Kick-butt spicy hot chocolate recipe

As I’m finally getting into the holiday spirit with great thanks to my husband (who is absolutely obsessed with all things Christmas, and pressures me to decorate the apartment as soon after thanksgiving as possible), and because I’ve realized that Christmas is next week (!) I thought I’d write a quick post about hot chocolate. I grew up on swiss mix insta packs and would cram as many extra  jiff  marshmellows as I possibly could in my mug, but now that I’m a big girl, and I care about what I’m eating and drinking, I’d like to take things up a notch.  Would you like to join me?

 I have been doing a lot of experimenting lately to find the perfect combination of spice, sweetness, and richness and I think I have arrived.! Thank you very much to all my recipe testers out there – especially you, Dad for that early batch that you said tasted “very strange” but then you couldn’t stop drinking it…

I don't have time or space to wax poetic about how fabulous the benefits are of cacao powder, coconut oil, homemade almond milk, even raw honey.  But a few top 5 for cacao powder given this IS a hot chocolate recipe are as follows: 1) Cacao is an amazonian superfood, with 40 times the antioxidant power of blueberries, 2) it is also the highest plant-based source of iron, 3) it's full of magnesium (which is important for heart & brain health), 4) Cacao has more calcium per gram than cow's milk and 5) it is a proven mood-lifter. Ah, I love health food. 

 For 2 servings you will need:

  • 2 ½  Tablespoons of good quality raw cacao powder.  The real deal stuff. I love to put this stuff in smoothies or use it for baking so don’t worry about buying a big bag. A personal favorite these days is Navitas Naturals which you can find  here. Yes it’s not cheap but it will last! 
  • 3 cups almond milk (homemade is preferable and easy – see below) or good quality low sugar store-bought.  I like Trader Joe’s or Whole foods’ 365 brand
  • 2 teaspoons  coconut oil  (for extra creaminess)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons raw honey (I prefer 1 but try 2 if you want a bit more sweet)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch  of cinnamon and/or nutmeg
  • 3 or 4 cardamom pods if you want to get a little funky (I’m obsessed with these little buggers)  

 The actual 'cooking' part of this is fabulously easy. You just need a bit of time and stirring. Find a small pot. Put all the ingredients in the pot. Turn heat up to a medium-high for a minute or so (no crazy boiling just steaming) bring heat to low/medium-low and gently whisk until all ingredients are just combined (about 5 mins).

 Pour yourself and a friend a mug and enjoy! 

References:

http://begoodorganics.com/blogs/begoodness/7991527-cacao-5-little-known-benefits-of-this-amazonian-superfood

Joanna Andreae