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December 16, 2011

Homemade Peppermint Mocha

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My friend (an employee at Starbucks) got me hooked on Starbucks' Peppermint Mochas.  They taste like hot chocolate rather than coffee, and the peppermint is just so refreshing.  It's starting to get cold here in Arizona, and sometimes, green tea just doesn't cut it when it comes to warming up on your way to class.

Okay, that's a lie.  I just like chocolate and coffee   ;)

But every time I stood in that infamously long Starbucks line, I was in a bit of a dilemma:  should I get a fat- and sugar-laden peppermint mocha that will give me a sugar-rush and sugar-crash, or, get a Splenda-laden peppermint mocha?

I chose the Splenda-laden option (aka, "skinny" peppermint mocha) to save myself from the 500 calories, 18g of fat and and 68g of sugar.  Oh yeah, did I mention I order ventis?  170 calories, 2g of fat and 18g of sugar sounded a lot better to me...  until my friend told me that a skinny venti peppermint mocha has 12 pumps of syrup.  I think a packet or two of Splenda may be okay on occasion, but 12 pumps in one drink is kinda over the top, don't you think?  And um, did I also mention that I was ordering these for about two weeks straight?  Hey, I was having finals!

And who knows what kind of effect(s) 168 pumps of Splenda-syrup did to my body.  That's why I made this DIY coffee creamer.  First of all, it's Splenda-free, second, it tastes exactly the same as the Starbucks version, and third, I don't have to wait in a long line with pushy, impatient, red-eyed students in dire need of caffeine!

Homemade Peppermint Mocha:
(makes one venti serving)

    3 tbs Dried Nonfat Milk Powder
    2 tbs Dark Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
    3-6 packets Truvia (or sweetener of choice)
    2 cups HOT Coffee
    10 drops Peppermint Flavor
    15-18 drops Stevia Extract (I use 18 drops, or you can use more Truvia)

1.  In a large mug, stir together the milk powder, cocoa powder and truvia.
2.  Pour a few tablespoons of hot coffee into the mug and stir with a fork until all is mixed.  Add the rest of the coffee and whisk together.
3.  Add peppermint flavor and stevia extract (see notes)

1.  When making this recipe, keep in mind that I have a major sweet tooth and adore peppermint.  I find that the Starbucks' Peppermint Mochas are not pepperminty enough for me, but my friend finds them to be too pepperminty for her.  Everyone has a different taste.  If you like the Starbucks Peppermint mochas the way they are, put 5 drops of peppermint flavor in at first and adjust to your taste, same goes with the stevia.
2.  If you have a heat-safe blender, feel free to add 1/8 tsp xanthan gum (for added thickness/creaminess) to the dry ingredients and then blend in the coffee if you want to skip the whisking or if you are putting the drink in a thermos.

Now that my first semester is officially over, I can finally reunite with my family from across the country and relax with my Peppermint Mocha in hand.  Haven't had that in a long while...

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