For the peppermint, I use peppermint essential oil. There are innumerable uses for essential oils- I use them in recipes and as remedies for all ailments across the board (sore throat, infection, nausea, bug bites, burns, piercings, headaches, swollen muscles, sleep needs, relaxation, the list goes on). My essential oils come from local small businesses and larger companies like Aura Cacia, and NOW Solutions. You can easily order essential oils online or buy them from stores like Sprouts, Walgreens, Mother’s Market, and Whole Foods. With essential oils, a little bit goes a very long way, so your $8 tube will last well over a year or more, especially if you don’t use it on a daily basis.
For my hot cocoa recipe, I use only 8 drops (about 1/8 tsp) of Peppermint from the dropper, which can also be purchased online or from the store.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Hot Cocoa
Makes 2 servings
3 cups almond/soy/hemp/rice milk (add 1 tsp Vanilla extract if using plain flavor)
4 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp pure Maple Syrup (I use Grade B for its rich, robust flavor)
2 Tbsp vegan Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (many brands are already vegan)
4 drops Peppermint essential oil (can add more for stronger peppermint flavor) or 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
In a pot, heat almond milk. Add cocoa powder and maple syrup and whisk until thoroughly blended.
Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Add peppermint essential oil.
Top with some cocoa powder, crushed candy cane, or creamy homemade whipped cream.