Healthy Peppermint Mocha Latte
I have forever been a fan of the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte (aka PSL). This was usually my go to drink during the fall and winter months. Last month, I decided to branch out and discovered something called a Peppermint Mocha Latte. From the first sip, I was hooked. The rich and creamy mocha flavor combined with the pop of peppermint brought true joy to my taste buds. After having this drink from Starbucks, I wanted to recreate this at home. I looked up the nutrition facts for this drink (yikes!!!), and I decided to make a healthier and “skinny” version of the drink. Something that had less sugar, less fat, yet just as tasty (if not better).
Let’s chat “Skinny” vs. "Regular" Latte
All the coffee pros out there instantly know what I mean when I say “skinny latte”. A “skinny” latte is typically a coffee drink that has less sugar, less fat and less calories. The sweetener, milk and garnish are all high sugar, fat and calorie versions.
A “standard latte” consists of 2% milk or whole milk. It is typically sweetened with the full-fledged, real deal sugar. Often, these coffees are topped with whip cream, flavored syrup and sometimes even sprinkles or candy bits.
Did you know that the whip cream on top of coffee drinks usually adds an extra 100 + calories? Just from a dollop of whip!
Typically in a skinny latte, the sweetener is replaced with a sugar substitute. The skinny latte uses either skim milk or unsweetened almond milk –both which are lower in fat and calories. There is usually no whipped cream. The skinny version can save anywhere from 100-300 calories due to the lower fat milk and alternative sweetener.
Sounds like I’m taking all the fun away, however the deep flavors of mocha and peppermint in this latte are so rich that you probably will not even notice the healthier swaps!
Let’s do a little comparison. Here’s a latte from my favorite coffee shop (I won’t say where). Check out the calorie comparison:
|Medium Peppermint Mocha w/ whipped cream||440 calories||54 grams sugar|
|Skinny Medium Peppermint Mocha w/ no whip||80 calories||12 grams sugar|
Instant vs. Brewed Coffee
This peppermint mocha works with either brewed coffee or instant coffee. If you decide to use coffee that is brewed from a coffee pot, use double strength coffee. This means that you make the coffee twice as strong to prevent the latte from tasting watery. Double the amount of coffee grounds used, while keeping the amount of water the same. If you usually make a cup of coffee with 1 tablespoon of coffee grounds, use 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds and keep the same amount of water.
There are a lot of instant coffee options also available. These consist of pouring a packet of instant coffee grounds into hot water, and mixing until combined. To make this coffee double strength, follow the directions on the coffee label, however double the amount of coffee grounds used, while keeping the amount of water the same.
Tips for Making the Best Peppermint Latte
Prep your double strength coffee. Make your coffee as normal, just use twice the amount. I absolutely love using my Ninja Coffee Maker, because I can choose the size of coffee I want to make. In this case, I just placed it on the setting for a normal 8 oz cup of coffee.
Combine the coffee and almond milk, and microwave until hot. You can also use skim milk if desired. Wait to add the cocoa powder until after the milk/coffee mixture is hot. If added before cooking, it is difficult to stir the cocoa powder into the mixture, and it will be very clumpy.
Add the sugar, peppermint extract and mocha to the milk! Feel free to use Stevia, or another sugar substitute if desired. What's great about this recipe is that I only used 1 Tbsp of sugar, and it's still a lot less sugar than a store bought latte. You can also increase the peppermint extract if a stronger peppermint flavor is desired.
Skinny Peppermint Mocha Latte Recipe
- Coffee maker (optional)
- ½ cup Vanilla, unsweetened almond milk
- ¾ cup extra strong brewed coffee (alternative: brewed instant coffee)
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅛ tsp peppermint extract (increase for stronger peppermint flavor)
- 1 tbsp sugar (or stevia sweetener to make "extra skinny")
- Combine almond milk and brewed coffee in a microwavable dish.
- Heat in microwave on high power for 1 minute, or until hot.
- Add cocoa powder, sugar and peppermint extract. Mix until combined.
- Serve immediately. Garnish with crushed candy canes if desired.