Okay, it's getting colder...much colder for some of you. So today I've decided to share a couple of my daily cold-weather rituals with you: my Homemade Tea Latte and a Hot Chocolate recipe.
For me, chocolate is an interesting topic.
Maybe you've decided that you're okay with having chocolate, but you'll only have dark chocolate or organic chocolate. It's actually really hard to enjoy clean chocolate because it's so hard to find.
A whopping 95% of chocolate bars or chips (even if they are organic) end up having soy in them and most (even super dark and organic chocolate) end up being made with white sugar.
Finding the best chocolate is not an easy task and takes a lot of tedious label reading and then taste testing. Finding the combo of the right ingredients and the ideal taste can take some legwork.
And THEN comes the price tag. The cleanest chocolates seem to be in the Raw Chocolate Bar category which are not cheap and not always good. Some of them are delicious, but some don't quite hit the mark.
Although they use minimally processed sweeteners (like coconut sugar or maple sugar) and high quality chocolate and other ingredients, I still don't end up buying them often.
I think I'm going off on a tangent AND I'll have to supply you with a chocolate recipe soon to make up for the chocolate 'bad news bears speech' I just gave.
My point is simple: Chocolate itself is amazingly nutritious.
Yes, we all know it's very high in antioxidants and maybe you even know it's super rich in magnesium (hence why we crave it so strongly at certain times). But it's even more than that. A high quality, minimally processed cacao powder is balanced and nutrient dense. It's loaded with fiber, healthy fat, and even some protein. And that's really all it is: Fiber, fat, protein, minerals and a hefty dose of antioxidants.
When you have this cacao powder at home, you control what gets mixed in. Real vanilla, mineral rich salt, clean fats and the sweetener that you feel your body grooves best with.
The easiest form of chocolate (cacao) to use at home is the powder. But as you dig deeper, you may want to try cacao paste or cacao butter. You'll want to buy these raw, as the product is much better when it is minimally processed.
Why listen to me? I'm a tried and true chocolate lover.
I know every chocolate shop in San Francisco (my former home) and I can rate them for you. I spent much time in Indonesia working closely with cacao farmers in Bali, I've eaten it straight from the trees, I've ordered fresh milled cacao powder, beans, paste and butter by the kilos. I've made batches of stone ground, silky smooth chocolate from whole cacao beans that were just harvested and dried, for days on end. I've been around the block with my friend chocolate.
Now I keep it simple and use cacao powder at home daily.
2 tablespoons of Raw Cacao Powder contains around: 60 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and zero sugar.
This one is a good deal on amazon or maybe your co-op sells it in bulk. If you don't get raw cacao powder, just get unsweetened organic cacao powder from a brand you trust.
I also have a piece of magic equipment that you'll want if you're into the Tea Latte idea. I use mine daily, it's my favorite piece of equipment (well, second to my Vitamix).
Hot Chocolate Recipe
- 2 cups milk of choice* (coconut, almond, raw dairy)
- 1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin (optional)
- 1 heaping tablespoon cacao powder (approximately 4 teaspoons)
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or maple syrup, honey, stevia)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch sea salt
- 1 teaspoon maca powder if you have it (best for adults and not kids)
- toasted coconut as a garnish
*If you are using coconut cream as your milk, I suggest doing 1 cup cream and 1 cup water.
You have a couple options here: You can blend all the ingredients in a blender and then heat it up in a sauce pan, or you can just whisk it up in the pan. You'll get the best results by blending it first, placing it in the sauce pan and bringing it to a simmer over low heat. Pour in your glass, top with coconut if you like and enjoy!
Remember to properly bloom the gelatin if you are using it. I only add it for the nutrition and it gives a little more body to the hot cocoa. (If you use gelatin, if you make a double batch and chill half, you'll have a delicious Chocolate Pot de Creme for tomorrow)
Tea Latte Recipe (Milk Frother required)
- 12 oz hot tea (or coffee if you like)
- 2 teaspoons cacao powder
- 1-2 teaspoons coconut sugar (or maple syrup, honey, stevia)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 oz almond or raw dairy milk (coconut milk doesn't seem to froth well)
Prepare your tea or coffee, mix with cacao powder, sweetener of your choice, vanilla and any additional powders or superfoods.
Foam the milk with your milk frother, add a touch of vanilla and/or honey while it's foaming. Pour the foam over your tea, top with toasted coconut, coconut sugar, or the Grain-Free Granola from last week and enjoy!
If you don't have a milk frother and you want to try to make it foamy, you can heat everything together and then place it in the blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.
MAKE SURE THE LID IS ON PERFECTLY and that your blender has a tight sealing lid. Be cautious when you open it as the steam can build pressure and it can splatter hot liquid when you take the lid off or while blending. Hmmm...maybe you should just order the milk frother. You won't regret it.
Enjoy, adapt the recipe to your liking and keep warm!