Mint Chocolate Lip Balm: A Fun and Easy DIY Christmas Gift Idea!

Mint Chocolate Lip Balm: A Fun and Easy DIY Christmas Gift Idea!

A delectable mixture of chocolate and peppermint in a luscious lip balm. A perfect quick and easy DIY Christmas gift that your friends and family will love!

(This post is part two of our 12 Days of Christmas Series. Check out this beautiful recipe for Chai Eggnog – the first part of this series, and stay tuned for a whole lot more!)

By Mindy Benkert from Simple Pure Beauty

It’s that time of the year again! The holidays can bring a sense of excitement and wonder, but it can also be a little stressful.

I love the holiday season because I know I am going to get to see family, hang out and re-connect with those I don’t see throughout the year. My family is scattered throughout different states and even countries now, so this time of year is so precious to us.

Nothing can replace the memories of sitting around the dinner table, grandma’s turkey dinner, and opening presents with my whole family. It’s priceless.

But sometimes the budget is tight or you just don’t know what to get your family, friends or even teachers for Christmas. That’s why I love to DIY. It is so easy and affordable to make your own Christmas gifts. These gifts made with love and your own hands can mean so much more than anything expensive or fancy.

So today I am sharing an easy recipe that you can whip up in just a few minutes, it will cost you very little and it smells and feels amazing!

One of my favorite combinations is mint chocolate, so it only stands to reason that I would create a lip balm with this awesome combination. 🙂

Lip balm is so easy to make and with a little decorating, you will have adorable gifts that your friends and family will love! It can be so much fun to get creative and make your own Christmas gifts! There are so many things you can make including body butter, sugar scrubs and even diy perfume.

Supplies

You may want to check out local stores for some of these, but you can also find supplies for this project from The Nourishing Gourmet’s affiliate Amazon.

Mint Chocolate Lip Balm: A Fun and Easy DIY Christmas Gift Idea!

Mint Chocolate Lip Balm

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp beeswax pastilles (or grated beeswax)
1 Tbsp cocoa butter
1 1/2 Tbsp avocado oil (can substitute your favorite carrier oil: coconut, sweet almond, grapeseed…)
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
5 Drops peppermint essential oil
8 Drops vitamin e oil
4 drops liquid stevia (can be omitted)

Directions:

Melt beeswax, cocoa butter and avocado oil in a double boiler (glass bowl or jar inside a pan with a few inches of water) over medium/low heat.
Heat until thoroughly melted, stirring occasionally.
Once melted, stir in cocoa powder and stevia and stir until combined and smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in peppermint oil and vitamin e oil.
Quickly pour into your storage containers.
Save a little and top off your lip balm containers as the liquid will settle a little as it dries.
Should fill 6 .2 oz lip balm containers (Feel free to double the recipe for more)

Mint Chocolate Lip Balm: A Fun and Easy DIY Christmas Gift Idea!
 
Recipe type: Beauty
 
This delectable combination is the perfect DIY Christmas Gift for the Holidays or any time!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp beeswax pastilles (or grated beeswax)
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa butter
  • 1½ Tbsp avocado oil (can substitute your favorite carrier oil: coconut, sweet almond, grapeseed...)
  • ½ tsp cocoa powder
  • 5 Drops peppermint essential oil
  • 8 Drops vitamin e oil
  • 4 drops liquid stevia (can be omitted)
Instructions
  1. Melt beeswax, cocoa butter and avocado oil in a double boiler (glass bowl or jar inside a pan with a few inches of water) over medium/low heat.
  2. Heat until thoroughly melted, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once melted, stir in cocoa powder and stevia and stir until combined and smooth.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in peppermint oil and vitamin e oil.
  5. Quickly pour into your storage containers.
  6. Save a little and top off your lip balm containers as the liquid will settle a little as it dries.
  7. Should fill 6 .2 oz lip balm containers (Feel free to double the recipe for more)

 

What are your favorite DIY Christmas Gifts to make?

 

Easy Mint Chocolate Fudge (Dairy and Gluten free)

Mint Chocolate Fudge (dairy and gluten free)

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Velvety smooth fudge, rich in chocolate, mingled with refreshing peppermint is a must-try this season. This mint chocolate fudge is the perfect way to satisfy a craving, or finish off a hearty meal this holiday season. Even better it’s surprisingly quick to make, and can be boxed up easily to give as a lovely gift.

I am a huge fan of fudge. It’s always my go-to treat during summer vacations at the beach, and my top pick off the Christmas dessert table. The first time I made fudge at home I used Kimi’s recipe for the easiest, healthiest, most scrumptious fudge ever (also see this version using maple syrup). It definitely lived up to its name, and I have made it many times since then to satisfy those pesky little chocolate cravings. I love that her recipe, and the one I created as well, is free from refined sugar, dairy, gluten, and all other kinds of yucky ingredients the more typical fudge recipes have. This version starts with chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder for a more stable fudge for gift giving.

My 3 year old son is a major chocolate lover. He saw me pull out my bag of chips and immediately wanted to help with whatever I was doing. I purposefully made this recipe as simple as possible because, well, life can be a bit crazy with a toddler in tow…especially during the holiday season! He had so much fun helping me dump all the ingredients into a big bowl (not as much as he enjoyed trying to finished product though). I received a hearty “yum yum yummy in my tum tum tummy!” after his first bite 🙂

Mint Chocolate Fudge (dairy and gluten free)

There are some fantastic chocolate chips on the market that are completely allergy free, and would be a great option for this recipe. I have used the Enjoy Life Brand of chocolate chips, which are very allergy friendly, a number of times and find the flavor and texture top notch!

You can use either the (Affiliate links)  Semi-Sweet chocolate chips, or the dark chocolate chips in this recipe. Truly though, any chocolate of your choice should work, and the amount of honey you add to sweeten the recipe can be adjusted to your liking as well. I used Frontier’s Natural Mint Extract for flavoring my fudge, and it was delicious!

Homemade gifts are some of my favorite to give. Even the most frugal and simple recipe can be made extra special with its presentation. This fudge wrapped in parchment paper, tied up in colorful bakers twine, and a special box makes for a very thoughtful gift.

Other healthy, and homemade, gifts you may enjoy:

Mint Chocolate Fudge (dairy and gluten free)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
 
This velvety mint chocolate fudge is simple to make, includes nourishing ingredients, and is a lovely gift to give this season!
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups chocolate (I used semi-sweet)
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teapoons peppermint extract
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl, and create a double boiler by placing it over a pot of lightly simmering water.
  2. Allow the chocolate to melt slowly. Stir continuously until all of the ingredients are smooth and incorporated.
  3. Pour the chocolate mixture into a parchment paper lined dish. If desired, top with crushed candy cane pieces. Refrigerate until hardened, and cut into small square pieces to serve.

 

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes (Soaked)

January Vertical

by Anna Harris, Contributing Writer

Meet a toddler’s breakfast nirvana and a mama’s healthy breakfast solution, fluffy buttermilk-soaked pastry wheat pancakes studded with winning bits of chocolate, flavored and enriched with classic pancakes additions of vanilla, egg, and butter. (To read more about the soaking method used in this recipe, read here.)

I realize that chocolate chip pancakes are not anything close to sophisticated cuisine.  To some of us they might not even sound remotely desirable. My three-year-old son, however, would beg to differ, as these are his weekly breakfast staples. It’s likely that as mamas (and some of us have grandiose visions of what the family meal table should look like-Eggs Florentine over homemade sourdough English muffins, Spelt Crepes filled with creme fraiche and local berries, Coconut Granola with home cultured yogurt-that sort of thing) we have the highest hopes for diverging our children’s palates and to nourish every cell of their tiny, developing bodies. I know that for myself, this is indeed a fierce longing.

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Additionally, I was raised in a food-centric, large,  and ravenous family where the notion was held that a cleaned plate was akin to godliness and wasting or throwing food away was practically a crime. So you can imagine my befuddlement when our second-born not  only showed little interest in food but was very (to add insult)…picky! I tried training, coaxing, allowing my toddler to get hungry, nothing much seemed to interest him in my whole-raw-milk-honey-drizzled-yogurt, or eggs,  perfectly raised yeast and sourdough breads, or even the soothing simplicity of warm oatmeal. I confess I even tempted him with store-bought cereal, the brightly packaged, fruity “kids” yogurt, and organic pop-tarts with no success at incurring a voracious manly appetite.

My whole being was perplexed and distressed because my tiny man truly is small as well, Elliot has spindly, long limbs left unpadded by even a hint of baby chub. It was as if he always had something more exciting to do, as if it were such a chore to sit down and eat. I believe the turning point was with these pancakes, being both sweet and easy to chew, something he could quickly recognize. He began to consistently eat breakfast with very rare conflict. For months at a time I fed him pancakes, with both a sigh of relief that he was being fed with the sustaining combination of whole grains and fats but also with a sigh of acceptance at his quirk of being absolutely ok with hardly any variety, something my own soul regularly craves.

It might grate on my butter-devoted nerves when Elliot balks at the sight of a golden pat melting across his single pancake, but oh! it brings me joy and relief to see him fed for the morning and his plate forked clean.  I also smile knowing that I can at least fry those pancakes in coconut oil or butter until the edges are so crisp they crackle at the bite and that he loves when we pour a trickle of real maple syrup atop. While those wonderful foods together (I am referencing my experience as a Trim Healthy Mama ) may not be the friendliest to my mama waistline, they are absolutely sublime for fueling my whippet-thin toddlers.

Practically speaking, I don’t whip up a batch of these fresh every day, becoming a veritable short-order Betty Crocker for my young ones fickle appetites, I typically will make a batch every week though, wrapping extras and storing in the fridge to pull out for the following mornings. We have a very loose rotation of simple and generally frugal breakfasts. Here are some of them.

Inexpensive & Healthy Breakfast Options

  • Overnight soaked oatmeal with toppings of butter, maple syrup, honey, raw milk, cinnamon, raisins, or walnuts.
  • I often will make of Trim Healthy pancake batter made of oats, cottage cheese, and egg whites for myself that sits in a half-gallon jar on a make-as-I-please basis.
  • Egg-based breakfasts, scrambled or fried, with or without homemade toast. (With eggs, as much as I adore them, my children just always think they taste better from our plates, which I guess is ok with me, as long as they are eating them.) Here is one of my especially nutrient dense scrambled egg recipes. 
  • Smoothies can be popular with the children when it’s warm, I can put loads of homemade yogurt, honey, and whatever frozen fruit we have, inside.
  • Super-simple favorites: A banana and peanut butter for Elliot, in particular.
  • Toast and pan-fried ham or bacon.
  • Leftovers, Eden and I are versatile and will happily eat leftover pasta (Eden) or leftover brown rice and quinoa (myself) along with leftover cooked vegetables and protein source. French toast using up odds and ends of bread fall into the yummy leftover category.
  • Just recently, my children also have been converted to enjoying vanilla-infused yogurt and toast. Perhaps this is due to the frequency yogurt is served in our house, they just can’t get away from it!

Since that critical point of my son’s toddler breakfast issues, we have come along way and he will eat what the rest of the family eats, even if it means us lending a hand in the momentous task of bringing the offending spoon to his weary mouth.

Soaked Chocolate Chip Pancakes
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast/Brunch
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
 
Kid-friendly and simple, chocolate chip pancakes that both offer traditionally-prepared grains and fluffy texture, fried generously in coconut oil for diner-crisp edges and deep nourishment.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, sifted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 2 tbs. butter, melted
  • 2 tbs. coconut sugar/sucanat
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ⅓-1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand with only 3 ingredients, also dairy-free)
  • Coconut oil, butter, ghee, peanut/sunflower oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Measure sifted flour into a bowl, mix gently with buttermilk, allow to sit overnight.
  2. Whisk together vanilla, egg, coconut sugar, melted butter, add salt, baking soda, and baking powder, pour into flour mixture. Add chocolate chips and stir gently to combine.
  3. It's helpful to let the batter rest for 10 minutes before frying. Use a ¼ cup measure to pour out onto a heated, well oiled skillet or frying pan. Cook on medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges, flip and cook on the other side until cooked through and browned.

I will also note, that while our family seems to digest dairy with ease, this recipe is so simple to make dairy-free by substituting coconut oil and milk or almond milk and sunflower oil for the butter and buttermilk. Just be sure to include an acid medium along with your alternative milk (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar) or you could always use half yogurt and half water for nice results. Spelt, barley, or kamut flour can be substituted for the more domesticated pastry wheat as well.

Other Nourishing Gourmet Pancake Recipes: 

Almond Roca with Maple Syrup (Grain/Corn Syrup-Free)

Almond Roca with Maple Syrup (Grain and Corn Syrup Free)

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Crunchy, buttery, stick-to-your-teeth chocolaty goodness! Almond Roca (also known as Almond Toffee) is my favorite treat this time of year. The mixture of creamy butter, and pure maple syrup, heated and cooled to crisp toffee is absolutely to die for! Topped with chocolate, and chopped almonds, this dainty sweet is perfect to share with those you love. Better yet, you don’t even need a candy thermometer to make it!

I feel spoiled living in New England, surrounded by some of the best maple syrup in the whole world. Small “sugar shacks” dot the curvy rural backroads I often drive on through picturesque Connecticut towns. I was recently gifted two jugs of this “liquid gold” from local farms in our region and they have been burning a hole in my cabinet! With my calendar full, and gift list long, I knew it was time to experiment with a naturally sweetened version of my annual favorite.

Almond Roca With Maple Syrup (Grain and Corn Syrup Free)3

According to Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions (page 536), maple syrup is “The concentrated sap of huge deciduous trees, maple syrup is rich in trace minerals, brought up from below ground by the tree’s deep roots. It imparts a wonderful flavor to cream-based desserts and may be used in baked goods, such as muffins and pancakes.”

Maple syrup contains antioxidant minerals like manganese and zinc, which are great for the immune system, and makes for a wonderfully natural alternative to refined sugar and corn syrup. However, it’s extremely important that 100% pure maple syrup is used. Most syrups bought at the grocery store are cut with corn-syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and fake maple flavoring. Buying 100% pure maple syrup from a reputable farmer is the best way to ensure its purity and health benefits.

Almond Roca with Maple Syrup (grain and corn syrup free)4

Almond roca can be tricky to make, so be sure to give your full attention to the time spent at the stove. I don’t have a candy thermometer, but have learned how to make this sweet treat by sight and smell. It’s quite easy if you know what to look for. I’ve included a helpful step-by-step guide for you below so you can learn the stages of “melt” and create the most perfect almond roca!

UPDATE: See the note at the end of the recipe for information about using a candy thermometer and some troubleshooting tips!

A few thoughts about my ingredients:

  • I used raw almonds in this recipe and chose not to soak and dehydrate them this time (although I have in the past for a different recipe!). If you would prefer to soak and dehydrate them, they should still work perfectly for almond roca! Kimi has previously written about phytic acid in nuts and seeds, as well as instructions for soaking them that are very helpful.
  • I chose to use a brand of chocolate chips that are gluten, dairy, nut and soy free (affiliate link). Most store bought brands of chocolate contain soy lecithin, an artificial emulsifier that is most likely genetically modified. You could also use dark chocolate for a less sweet roca, or a homemade chocolate chip alternative. It’s up to you!
  • Note from Kimi: This recipe uses beautiful butter, and it reminded me to tell you all that you can now get one of my favorite brands, Kerrygold, through my affiliate Amazon! Get a single one here, or a box of twenty. So helpful for those who can’t get it locally.

Almond Roca with Maple Syrup (Grain and Corn Syrup-Free)

Almond Roca with Pure Maple Syrup (Grain/Corn Syrup-Free)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert/Candy
 
The buttery crunch of pure maple syrup toffee, topped with chocolate and almonds, is the perfect gift for family and friends! This recipe will fill a small 9x13 baking sheet. Double the recipe for a party, or halve it to share with a friend. It freezes very well! Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen. As always, be careful when working with the hot candy mixture, as it could cause bad burns if spilled.
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks of butter (16 Tbls)
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbls water
  • 1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (heaping!) chocolate chips (I use a dairy/nut/soy free brand. You could also use dark chocolate for less sugar content)
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped almonds for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Prepare a small baking sheet (9x13) with parchment paper. Be sure to use one that has edges so the toffee doesn't drip out.
  2. In a saucepan, or cast-iron skillet, melt the butter, maple syrup, and water together on high, stirring constantly.
  3. These ingredients will move from a light golden color with a foamy consistency to darker with more bubbles, and eventually thicker and caramel-like.
  4. When the color begins to darken, and smells slightly toasty (be careful not to burn it!), remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the 1 cup of coarsely chopped almonds.
  5. Immediately spread the mixture onto the parchment paper evenly before it hardens. It will darken in color at this point.
  6. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. After a minute or two the chips will have melted into the hot toffee.
  7. Use a knife to spread the chocolate over the top.
  8. Sprinkle finely chopped almonds onto the chocolate.
  9. Refrigerate until hardened, or freeze for 20 minutes if you're impatient like me :)
  10. Break the roca into small pieces and enjoy!
Notes
UPDATE: Some readers have requested instructions for using a candy thermometer. I have not personally used one, so I don't know from experience what temperature would work best (I rarely make candy, so I never invested in one). However, I have read that the 290-300 F range would result in a nice hard brittle. Kimi shared a helpful link for candy making stages in the comments. If you're using a thermometer, I would recommend looking at that tutorial! She also shared that she has used the timing method by dropping pieces of the candy into ice cold water to check its hardness. This recipe can be tricky as there are a lot of variables that could contribute to a too soft, or overdone brittle (both of which I have experienced). If you're not using a thermometer, it's hard to say how long the brittle should be on the heat, but for this batch I made it was around 7-10 minutes. I found that my gas stovetop heats up much hotter and quicker than my old electric stovetop. I also used a cast iron skillet, which may heat differently than a stainless steel saucepan. I hesitate to put a timeframe on this recipe, because I know the variables will be different for everyone. For some better pictures of the candy making stages you can also check out the original recipe that I adapted this from. That may be very helpful for some, as it was how I originally learned to make Almond Roca!

Other sweet treats you may enjoy: