Healthy Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Like many of you, I’m always looking for new ways to add healthy foods and drinks to our diet.  When Jeff and I were dating and newly married, we started realizing that we both have food sensitivities to dairy, caffeine, wheat and sugar, a devastating realization to us foodies.  Since we don’t have allergies to to these foods, we can eat them on occasion, but not nearly as much as we would like.  So, over the past few years, we’ve been trying out a bunch of healthy recipes, which is what you end up with when you take caffeine, dairy, wheat and sugar out of your diet.  Many of you know that most healthy recipes are not all they’re cracked up to be…they do not look like the beautiful pictures that they’re advertised with…they do not taste like the foods they’re advertised to taste like.  And, to be honest, about 50% of the time, Jeff and I try them and don’t like them, so we pass them along to our kids.  🙂  And, if the kids won’t eat them, we pass them along to the trash can.  All that to say, my beloved blog readers, I only pass the best of the best along to you.  And, tonight, I discovered another good one.

Tonight we drove around town looking at Christmas lights tonight in our PJ’s with hot chocolates in hand.  The past few days my stomach has been bothering me (probably from eating too many unhealthy Christmas cookies!), so I was thinking I would probably have to drink tea UNTIL I remembered that I wanted to try a healthy hot chocolate recipe I came across in the most recent Bulk Herb Store newsletter.  It seemed healthy enough to not bother my stomach and my craving for chocolate combined with my caution for my stomach situation made me desperate enough to try it.  I’m SO GLAD I did.  It hit the spot for me.  It was delicious.  I will caution you that it didn’t have the same creamy-ness as traditional hot chocolate, so if that’s important to you, you may try brewing the tea in milk instead of water.  However, I thought my modified version of the the recipe was delightful, so here it is:

Ingredients

1 cup peppermint tea, pre-brewed and strained (I used Celestial Seasonings “Candy Cane Lane” peppermint, which has a creamy peppermint flavor.  Trust me, it’s VERY different that traditional peppermint tea.  It’s only available at Christmastime, so if it sounds yummy to you, stock up now!  Trust me, I will be!)

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 Tbsp. honey

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

Preparation

Steep the tea in boiling hot water for 5 minutes and then remove the tea bag.  Meanwhile, heat the almond milk until warm.  Combine the pre-brewed/strained tea, warm almond milk, chocolate chips, honey, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, if using, and stir until the chocolate dissolves.  This recipe yields two generous 10 oz. servings or three smaller 6-7 oz. servings.

What are you waiting for?!  Go mix some up for some special occasion…looking at Christmas lights, watching a Christmas movie, or just sitting by the fire.  In any case, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!  I pray that your Christmas season is festive and fun and full of merriment and memory making!  It the fullest sense of the words, I wish you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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