We are less than a week away from Christmas! Where did December go? As the days get darker and colder, I find myself searching for ways to keep warm and awake, especially with the high amount of on-line shopping I am doing this holiday season! I like to browse while sipping on one of my favourite holiday-inspired hot drinks: Peppermint Mocha! Peppermint is such a Christmas flavour – combine that with coffee and one of my other favourite flavours, chocolate (of course!) and you have my favourite holiday caffeinated beverage.
I absolutely love lattes and cafe mochas. Not a traditional coffee fan, I often opt for mocha or vanilla flavoured coffee drinks at my local cafe. I recently grabbed a peppermint mocha latte at the local Starbucks drive through and was surprised by the price – almost $6! I went home thinking, surely I can replicate this myself for less calories and half of the cost? With some experimenting in my kitchen, I was able to come up with a super quick copy cat formula for my favourite holiday hot drink: DIY Skinny Peppermint Mocha!
Throughout the pandemic, I have been trying to watch what I eat. Eating cleaner and consuming less sugar have always been priorities, but finding replacements for comfort foods such as lattes and mochas has proven tough! I have been testing out different sugar replacements and recently discovered natural sweeteners like stevia and agave syrup. I have been experimenting with them in my cooking and baking and although it does take some time to get used to the different flavours, I have started enjoying them, especially in my coffee-based drinks. For my DIY Skinny Peppermint Mocha, I used stevia as a sugar alternative. Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute derived from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, native to Brazil and Paraguay. Stevia provides me with the sweetness I crave in my peppermint mocha, but without the excess calories a traditional drink would contain.
I clock the calories in my DIY Skinny Peppermint Mocha at about 60-65 (this isn’t counting the whipped topping of course!). Compare this with the Starbucks version, where a short (8 oz.) skinny peppermint mocha with no whipped cream has a whopping 160 calories, 4 grams of fat and 26 grams of sugars! No thanks!
My DIY Skinny Peppermint Mocha recipe allows you to skip the Starbucks drive though, save a few dollars and maybe even a few calories! It literally takes me 5 minutes to whip one of these up, worth the effort to go to considering how much my waistline and wallet will thank me!
The nice thing about this recipe is that you can modify it depending on your tastes. Plus it is really easy to customize so that it’s exactly as chocolaty, pepperminty and sweet as you like:
Milk – any type will do including soy, almond or regular dairy. I opt for skim or 1% to cut down my calorie intake
Peppermint Extract – be sure to use a premium, pure peppermint extract. I like PC’s Black Label Pure Peppermint Extract and DoTerra’s Peppermint Essential Oil works too
Coffee – I don’t have an espresso machine (it is on my Christmas wish list!) so I make my DIY Skinny Peppermint Mocha with strong, freshly brewed coffee. You totally could replace the coffee with espresso if you have the means to at home, just use less as espresso is a more concentrated and intense coffee.
Sweetness – any sweetener will do. I used stevia for my recipe to reduce the calories, but you can opt for traditional white or brown sugar, honey, maple syrup and agave syrup works too
Toppings: Totally optional, but I like to indulge with a little whip cream now and then. The crushed candy canes add an extra peppermint crunch too!
Tips for Making a DIY Skinny Peppermint Mocha:
– I personally like a bit of froth in my peppermint mocha. If you don’t have a milk frother-thingy at home like me, you can simply pour your milk into a jar with a lid, making sure to fill it less than halfway. Just shake the jar as vigorously as you can (make the sure the lid of tightly sealed!) for about a minute or so, until the milk is nice and frothy and has doubled in volume. Be your own Barista and use a spoon to hold the froth in the cup while pouring the warm milk into your coffee. Lastly, use the spoon to scoop the foam on top and voila!
– You have a lot of options for adding chocolate to your mocha. Personally, I like to use unsweetened cocoa powder and then add my own sweetener to taste, but you could go for regular chocolate syrup, melted semi sweet chocolate, etc. – No coffee maker at home? No problem – try instant coffee or even instant espresso. Both of these work and with some tweaking of flavours, can be quite good
Skip the Starbucks drive through and try my DIY Skinny Peppermint Mocha today!
DIY Skinny Peppermint Mocha Recipe
- 2/3 cup fresh, strong brewed coffee
- 2/3 cup 1% dairy milk or milk of your choice (FYI higher fat milk yields a richer mocha)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened, organic cocoa powder
- 2 packets or ¼ tsp liquid stevia or sweetener of choice (agave syrup, honey, Maple syrup, etc.)
- 1/8 tsp peppermint extract (I like President Choice’s Pure Peppermint Extract)
- Combine the coffee and half of the milk and warm in your microwave or in a small pan on the stovetop until nice and hot. Stir in the cocoa powder, stevia and peppermint and whisk well until fully combined
- Pour the remaining milk into a jar with a lid and shake vigorously, approximately 60 seconds until it is nice and frothy and has doubled in volume. Remove the lid and microwave for 30-60 seconds until milk is warm and froth has moved to the top. Get your Barista on and use a spoon to hold the froth in the cup and pour the warm milk into the mocha mixture. Then use a spoon to scoop the foam on top. Eat your heart out Starbucks! Not a fan of frothed milk or want to save time and skip this step? Simply add all of your ingredients into a microwaveable container or small pan on the stove and whisk well until heated and combined fully!
- Top with whipped cream and crushed candy canes or a sprinkle of extra cocoa powder and enjoy!
Please note: this recipe is derived from a recipe posted by the always fabulous Girl on Bloor. She has a great recipe for making peppermint syrup – check it out here.