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I’ve always had a sensitive stomach. Acidic foods like tomato sauce are really tough (which is terrible, because pizza and pasta are basically the best), but the worst one without question is milk. I’ve always just assumed that I was mildly lactose intolerant because indulging in a Starbucks latte or large glass of milk with some chocolate chip cookies always sends me to my bed with an insane tummy ache. That’s why for the last few years I’ve been a religious drinker of almond milk in particular.
I recently learned about the The a2 Milk Company™, which has created a new type of milk designed for people who feel uncomfortable after drinking ordinary or lactose-free milk. Regular cow milk contains two types of proteins, A1 and A2, so The a2 Milk Company™ have started bottling milk that comes from cows who only produce the A2 protein without the A1. Many people including myself who have self-diagnosed ourselves as “lactose intolerant” are able to drink a2 Milk® with no problem at all.
Exactly identical to regular milk in every other way, a2 Milk® isn’t the result of genetic engineering or a technical process. It’s perfect for holiday hosts who are already balancing a variety of dietary restrictions. Best of all, it’s available at many of the grocery stores you already shop at – I picked mine up at the Whole Foods five blocks from my house.
This time of year, hot chocolate is one of my favorite treats. I used to just put a splash of milk in my mug, but it just didn’t have the same rich flavor. This minty recipe uses fresh mint, real chocolate, and a2 Milk®. FYI, though, most chocolates actually have trace amounts of milk as well (even the ones that say “vegan”), so make sure you read the package extra closely if you’re very sensitive.
- 3 cups of a2 Milk®
- 6 sprigs of mint, plus additional sprigs for decoration
- Semi-sweet chocolate (made without milk products)
- Marshmallows (optional)
- Place a2 Milk® in a medium sauce man with six sprigs of mint.
- Heat on medium-low until just before boiling, then remove from heat.
- Using a wooden spoon, gently the muddle the mint leaves in the milk, being careful not to splash the milk. Cover the milk and mint with a top and let it sit for fifteen minutes.
- Strain the milk to remove the mint leaves and put back on medium-low heat. Add the chocolate to the pot and gently whisk continuously until the chocolate has completely melted.
- Pour hot chocolate into two large mugs and top with marshmallows, sprigs of mint, or grated chocolate, if desired.
Have you had problems with milk-based products before? What’s your favorite holiday drink?