Mar 282012

two mugs of homemade raw vegan hot chocolate

Although raw food and drink are by definition, not allowed to be hot, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still make a warm drink to thaw out your icy fingers. With the arrival of spring comes the rain! Cozy up after a long wet walk with this homemade warm chocolate recipe. If you don’t care much about 100% raw you can heat it up to your preference. Raw chocolate actually has some good health benefits, including a boatload of antioxidants. Unfortunately, heating up the chocolate and mixing it with dairy ruin our ability to use them. So if you want to get any benefits from chocolate, make sure it hasn’t been heated to high temperatures, and isn’t mixed with any sort of dairy milk or cream. We make this cocoa sweet using both honey and stevia. You can use only stevia (if you don’t mind the taste) for a very low glycemic sweetener. Remember honey is high in fructose which means when you heat it up, it loses some of it’s sweetness. So in warm and hot drinks you’ll have to either use more or cut it with another sweetener in order to get the same sweetness.

This recipe takes a bit of time, you can make it quicker by keeping prepared nut milk in the fridge and using cacao powder rather than nibs (although I much prefer the taste of the nibs).

What you’ll need (serves 2):

  • small handful of nuts (we like almond cashew or hazelnut)
  • 1 cup of filtered water

           *This is to make the nut milk, alternatively you can just use a cup of nut milk you have on hand

  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp raw cacao nibs OR 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp honey (to taste)
  • 5-10 drop stevia (to taste)
  • 2 cups filtered water

What to do:

  • If you are using cacao nibs, you’ll have to grind them into a fine powder. We use a coffee bean grinder, but a regular ol’ mortar and pestle would do the trick. Whatever you have on hand, but it has to be a very fine powder.
  • Mix the nuts and the water in your blender (skip this and the next step if you already have nut milk on hand).
  • Filter the nut milk in a nut milk bag. (If you skip this step, your drink will be grainy and not as enjoyable)
  • Pour the nut milk back into the blender.
  • Add the cacao powder, vanilla, honey and stevia. Blend on high.
  • Meanwhile, heat up the rest of your water in a kettle or on the stove. You can better control the temperature by doing it on the stove.
  • Pour your cacao mixture into two cups, they should be about 1/3 to 1/2 full. No more than 1/2 or you won’t get very warm chocolate. It might take once or twice before you get the measurement right for your cups.
  • Fill the cups with warm or hot water, whatever your preference. Remember you are mixing a room temperature liquid with the hot water, so it’s not going to be as hot as if you just boiled the kettle. The benefit is that it’s still nice and warm, and you don’t have to wait 5 minutes for it to cool off before you can drink it. And you are going to be drinking up all those delicious antioxidants while they are still useable.
  • Make sure to stir with a spoon before drinking.

If you just can’t seem to get the measurement right and are always coming out with not enough or too much cacao mixture before you add the hot water, try starting out by measuring your nut milk in the cups. Pour the right amount of nut milk into the cups, and only use this to make the cacao mix. It takes all the guesswork out of it.

Making your own hot chocolate is a truly fun experience! Good quality cacao nibs don’t taste horrible like the old cocoa powder that mom used to bake with either. Real cacao is still bitter, but in my opinion still has a distinctly alluring flavor. You can try lots of different variations on this recipe as well. We like to add a few drops of almond extract or a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon (I wouldn’t recommend both at once, but to each their own). Chocolate goes very well with spice, so try adding some chili or cayenne pepper. A few drops of mint extract is also delicious and reminds me a bit of the holidays.

What is your favorite thing to have in hot chocolate? Share it below!!

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