The Only Peppermint Mocha You’ll Need This Holiday Season (Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Low-Carb… All that Jazz)

It’s been way too long since I wrote a blog post, and I would blame it on the holidays except for the fact that I haven’t written a blog since October. If I’m being honest, I’ve just felt super uninspired. I found out I have a slew of “food allergies” (cross reactive foods, but we don’t need to go into depth, so I’ll just call them food allergies for the sake of convenience.) Anyways, I’ve been super sick for the past year or two every single time I ate, and while cleaning up my diet at the start of 2019 and cutting out eggs back in June helped, I was still really sick, so I got a cross reactivity test done to see if my body was confusing other foods as gluten (I’ve been gluten-free since 2011).

Turns out, my body thinks milk, casein, whey, yeast, oats, millet, rice, corn (pretty much everything is derived from corn, so this has been the hardest thing I’ve had to eliminate), instant coffee (anything in a pod), buckwheat, sorghum, hemp, sesame, amaranth, quinoa, tapioca, and teff are all gluten as well, so I’ve had to cut all of those foods out entirely. (Note that the cover photo of this blog was taken in 2018 back when I could eat normal hot cocoa with marshmallows). Two months later, I’m FINALLY starting to feel like my gut is starting to heal. Thank God. Anyways, since I can’t eat any of the foods I just mentioned and I also have to stay away from sugar as much as possible because my stomach is still healing, I haven’t been able to enjoy most of my favorite holiday treats.

However, I successfully made Madison-Friendly mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, so I’m not going down without a fight. Tonight I struck gold and made a dairy-free and mostly sugar-free copycat Starbucks Peppermint Mocha and I’m obsessed. A regular Grande Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks is 410 calories and it’s loaded with sugar. If you’re plant-based, paleo, keto, or simply looking for a healthier alternative this holiday season, this is the drink for you. It’s also way cheaper than a specialty Starbucks drink, so that means you can spend more money on your Christmas shopping instead.


  1. Black Coffee: I used Decaf McDonald’s Grounds and put them in a reusable Keurig pod, but you can get your coffee however you normally do. Just make sure it’s hot.
  2. 1 Square of Lindt 90% Dark Chocolate: If you don’t have a milk allergy and you aren’t following a paleo or vegan diet, you can use any kind of chocolate you want. This chocolate is made in the same facility as chocolates that contain milk, but I haven’t ever had a reaction to it, so I think it’s OK for me at least.
  3. 1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk: You can add more or less depending how strong you want your coffee.
  4. 1/4 tsp Pure Peppermint Extract: You can use essential oil too, just make sure it’s food grade if you do.
  5. Stevia to taste: I use the Pyure Organic Liquid Stevia Extract because it doesn’t contain erythritol (which is derived from corn and a definite no-go for me).
  6. Non-Dairy Reddi Wip: I love the Almond Milk Reddi Wip, but they also make a Coconut Milk Reddi Wip that’s pretty good as well. If you’re reading this the day this blog goes live, they’re 2 for 1 at Publix right now!


It’s probably self-explanatory, but I’ll explain anyways. I just make myself some coffee in the Keurig and then drop one Lindt 90% Dark Chocolate Square into the mug. It melts instantly. Then I add in the almond milk, stevia, and peppermint extract and blend it all together with my frother. If you don’t have a frother, you can just use a normal spoon. However, if you don’t have a frother, you really need to buy one because they’re life-changing and mine was only $10. (Side Note: I’ve given my parents, my brother, and my boyfriend’s mom this frother and they’re all obsessed with it. This isn’t sponsored, but I endorse it whole-heartedly.) Next, you just add a little dairy-free whip cream on top and you’re good to go. It’s the perfect Christmas drink and only 119 calories.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you’re Christmas is filled with delicious food, peppermint mochas, and time with your loved ones!


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