie Bites s’mores

The campfire favorite, upgraded! To make your own, substitute graham crackers for Aussie Bites, pile on mini marshmallows, add your favorite chocolate, and (carefully!) give the whole thing a good blast with a kitchen torch. In a pinch, marshmallow spread can be used in place of miniature marshmallows, but we recommend using a pastry bag and piping tip to achieve smooth results—marshmallow spread is extremely sticky! 


The Aussie Bite is a snack of many hats; it can play cupcake, graham cracker, and waffle cone roles with ease. But at the end of our Aussie Bite dress up experiment, we  rediscovered just why we love them: they’re fearlessly original. 

Want to know more about our Aussie Bites? Check out or blog post on them here.

So, tell us, how do you dress up your Aussie Bites? Head over to our Instagram and show us what you’ve got! 

— Team BEF

 
Aussie BitesCarolina Diaz