Relax with a cup of warm (or hot!) superfood haute chocolate and nourish your body and spirit with each delicious sip. This recipe also makes a fabulous DIY Holiday gift idea for friends and family. All of the dry ingredients can be mixed together and placed in a cute, festive glass jar with a bow or ribbon. A few suggestions from the chef, Sarah Britton: “If you do not like spiced hot chocolate, just use the first four listed ingredients, plus milk or water. If you do not have or cannot find coconut sugar, leave this ingredient out of the mix and sweeten the finished beverage with honey or maple syrup.” Check out Sarah’s blog for a complete description of ingredients and more fun recipes!
1. Boil water or warm milk on the stove and let cool slightly. If using raw nut milk, do not heat above 118°F/42°C.
2. Whisk in dry ingredients. Serve immediately with a cinnamon stick, if desired.
Ingredient details by Sarah Britton:
Raw Cacao: one of the best sources of magnesium found in nature, in addition to containing high amounts calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulfur, and potassium. Cacao contains many chemicals that enhance physical and mental well-being, including alkaloids, proteins, magnesium, and beta-carotene.
Ginger: aids digestion; decreases arthritic swelling; destroys bacteria and viruses; lowers blood pressure; aids circulation.
Cinnamon: aids digestion, relieves nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; has antiseptic properties; beneficial for the heart, lungs, and kidneys; aids insulin’s ability to metabolize blood sugar.
Cayenne: reduces inflammation, relives pain, reduce blood cholesterol, clears congestion, boosts the immune system, prevents stomach ulcers, lowers risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
And of course, there is the maca…
Get your Maca on!
Maca is a root that has been grown for over 2,500 years high in the Peruvian Andes – it is in fact the highest-altitude crop on earth. The conditions in which maca grows are extremely harsh, and the plant needs to be incredibly resilient to survive and thrive. Although it resembles a large radish, maca is a member of the cruciferous family of plants (just like broccoli, cabbage, kale etc).
Maca is an “adaptogen” meaning it has the ability to balance and stabilize the body’s hormonal, nervous and cardiovascular systems. For this reason it is particularly effective for improving libido. Maca also has the ability to help us cope with stress, and stabilize our moods and energy. Boasting 31 minerals and trace elements, maca is a nutritional powerhouse and a stress-relieving, healthy addition to many foods.
The flavour of maca is kind of malty and sweet. Some people taste vanilla and butterscotch as well, but most would agree that it is quite strong and can be overpowering if used frivolously. I find taking maca in creamy foods like smoothies, or with yogurt and muesli most appealing. Start with small quantities, like one teaspoon, and work your way up to more. Remember that taking a little maca every day is better than taking a lot at one time once in a while.
Look for maca at health food stores and gourmet grocers, sold as the dried, powdered root. Make sure that the product you are purchasing is 100% root – not other parts of the plant. Store in a cool dry place.