TGIF! Back in my non-vegan days, I used to look forward decadent coffee creamers over the holidays like Coffee-Mate’s Peppermint Mocha to turn my morning coffee into a seasonal dessert. Of all the flavors, peppermint was my favorite reminding me of peppermint stick ice cream and swiping candy canes from the family Christmas tree as a kid. Today, however, I’m paranoid of hydrogenated oil and really am not thrilled of dumping it in my coffee every day. And I’m cheap, I could easily go through a bottle of that a week which adds up. But I still like the flavors and shouldn’t have to go without just because I’ve transitioned to a whole foods vegan diet, right?
When I started making my own nut and seed milks at home, I started with almond milk because that was the first recipe I learned. But it’s a pain with soaking nuts 8+ hours in advance, straining the pulp, then freezing the pulp for future use to not waste it. Ugh. Since then, I’ve discovered hemp milk and am spending a lot less time making it because there’s no soaking or pulp-straining involved. Hemp milk has a thicker, creamier texture that I like in coffee and chip seed puddings more. And I prefer the higher protein content in hemp seeds over almonds.
But it could be better, hemp milk can also be festive for the holidays without the scary list of ingredients. How about a simple ingredient list that takes under 10 minutes to create a healthified version?
You can get hemp seeds at most health food stores, such as the Whole Foods bulk food bins, which I started out doing. But I started going through so much hemp seeds with all the recipes, sauces, breads and milks that it got too pricey to buy that way. Currently I order bulk 5 lb. bags of hemp seeds from Amazon.
Nutiva 2006, Grocery, $64.99
Since I go through one of these bags every 2 months, saving 15% with Amazon’s Subscribe & Save works out well. And the seeds can store for a long time in the freezer with no defrosting required before use.
I also order the cacao powder from Amazon. You can get cheaper, smaller amounts from health food stores, but it lasts awhile in the pantry too and I go through a lot making desserts and treats over the holidays.
Navitas Naturals, Grocery, $25.56
The Truvia and peppermint extract are from Whole Foods, but I noticed Target is now carrying Truvia. Anyway, the recipe.
Chocolate Peppermint Hemp Milk
4 cups water
1 cup hemp seeds
4 tbsp. cacao powder
4 packets stevia
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until thoroughly mixed and frothy.
Enjoy! It should keep in the fridge for 5 days, but it usually doesn’t even last that long for me with smoothies, coffee and puddings.
And it is fabulous in coffee, dare I say much like a peppermint mocha coffeehouse treat, only much cheaper and healthier.
And then there’s the chia seed pudding, oh my!
Chocolate Peppermint Chia Seed Pudding for One
1/2 cup Chocolate Peppermint Hemp Milk
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 packet stevia
Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, let sit in the fridge for 20 minutes and enjoy.
This is a wonderful treat that I’ve been enjoying a lot with lunch or for dessert. I could eat plain chia seed pudding or gel because I love the texture and taste of soaked chia seed, but having a creamy chocolate peppermint flavor really makes it feel like a splurge. As we head into the busy, stress-packed holiday season, I highly recommend treating yourself to this no-guilt seasonal flavor. Go, treat yourself now!