I absolutely love hot chocolate. This dairy free version is a delight!
Did you know that cacao comes from a cacao tree, which is a tropical plant?
It can take up to 5 years for cacao trees to mature and produce cacao pods. Cacao pods develop from tiny flowers that grow directly from the tree trunk. These pods are then harvested for their flavourful beans, which are then fermented, dried, and dehulled to form edible beans. Then they are roasted, chopped up, and ground into a paste called chocolate mass or liquor.
Cocoa powder is made by pressing the cocoa butter from the liquid. The paste that comes from this is further refined to improve flavour.
Cacao and cocoa powder are often used interchangeably, however, there is a difference.
Raw cacao powder is made by cold pressing unroasted cacao beans. The unroasted cacao beans will contain higher levels of beneficial antioxidants as opposed to roasted beans. This is because roasting at higher temperatures can change the molecular structure of the cacao bean, which reduces the nutritional value. So if you’re looking to get some nutritional benefits opt for raw cacao powder or raw cacao nibs!
Raw cacao is high in antioxidants, fiber, manganese, magnesium, and it is a source of iron. It also contains a phytochemical called phenylalanine, which may be beneficial in boosting serotonin levels. Serotonin is our feel good hormone, as it helps to promote feelings of happiness and well-being!
Dairy Free Hot Chocolate
What you’ll need:
1 cup hot water
½ cup dairy free milk (I used hazelnut milk)
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp cacao butter melted
1 tsp monk fruit sweetener (can also sub for your favourite sweetener, such as stevia, maple syrup, honey, etc)
Coconut whipped cream
Dandies (dairy free marshmallows)
Melt the cacao butter in a small pot.
Boil 1 cup of hot water.
Add all of the ingredients into a high speed blender.
Pour into a cup & top with whipped cream, cinnamon, and marshmallows!