Hot chocolate is great for cold blustery autumn days or basically any other time in Melbourne. The weather of Melbourne is famously blustery, doesn't matter if it's spring, summer, autumn or winter. I have been upping my intake of hot and warming foods due to a early winter we have been experiencing here.
I have been experimenting with different recipes for hot chocolate to make it more nutritious and I landed on a fantastic recipe by David Wolfe. It's so delicious I have made it twice in the last few days. The original recipe is dairy free only, but I swapped the raw honey with some stevia as I can't handle that much sugar for now. If you are healthy and well use raw honey it has great nutritional benefits.
This recipe for has some unusual ingredients like nettle tea, lucuma powder, coconut oil, maca powder, and sea salt but they all serve a purpose. The nettles are a good source of silica, which is considered great nutrients for hair and skin. Experts say if nettles didn't protect themselves with their sharp stinging needles that release a painful combination of chemicals, it would have been extinct due to it's desirable combination of nutrients. As nettles are dried, cooked, or steeped they lose their stinging qualities, which is handy for making nettle tea. Nettle tea has a mellow and slightly spinachy taste.
Lucuma powder is made by grinding down the lucuma fruit's root. It is native fruit to South America. It has caramel-y and slightly citrus like flavour. If you put a tablespoon of lucuma powder in smoothies it makes the smoothie really frothy and caramel-y. Plus it is low in sugar and an excellent source of carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It has lots of beta-carotene, niacin (B3) and iron.
Coconut oil has a host of great health benefits. It has antiviral and antifungal properties, plus it's great tasting.
Maca powder is considered to be adaptogen due to it's normalising effect on the endocrine system, which is great for me as my endocrine system needs all the help it needs after it has been disrupted by contraceptive pills. Use only a teaspoon of it at a time, it has very strong bitter taste. Maca tastes good with chocolate too!
Salt and chocolate taste good together,even Heston Bluementhal agrees. Sea salt and other unprocessed salts like Pink Himalayan salt are quite different compared to the processed salts. Salts found in processed food are to be avoided as they offer no benefits, only harm. A bit of natural salt here and there offers a bevy of health benefits. For example lets compare table salt and Pink Himalayan salt. Table salt is chemically cleaned and stripped of its minerals, leaving just sodium chloride (NaCl), which is hard for our bodies to break down and leaves us with excess fluid in our body tissue. This happens because the cells in our body need to achieve the right level of saltiness and if there is too much salt, the cells draws in more fluid to achieve right balance. Pink Himalayan Salt, on the other hand, contains 84 essential minerals, alkalizes the pH of your cells and balances electrolytes.
I also added cinnamon because cinnamon has a subtle sweet and spicy flavour that goes with chocolate. Cinnamon isn't just tasty either, it also stabilises your blood sugar. With all these nutritionally dense foods this hot chocolate is not only a comfort food but a nutritious and health giving food . So without further ado, here is the recipe.
The Best Dairy Free & Sugar Free Hot Chocolate ( Serves 2 )
- 2 cups of nettle tea
- 2 tbs of cacao powder
- 1 tbsp of lucuma powder
- 2 tbsp of chia seeds
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 tsp of maca powder
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- pinch of salt (unprocessed sea salt, lake salt, or himalayan sea salt is recommended)
- Raw Honey or Stevia to your liking
- 1 vanilla pod , scrape out the seeds. or 1/4 tsp of vanilla powder
Brew a tea from nettle, using either loose herbs or tea bags. You can brew it over night or just for 5 minutes. I brew mine over night in my thermos, it keeps the heat all night.
Strain the herbs, and use two cups of the tea to blend with the remaining ingredients. It should be relatively thick and luscious, thanks to do the chia seeds and coconut oil. Top with coconut flakes or enjoy on it's own.
With love, and simplicity