On Sunday I was perusing a few food blogs, and I came upon this video from the Spunky Coconut. I haven’t eaten chocolate in quite a few months, since 1. it is hard to find any without refined sugar or sweeteners and 2. I haven’t craved it nearly as much since I chose to stop eating sugar, BUT that has only intensified my love for raw cacao. And after hearing about all the benefits of raw cacao (more antioxidants than blueberries?!), I was itching to make something with it.
In Japan they do not readily sell almond milk, so I make one or two batches per week to have on hand in the fridge. I decided to add some cocoa and sweeten it with a little stevia. With a dollop of coconut cream on top, it was a blissfully indulgent way to cap off a morning of studying. My brain was too full of vocabulary to realize I should have taken a picture and made a blog post! But luckily for me that just meant I could make it again a few times this week, for testing purposes of course. I even had the self-control to make it in the morning, take pictures, but put it back in the fridge to savor on a chilly evening.
The only reason I could forestall the chocolate goodness, though, is because I’ve also starting adding cocoa to my Sweet Potato Puddin’ Spread! Dangerous, very dangerous. It has been part of my breakfast routine throughout this week. I tried to take a close up of my last bite of sweet potato topped with the cocoa spread, but my camera wasn’t having it. This year I may have to gift myself with a new lens. But it may be a good thing overall, because there is no documentation of my chocolate-smeared fingers .
(Why is it that when other bloggers take pictures of things with bites in them, it looks cute, whereas mine just look like a dental impression?! I almost didn’t post this, but, keeping Kitchen Failures in mind, I decided to share my photo “learning experience”. Real life socks my camera in the face!)
I want to speak more on chocolate and cocoa in the future, but for now here is a little introduction. I wanted to get something up quickly because I’m kicking off a tumultuous few weeks with a trip to Hokkaido (Northern Japan) this weekend for the Sapporo Snow Festival! Hokkaido is also famous for great seafood and dairy products – I’ll be enjoying the former in terms of crab, sushi, yaki ika (grilled squid), and also a grill-your-own mutton dish labeled “Ghengis Khan”. I’m not sure how I feel about the last one [I won’t eat meat without knowing it’s source, here is one reason why], but I’ll be sure to report back!
This comforting treat comes together in a snap, perfect for cold winter days or busy weeknights when you need a little something extra to cap off the day. I suspect coconut milk, homemade oat milk, or another non-dairy milk work well here too, so please let me know if you test it out! I’m also a cocoa fiend, so you may want to start with 1 tablespoon of cocoa, taste, and add more if you wish.
Almond Hot Cocoa
makes 1 serving
1 cup almond milk, store bought or homemade
1-2 T cocoa powder
stevia, to taste: I used 6 drops of vanilla stevia for a lightly sweetened taste, but you may want more if you have a sweet tooth.
Whisk ingredients together in small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer, whisking occasionally, until the hot cocoa starts to bubble slightly around the edges. Remove from heat, pour into a mug, and serve with a dollop of whipped cream of choice!
Yes, I just quoted Brokeback Mountain. In reference to a beverage. I can’t help it! Here are some more awesome delicious drinks out there:
Dairy-Free Hot Cocoa from the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Thick Dairy Free Hot Chocolate from the Spunky Coconut
Stay warm and enjoy your winter!