Search This Blog

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Peppermint Hot Chocolate + Peppermint Whipped Coconut Cream (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free with Sugar-Free Option)

I am a big proponent of chocolate. I saw a quote on Instagram the other day that read: "Chocolate comes from cocoa which is a tree. That makes it a plant. Chocolate is salad." Oh, the things we try to justify. But really, organic cacao, the raw form of the cacao bean, has many health benefits. It has more antioxidants than green tea, black tea and red wine, according to a study conducted by Cornell University food scientists, which was published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry [source]. It also contains theobromine in small amounts, which is a mild stimulant shown to boost mood (interesting tidbit: chocolate is unhealthy for dogs because they cannot break down and eliminate theobromine like humans can). Raw cacao has also been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. None of this applies to the cocoa that you typically find in grocery stores. That stuff has been highly processed, sprayed with chemicals and pesticides and thus its nutritional value is diminished greatly. As with anything, consume raw cacao in moderation as it does contain a small amount of caffeine and is not a whole food.

I have dabbled in the vegan hot chocolate realm for a few months now. I was never happy with the outcome, until now. I tried to get too complex with it when I should have stuck with my instincts and kept it simple. This hot chocolate is downright delectable by itself but in my humble opinion, it is incomplete without the peppermint whipped coconut cream on top. It's like floating on fluffy, peppermint clouds in your own little dreamland cruising across the sky as it rains chocolate (raw, vegan chocolate of course) with no cares. How was that visual? It seems I can't go a blog post without corny comparisons. I can't be tamed... *Miley Cyrus voice?* No. How do I even know that song? Embarrassing. Reel it in, Claire. Reeel it in.

Anyway, though the hot chocolate is obviously tasty with the unrefined raw coconut nectar, I know many people are trying to stay away from sugar altogether. I tried this with just liquid stevia and it was great, too. Not as sweet, more subtle. I also tried a mix of liquid stevia and raw coconut nectar combined, which was just as good. Basically, you can't go wrong with any of the sweeteners although the unrefined coconut nectar option is my favorite. I am actually going the whole month of January without sugar of all kind, even unrefined sugar, with the exception of fruit sugar. How did I know that this recipe tasted good if I'm not eating sugar you ask? Well, I gave myself 2 cheats this month. Have I used them both up already? Yep. Pray for me.

*Prepare the peppermint whipped coconut cream the night before making the peppermint hot chocolate by putting a can of the classic full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator so it's ready the next day. Find the recipe for the peppermint whipped coconut cream here.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate
YIELD: 1 serving

• 1 1/4 cups unsweetened original almond milk
• 3 tsp raw cacao powder
• 2 - 3 tsp raw coconut nectar (pure maple syrup is fine if that's all you have but it is refined)
• 10 drops liquid stevia, or to taste (for sugar-free version, use 25 - 30 drops)
• 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
• Pinch of fine sea salt
• Peppermint whipped coconut cream, to top *Click here for recipe
• Cinnamon, to sprinkle on top (optional)

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat and whisk well. Do not bring it to a boil. Adjust ingredients to taste.
2. Make the whipped coconut cream while the hot chocolate is heating up. Scoop a dollop on top of the peppermint hot chocolate. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Enjoy, loves! I hope this yummy beverage warms your sweet heart. I also hope the start of the new year is treating you well so far and that you're taking care of yourself in every way - mind, body and soul.

"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." Unknown


Post a Comment

designed with love by beautiful dawn designs