Peppermint Mocha (Dairy Free, Plant-Based, Paleo)

Peppermint Mocha (Dairy Free, Plant-Based, Paleo)

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between cacao and cocoa powder?

Cocoa powder is actually made similarly to cacao, except cocoa is heated at a higher temperature during processing.

Less processed cacao (to which less heat has been applied) — such as raw cacao — tends to contain more antioxidants.

In addition, cacao powder generally contains more fiber and nutrients including selenium, magnesium, chromium and manganese than cocoa powder.

Though raw cacao is well-known for being healthier than cocoa, cocoa powder is still healthy for you. When purchasing cocoa at the grocery store, it’s important to buy plain cocoa powder, without artificial flavors and added ingredients. Be on the lookout for regular cocoa powder or dutch-processed, which is dark cocoa powder.

If you buy raw cacao powder, remember that some of its antioxidants will be destroyed by heat. Consider using cacao powder in smoothies and no-bake desserts/snacks. Cocoa powder is ideal where heat is involved.

Peppermint Mocha

INGREDIENTS: (serves 1)
1 cup almond or coconut milk, unsweetened
1 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
2-3 tsp. maple syrup or honey
1-2 shots espresso (or 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee)
1 drop peppermint essential oil (food grade) or 1/2-1 tsp peppermint extract
Dark chocolate shavings, for garnish

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INSTRUCTIONS:

1. In a saucepan, warm milk, sweetener, cocoa/cacao and peppermint over medium-low for roughly 5-minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Froth the milk mixture with a blender, immersion stick or other tool.

3. Brew espresso then combine the milk mixture with the espresso. Garnish with dark chocolate shavings, if desired.

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