Thursday, January 2, 2014

Oaxacan Hot Cocoa Mix

I. Hate. Winter. It is far too cold, icy, windy and generally nasty out there to be able to appreciate the landscape (for the 5 minutes it's actually pristine white before the city grime sets in). I know that there are lots of people out there who wait all year for that first cold snap and snowfall, just so they can drag out their skis, skates, snowboards and skidoos, but in this household April can't come fast enough. Luckily enough for us, we do have a rather lovely view of the scenery from our kitchen, which is the perfect excuse to stay inside with a hot beverage and a cookie or slice of cake while catching occasional glances out the window.

Any sort of warm food or drink was particularly important around here during the Christmas week - when our power went out due to the ice storm, the house got cold pretty quickly! Luckily for us, we were able to drag out our old Coleman stove and a half-tank of fuel, which was enough to get a decent pot of water on the boil. Between running in and out of the house (trying to find road salt for our walkway), though, our chills intensified and we needed something more sustaining (and flavourful) than lukewarm tea. That's when I broke out my jar of homemade hot chocolate, which is laced with rich flavours of almonds, bittersweet chocolate, a handful of spices and butterscotchy maca powder. Stirred into a saucepan of steaming almond milk, it thickened into a warm-your-soul brew that we all appreciated then, and continue to enjoy after any time outside these days!

This is really a game-changer for the casual cocoa-phile who's used to tearing open a packet or picking up an overpriced, over-whipped, over-sugary concoction from the coffee shop for a quick fix. While I'm sure regular milk or even water would do just fine as a base, we actually prefer using unsweetened almond milk for a rich, extra-nutty cuppa! Made that way, it's also vegan and a great source of vitamin E! 

Mexican Hot Cocoa

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays.

Oaxacan Hot Cocoa Mix
Makes 16 (1-tbsp) servings
¼ cup vanilla sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp ground almonds
1 oz grated good quality bittersweet chocolate (at least 70%)
¼ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tbsp gelatinized maca powder
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
pinch cayenne pepper
  1. Whisk together all the ingredients until well combined. Store in an airtight container.
  2. Mix 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice) with 1 tbsp mix and heat, stirring, until steaming.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 45.2
Total Fat: 1.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.7 mg
Total Carbs: 10.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
Protein: 0.7 g

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