With temperature dropping and sweaters, scarves and hats coming out of the storage, I always start craving warm comforting drinks more than any other season and this is how this peppermint hot chocolate drink was created! However, many flavoured cocoa recipes as well as hot chocolate offered in most cafe shops call for candy cones, peppermint extract, cream, syrups and what not, which can contain a lot of synthetic ingredients used to give the peppermint flavour. Those usually are very high in sugar and calorie, too. So, I rather choose to skip all of that and use the real thing in my hot chocolate drink instead! Trust me on this, by using real peppermint leaves you can get the most delicious aromas, too, but also harness the healing benefits of peppermint tea in your hot chocolate. Winter warmer and healing hot drink in one – sounds good, right? RIGHT! Also, for many of us, who experience that nagging sweet tooth after dinner, this drink can also be the perfect sweet treat to aid inner calm!
REASONS TO LOVE PEPPERMINT
Peppermint (botanical name Mentha piperita) is one “cool” dude and here is why… It is a valuable little herb because of its high concentration of menthol and other components in the oil of peppermint leaves. Menthol is useful for everything from soothing irritated stomachs to alleviating digestive discomfort. Along with its peppery taste, when applied topically on the skin menthol also gives a simultaneous cooling sensation by activating cold-sensitive receptors in the skin and mucosal tissues. In a form of oil it can be applied topically for a refreshing sensation. Peppermint is one of the world’s oldest medicinal herbs and it has long been used to aid variety of digestive complaints, such as as nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, abdominal pain, indigestion, diarrhoea and bloating. Peppermint is on the FDA’s GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) list and whole herb has few side effects. Although it can be found in candy canes, breath mints and toothpastes, there is nothing better than plain old peppermint tea made with dried or fresh leaves that can work its real magic on us. Its clean, fresh and invigorating minty taste is so inviting (even more so when paired with chocolate, of course). One word – DREAMY!
PEPPERMINT HOT CHOCOLATE DRINK
350 ml almond milk or coconut milk
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (you can substitute cocoa powder if you don’t want the darker flavour of raw cacao)
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or coconut nectar sugar
1-2 tablespoons dried peppermint leaves, depending on how minty you want your drink to be (you can also substitute 1-2 peppermint tea bags or 2-4 fresh leaves)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1-2 tablespoons dairy free chocolate drops or quality dark chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon tapioca flour, optional, but makes this drink very creamy
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
Pinch of sea salt
- In a saucepan, combine dried peppermint leaves and milk. Bring it to the boil over a medium heat, stirring frequently.
- Once boiled, remove from heat and allow steeping for 8-10 minutes, covered.
- Strain the peppermint and return to medium heat.
- Whisk in cacao powder, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, chocolate chips and tapioca flour (if using). Stir well.
- To create the froth (my absolute favorite), add this warming mixture to the blender and blend on high speed for several seconds. Reheat if necessary.
- Pour into your favorite mug, sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon or cacao powder and enjoy!
Please Note: You can add a dash of canned coconut milk for extra creaminess!
If you make this, let me see! Tag photos you post of my recipes with #healthyhappened on Instagram.
This will be my last post before 2017, so I want to say a HUGE Happy Holidays to everyone out there. I hope that your days are filled with love and sparkles, family and friends, and above all, the most delicious food! I can’t help myself – it’s what I live for!