Life Changing Peppermint Hot Chocolate
As I sit here writing this post I am looking out my window to the Vancouver North Shore mountains and seeing a clean dusting of fresh snow. I knew this must have been coming as this last week I have been FREEZING my butt off in my little laneway home. I have a thick down comforter and a wool Pendleton blanket on my bed, but yet I still need to sleep in slipper socks, sweatpants and a hoodie! Ugh.
As much as I despise being cold, the appearance of snow on the mountains does get me super excited for winter hiking and snowshoeing! When we hike in the fall and winter it is always key to bring along some hot drinks in our thermos. Usually its something along the lines of douglas fir tip tea (by Juniper Ridge), chai, or mushroom hot chocolate. This recipe was inspired by the cold weather, and the desire to sneak a bit of holiday cheer into our dreary rainy November. Note: I absolutely despise pre-mature Christmas decorating, but Luca absolutely loves it. Somehow we have to meet in the middle. So peppermint infused hot chocolate is a good compromise right? Marriage guys! In all seriousness this recipe was such an amazing discovery, it really is life changing for the health nut/foodie in me.
Life changing is a bold statement. Not one that I would use for a lot of the trial and error elixir superfood latte recipes I attempt to whip up. This one was an exception. It is SO good and so perfect for cold chilly weather, you definitely will want to try it out.
Not only is it incredibly delicious, it is also is super healthy. There is no dairy and no refined sugar that are often used excessively in many holiday drinks you will find in coffee shops (not naming any names... mermaid cup).
This peppermint hot chocolate is packed full of nutrition and medicinal benefits from the cacao, peppermint tea, medicinal mushrooms, coconut oil and maca!
Here is a little bit about the ingredients I chose to use.
This lovely herb is not only useful for keeping your kisser minty fresh, but in herbal medicine it is known as a carminative herb. It is rich in volatile oils that are trapped when you steep peppermint tea with a lid on. These volatile oils help ease digestion and calm gas and bloating. Perfect for this time of year when we tend to over indulge in rich foods and baked goods. I prefer to use loose leaf peppermint as I find it has the best flavour and is usually the highest quality. I order mine in bulk from Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary, you can find it here)
Maca is an adaptogenic peruvian root, that helps your body adapt to the effects of stress. Raw maca is also rich with minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and trace minerals like zinc, iodine, copper and silica. It also has vitamins B1, B2, C and E. It is well known for its gentle energy, mood, memory and libido enhancing properties. I love the taste of maca and enjoy adding it to smoothies, oatmeal & elixirs.
Raw cacao was once referred to as the "food of the gods". Which I don't think any chocolate lover would beg to differ. When chocolate is raw, and not heavily processed (most cocoa you find on shelves is), it is high in minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron and copper. It is also one of the richest sources of antioxidants found in nature. It helps promote a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and improving overall circulation.
If you have been following me for awhile you will already know how much I love medicinal mushrooms. If not... I LOVE medicinal mushrooms! I add them to everything any chance I get. My favourite way to use them is in delicious superfood latte elixirs... like this one! They are powerful deep immune modulators, meaning if you are someone who is constantly getting sick, or gets completely wiped out by the common cold and flu, your immune system may be weak. They are really great for anyone though and help keep your body strong and healthy thanks to the triterpenes and polysaccharides present in them (beta d-glucans). My favourite product is the 5 mushroom dual extract blend by Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary (you can find it here)
Unless you've been living under a rock you are probably well aware that coconut oil is basically a miracle fat. Many tout its use, but few actually know why this fat is superior over the rest. Coconut oil is very high in medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These MCTs are processed differently than other fats in that once it is absorbed by your intestines it goes straight to the liver and is converted to energy, or if it is in excess it is excreted by the body. It does not get stored in tissues as "fat". It is known to be thermogenic, meaning that eating it actually causes your body to expend more energy, compared to other fats. In short, it can actually help you burn fat. Healthy fats in general are important for stabilizing blood sugar, healthy hormone production, and nourishing our nervous system. Our bodies NEED fat, and healthy fats (like those found in coconut oil, omega-3's, avocados, and nuts) will not make you fat. So enjoy coconut oil guilt free! In this recipe I use it to give the hot chocolate a creamy texture.
Although honey is technically still composed of sugar, it is a better option compared to white sugar. White sugar has been refined, stripped of any naturally occurring minerals, heated and bleached, ick! Raw honey is naturally antimicrobial and contains enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and flavanoids making it a superior choice over plain white sugar.
2 tsp Peppermint tea steeped in 2 cups of freshly boiled water (preferably organic and looseleaf)
1 tsp maca powder
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp medicinal mushroom powder (I use the 5 mushroom dual extract by Harmonic Arts)
1 tsp of honey
1 tsp coconut oil
Splash of milk (I use coconut/almond)
Steep peppermint tea covered for 10-15 minutes. Strain off the loose leaf and add to blender jug. Add remaining ingredients to blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. If its not hot enough you can heat up over the stove for a few minutes. Enjoy!!
What is your go-to warm winter drink? Let me know in the comments below!!