If you live in South Florida, quick…make this hot chocolate because by tomorrow it will be warm weather again! If you live elsewhere, no rush as you most likely have a several more weeks of cold weather. I woke this morning to a real chill in the air, about 50 degrees! We get really excited to open our windows and let in the cold!
I fell in love with Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate when I was in Atlanta. Full, very, very rich dark chocolate, honestly just an espresso cup to sip will satisfy any chocolate lover’s cravings. Then over the holidays I had seen a healthy version of hot chocolate that I was wanting to try, but honestly with warm weather, it’s hard to get into the mood. Plus it’s always a balancing act with me over the holidays on where I want to splurge to get the most pleasure from my eating and drinking!
This morning, hot chocolate was calling my name. But with New Year’s resolutions still fresh, it is only January 7 after all and I can’t cheat just yet, healthy was the only option. Don’t misunderstand though, it has to taste good to me. And this one definitely does. I did end up making it a few weeks back when we had a dip in the temp and the memory of its good taste was still on my mind.
The recipe uses unsweetened almond milk; however I first made it with fat free milk and today with banana milk. Being in the new year healthy phase, I’ve been keeping my meals super clean. Making homemade almond milk is on my list; however…..not having a paycheck to fund my cooking adventures, I had to forgo purchasing nuts and use bananas instead!
It had dawned on me the other day when I was a bit discouraged about my funds, that I had made banana milk a lot when my kids were babies. For a treat, I would whip up one banana with about 1 1/2 cups filtered water, a touch of vanilla and fill up their baby bottle! I don’t recall that I sweetened their banana milk back then, however, I do add in a teaspoon of coconut sugar now.
Looks pretty good, huh? I use it right away or refrigerate it for a few hours for a colder drink; I’ve only kept it 1 day, shaken well before using again.
For making the Chia Hot Chocolate, using the banana milk will just give it a slight banana taste, increasing the amount of cocoa pretty much wipes out any banana taste! All together, this is one healthy drink to warm you up inside and out!
Chia Hot Chocolate, makes 1 small cup, double for a full cup!
adapted from Bldg 25, Vegan Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or banana milk or milk of your choice
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon cocoa nibs
1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch sea salt
Pinch cayenne powder
Place the chia seeds in the banana milk, cover, refrigerate and allow to soak for about 10 minutes.
Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix on high until you reach an even consistency. Just for one serving, pour into a mug and microwave or gently warm on the stove top. Seriously full of nutrition!!