Vegan spiced hot chocolate
Today is a hot chocolate day. I called it. There is nothing in the world more comforting that hot chocolate to me. Served in a mug big enough to do the double hand wrap around. Legs tucked up underneath me, cosy jumper on. You get the picture. You can’t hold this pleasure against me. I grew up in Norway. This means I survived 15 years of arctic winters. I have little need for sunlight. I am safer on a pair of skis than I am in a pair of heels. I love liquorice. I see nothing wrong with wearing my hair in Heidi style braids. I think porridge is an acceptable evening meal. Santa Claus arrives on the 24th. Marzipan is my friend. The list is endless but a love for hot chocolate is on there. Hot chocolate reminds me of freezing cold ski days and that perfect moment when you step into a cabin to warm up.
Today is not arctic and, as yet hasn’t involved any chair lifts, skis or black slopes. But it is chilly and grey and my feet got wet on the dog walk. Life changes but lifes great solutions don’t. What about you? What are your comfort foods? Along with hot chocolate mine are pretty varied and most of them are of course nostalgic. They remind me of my family, of being a child, of living at home in Norway. When the chips are down and the only solution to life’s woes comes in food form then there are a few treats that will always lift my spirits: almond cake, stewed apple with cinnamon, risotto, tomato & ginger soup, toasted raisin bread, mugs of tea, hot chocolate.
This vegan spiced hot chocolate shuns the powder format and I see no need for heavy creams or milk. I would much rather let the chocolate act as a luscious thickener here. This drink is spiced with ginger and cinnamon. It makes it that little bit more grown up, that little bit more warming. Cinnamon is such a great spice for this time of year as it warms our body from the inside out. It is also naturally antibacterial which means that it can help ward off colds and flu. It also happens to contain mood boosting properties, and who doesn’t need those on a drizzly, grey day?
The chocolate I used here was 100% chocolate. It is easy to buy in the supermarket or your health food shop and will come in powder form or as a tablet. I used Willies 100% cocoa for this recipe. My beautiful friend Kate gifted me some as our moving in present and this seemed the perfect recipe to use it in. The benefit of using 100% cocoa is that you get all of the health benefits without any of the added sugars or milks. You get all the heart healthy properties of cocoa, the essential minerals that it contains and of course the mood lifting chemicals. Combining the bitter cocoa with sweet cinnamon and spicy ginger means that you need to only add a drop of something sweet. In a standard coffee shop bought hot chocolate there are between 9 and 18 teaspoons of sugar. In this there is 1 and they are naturally occurring sugars.
Ingredients – Vegan spiced hot chocolate
1 cup almond milk
1 medjool date
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
30g 100% chocolate/cocoa chopped
Place the date and the milk into a blender and blend until fully combined
Pour into a pan and add the spices
Slowly bring to the boil
Remove from the heat, add in the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has fully melted
Pour into a mug, curl up and enjoy