I don’t know about you, but I am so ready for autumn.
Cosy sweaters are hanging in my closet, our Halloween candy has already been purchased and my apartment is covered in pumpkins. As you probably already know, this time of year is my idea of heaven.
To celebrate the first day of October, I decided to share a seasonal recipe that can be whipped up in just a few minutes and is guaranteed to leave you feeling cosy.
I’m talking, of course, about hot chocolate.
Back in the days of my Starbucks addiction, the colder months signalled one thing – the return of their famous hot chocolate. Paired with precisely one pump of peppermint, it was my signature drink during autumn and winter.
Since cutting caffeine out of my life over five years ago (find out why here!) I resigned myself to the fact that my beloved peppermint hot chocolate was a thing of the past. After all, Starbucks aren’t exactly known for their selection of caffeine-free beverages.
But when I crafted a recipe for the most delicious vegan and caffeine-free pumpkin spice latte last year, suddenly a whole new world opened up in front of me.
So what if Starbucks no longer catered to my tastes? I could make my own.
And thus, the vegan and caffeine-free peppermint hot chocolate was born.
Creamy and sweet with a subtle hit of mint, it’s the perfect drink to warm you up on a chilly evening. The secret is carob powder, which is made by roasting dried carob tree pods. Containing a host of health benefits and absolutely no caffeine, carob powder is a natural sweetener and a great alternative to cocoa.
Of course, carob doesn’t taste exactly like chocolate. But in my opinion, it comes pretty close. Combined with warming autumnal spices and a little brown sugar, you’ll barely notice a difference.
Give this recipe a try and see for yourself!
Vegan and Caffeine-Free Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- 2 heaped teaspoons of carob powder
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 2 cups of the creamiest vegan milk you can find (I use Oatly Barista)
- 2 drops of peppermint extract (not peppermint oil!)
- Soy whipped cream, optional
- Place the carob powder, brown sugar, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and milk into a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Pour into a saucepan and heat on low – if it starts bubbling, turn it down.
- Turn off the heat and add the peppermint extract. Stir well to combine.
- Pour into your favourite autumn mug and top with vegan whipped cream and a little extra cinnamon. Perfection.
Pair your peppermint hot chocolate with a spooky Halloween movie and a pumpkin spice candle to really get you in the mood for the most wonderful time of the year!
P.S. If you want to get your hands on this sweet little fox mug, they’re currently only £4 at Debenhams!