So I think last week’s AIP “Chocolate” Mint Thumbprint Cookies finally turned me into a chocolate/peppermint fan! After posting my recipe, I got right back into the kitchen to play around with more chocolate (in my case, carob) and mint concoctions! And I’m really glad I didn’t just stop with the chocolate mint cookies this year, since my new beverage creation will be the greatest thing to enjoy WITH the cookies! 🙂
Today, I bring you rich and creamy AIP Peppermint Hot Cocoa! It’s made with carob, but I promise, you won’t even notice the difference! This drink is sort of a fusion between a peppermint mocha and hot chocolate. Instead of a coffee-based beverage, I chose to brew peppermint tea in coconut milk for just a hint of a peppermint flavor. Combine that with carob, collagen, and honey and you have a warm, comforting, and gut-friendly cocoa. If that wasn’t delicious enough, it’s topped off with fluffy peppermint coconut whip and a deep, dark carob sauce! Heaven in a mug!
If you feel stressed during this busy season, take a load off, relax, and pour yourself a big cup of Christmas cheer – in the form of my new AIP Peppermint Hot Cocoa!
Before I get to the recipe, I thought I’d share my thoughts on something I’ve struggled with often: waiting. A key theme for the Christmas season and a major theme in my life over the past two years…
As a kid, waiting for Christmas was like torture. Christmas Day was like the Superbowl of all holidays for children. And I remember anxiously counting down the days until December 25th with multiple advent calendars. The chocolate-filled ones with little windows for each day of the month. And a large handmade one from a family friend, with a big felt Christmas tree and little ornaments to mark each day that passed. I tried to distract myself with holiday TV specials, Christmas plays, and helping with cookies and tree-decorating, but the days felt long and painfully slow. In fact, my brother and I were so impatient that we usually wore down our parents enough to let us each open a gift on Christmas Eve. And don’t even get me started on trying to SLEEP on the night before Christmas!
My, how times have changed! I still love Christmas Day, but I feel like the month of December is so different as an adult. Oh, I still have plenty of advent calendars, though I’ve left behind the chocolate-filled ones! But, instead of anxiously counting down the days and wanting them to go faster, the counting down brings realization of how little time I have left to finish my Christmas to-do list! Long days as a child become lightning fast days as an adult. The waiting for Christmas was so hard as a child, but as an adult, I’ve actually found enjoyment in the anticipation of knowing something good is coming on the 25th. The waiting doesn’t feel agonizing and never-ending. It feels light and momentary and goes by in the blink of an eye. And as an adult, I actually delay going to bed on Christmas Eve so that I can make the season last a little longer and savor every bit.
These stark contrasts on waiting made me realize something. When it comes to waiting for Christmas, I have patience like a grown-up, but when I have to wait in other seasons in my life, I act like an impatient child! Isn’t it funny how waiting on things in life can show us our maturity or lack thereof? I have a feeling most of you can relate! Waiting for an answer to prayer, for example. For healing, for restoration, for marriage, for a baby, for success, for a new or better season to begin. Oh, how I wish I could wait more like an adult and less like a child on THOSE things!
And so, my hope this Christmas is this: that we could wait on all of the big life things just as well as we wait for Christmas Day. That we could wait with joy, with excitement, with anticipation, having confidence that the best is yet to come – whether in this life or in the next. After all, that’s what Christmas is all about. Our Savior has come, has set us free from sin, has guaranteed an eternal life with Him, and promises to come back again! He will take away our sadness, brokenness, and sorrow for good. We just have to believe in Him and wait on His perfect timing.
As it says in James 5:7-8, “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”
One day, there will be no more waiting! Just celebrating and rejoicing – so much so that our Christmas celebrations will pale in comparison! With that in mind, our waiting through life’s undesirable circumstances can be just as light and momentary as our waiting through the Christmas season. It’s all about perspective…one that I need to remind myself of often!
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” ~2 Corinthians 4:17-18
In a couple weeks, the waiting for Christmas will be over, so let’s enjoy and make the most of this season while we can. And while the waiting in the other aspects of our lives may not end on December 25th, it won’t last forever, so we can still find ways to wait well. For more encouragement in the waiting seasons, read this post! Otherwise, read on to make my AIP Peppermint Hot Cocoa – something to sip, savor, and make the waiting just a little bit more enjoyable!
This beverage is simple to make, even with its multiple components! If you’re feeling lazy and just want to make the base, you’re still in for a treat, but I HIGHLY recommend going the extra mile and making the peppermint whipped cream and carob drizzle! I’m already planning on making this again for Christmas Eve, so I can cuddle up with a hot cup and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” with tears in my eyes. 😉
For the tea-infused coconut milk, I used 2 peppermint tea bags to steep and the result was a hint of peppermint. You could add a third tea bag for a stronger mint flavor, but with the peppermint whipped cream, I don’t think you’ll need it. My favorite tea is by Traditional Medicinals, found at most large grocery stores, Whole Foods, and online. Did you know that peppermint tea is great if you experience digestive pain or stomach cramps? I’ve used it on a number of occasions and it calms digestive distress very well!
In addition to the tea/coconut milk fusion, I whisked in carob powder, honey and grass-fed beef collagen protein powder. My go-to is Great Lakes Collagen. The collagen is optional, but it adds extra creaminess and loads of amino acids, which are also healthy for the gut!
While the tea is steeping, whip up a batch of peppermint whipped cream and stir together the rich, dark carob drizzle. If you have extras of the toppings, save them for ice cream, brownies, chocolate cake, or smoothies. Store extra whip in the fridge and keep your carob sauce covered at room temp. The sauce will separate when it’s not warm, so just reheat in the microwave to melt the coconut oil.
Once your AIP Peppermint Hot Cocoa base is finished steeping, pour some into a Christmas mug and adorn it with dreamy clouds of peppermint whip and swirls of carob sauce! This cocoa reheats well, too, so store any leftovers in a mason jar in the refrigerator and warm it up when the craving strikes!
Here’s to a season of waiting well – both with Christmas and in life! I’ve felt encouraged in my waiting through this new Christmas song by Hillsong, called “Seasons.” (The entire album, “The Peace Project” is beautiful!) I’ll leave you with an excerpt of the lyrics, which remind us to have patience and look forward to a glorious season that will one day come.
Like the frost on a rose
Winter comes for us all
Oh how nature acquaints us
With the nature of patience
Like a seed in the snow
I’ve been buried to grow
For Your promise is loyal
From seed to sequoia
Though the winter is long even richer
The harvest it brings
Though my waiting prolongs even greater
Your promise for me like a seed
I believe that my season will come
I can see the promise
I can see the future
You’re the God of seasons
I’m just in the winter
If all I know of harvest
Is that it’s worth my patience
Then if You’re not done working
God I’m not done waiting
You can see my promise
Even in the winter
Cause You’re the God of greatness
Even in a manger
For all I know of seasons
Is that You take Your time
You could have saved us in a second
Instead You sent a child…
- 1-14 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 peppermint tea bags
- 2 tablespoons collagen powder (optional)
- 1 tablespoon carob powder
- 2 teaspoons raw honey
- pinch of sea salt
- 1-14 ounce can coconut cream (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 drops pure peppermint oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1.5 teaspoons carob powder
- pinch of sea salt
- optional fresh mint to garnish
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring coconut milk to a boil. Whisk in collagen powder, carob powder, honey, and sea salt. Turn off heat.
- Add peppermint tea bags and steep for 8-10 minutes, or to desired taste.
- While tea is steeping, whip coconut cream in a stand mixer. Add maple syrup and peppermint oil and whip again to blend. Set aside or store in fridge for later use.
- For the carob drizzle, stir maple syrup and coconut oil together, then stir in carob and sea salt. Mix well until shiny and slightly thickened.
- To serve, remove tea bags from peppermint cocoa, pour into mugs and top with peppermint whipped cream and carob drizzle. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
~If you can tolerate cocoa powder, you can substitute it for the carob in this recipe, but you might need to adjust the sweetness.
~Collagen is optional but adds creaminess and is great for gut, skin, and hair health!
**This post contains affiliate links to which I may receive compensation if an item is purchased. Please know that I only write about items I love and am passionate about! For more info, read my full disclosure.**