Tag Archives: chocolate

Healthy, Decadent Hot Chocolate

Motecuhzoma’s servants “brought him in cups of pure gold a drink made from the cocoa-plant, which they said he took before visiting his wives… I saw them bring in a good fifty large jugs…, all frothed up, of which he would drink a little. They always served it with great reverence.”

Bernal Díaz, Spanish soldier invading the Aztecs

 

The Aztecs gave us cacao, and I am so grateful. There’s nothing quite like a frothy cup of chocolate. Especially as we enter the longest nights of the year in the northern hemisphere. A cup of pure gold made from cocoa can bring light into the depressing darkness.

After I cleaned up my diet in 2005, I tried some commercial hot chocolate once when I could not access my usual chocolate stash. (Confession: Hi, my name is Heidi and I am a chocoholic). To me, it tasted very little of chocolate and mostly of corn syrup.

I never drank it again.

Over the years I have tried various ways of creating a healthy hot chocolate drink. I thought using almond or hazelnut milk would be the cat’s meow. Unfortunately, those “milks” tasted almost nothing like the nuts. I later learned that one company only used four to six almonds for a carton of “almond” milk. The drink largely was made up of fillers. No wonder there was almost no nut flavor to the milk.

I switched to coconut milk until my sister helped me discover that one of the ingredients was titanium dioxide. Who needs that? It’s also an ingredient in sunscreen.

I think I have finally found something that is both healthy and tastes fabulous. A guilt-free chocolate drink. Now that really is the cat’s meow.

My concoction is influenced by my childhood experiences in Germany, when the hazelnut-cocoa spread called Nutella was a special treat. I can now make a raw, vegan warm chocolate drink that is reminiscent of it. I usually have a cup every day and drink it slowly, with reverence.

It makes a nice holiday treat.

Thank you, Motecuhzoma.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Raw, vegan “hot” chocolate

You can modify the recipe, depending on your preferences. Here’s what I do.

Warm up some water. The water temperature needs to be warm enough to dissolve your ingredients yet not so hot that it cooks them. That means a temperature under about 110°.

Pour the water into a mug of raw organic cacao powder, raw organic coconut butter, raw honey, nut flavoring, and a tiny pinch of salt. Mix and enjoy.

Here are the general proportions I use:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 2 or 3 drops hazelnut or almond flavoring
  • Tiny pinch of salt

Adjust to match your preferences. I use coconut butter because it retains the fiber from the fruit. If you do not want to keep everything raw, skip the honey because all its good qualities disappear when it is heated. Substitute something else like xylitol or stevia. If you do not have access to coconut butter, try coconut milk—after reading the label. Or make your own nut milk.

Drink up!

Source:

Descriptions of cacao being served in the palace of the Aztec emperor, http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/maya/chocolate/early-history-of-chocolate

Thriver Soup Thursday–So this Writer Walks into a Chocolate Bar…

The divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink [cocoa] permits a man to walk for a whole day without food.

Montezuma, Aztec Emperor (c. 1480-1520)

 

20160624_135358I agree that chocolate is heavenly. This summer I sought the sublime through a self-styled safari for savoring some sensuous sweets.

First stop: Pittsburgh, to visit my friend Judy and give my talk, “Subduing the Cancer Dragon,” at the local cancer patient organization.

Judy directed me to the local chocolate store and I bought a couple expensive bars for us to indulge in.

“Life is too short for cheap chocolate,” I told Judy. Turns out it wasn’t an original utterance, yet we enjoyed repeating it.

Then off to Long Island for ten days, with frequent jaunts into Manhattan. One day, armed with my mapped-out list of chocolate boutiques, I boarded the train to Penn Station, then the subway heading to the farthest location. I meandered to each boutique on my map, filling little sacks with truffles to savor as I walked.

After several hours I strolled into La Maison du Chocolat and noticed a short set of stairs going up to another room with chairs and tables. I wandered up and into my first chocolate bar.

It was a cocoa lover’s paradise. The extensive menu featured chocolate desserts, including a page dedicated to their truffles paired with teas.

Fortunately I had walked for hours without getting lunch. I sat down and ordered two desserts—an almond-flour chocolate cake and La Traviata, their best seller.

For an hour I surrendered to a sensual and sublime sugary samādhi.

Filled with divine refreshment, I continued my trek into boutiques and back to the train station. Yup, I could walk all day on chocolate. And walk all day for such a precious, divine treat.

Thriver Soup Ingredient

If you love chocolate yet want to limit your sugar intake, I found that for me, chocolates sweetened with erythritol were the best non-sugared treats. A good option for an occasional treat might be dark chocolate made with organic raw cane sugar.

To avoid gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and soy, I make my own fudge. Combine 1 cup each of organic coconut oil, raw organic honey, and raw organic cocoa powder. I add a teaspoon of vanilla flavoring and lots of organic, raw pecans that have been soaked overnight in salt water, then dehydrated. I mix it well, then store it in my refrigerator for an occasional treat.