QUINOA HOT CHOCOLATE

We're well into the season of hot drinks by now, and for those who avoid coffee, don't like tea or just want something a little different or a little more indulgent as the holiday season approaches, our founder, Danielle Copperman, has given the hot chocolate a nurtitional make over. Unlike most healthy (for want of a better word) hot chocolate recipes, this one involves quinoa, which not only elevates the protein, fibre, amino acids and omega 3 content of the drink, but also increases the creaminess of it like nothing else. Many vegan / dairy free hot cacao drinks are either weak and watery, or when made with soaked cashews or perhaps oats, tend to be a little too rich. This recipe is still thick and creamy but is less heavy and also lower in fats and calories if that's something that concerns you. We’d recommend this drink first thing in the morning, consumed instead of a smoothie (it is basically a hot smoothie), or mid afternoon if you're hungry between lunch and dinner, or perhaps planning an evening workout. This drink is a functional addition to particularly active lifestyles and also, rich in antioxidants, has the power to support immunity and protect the body at times of fatigue and weakness and from threats of illness.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 3

1 cup cooked quinoa (about 200g)
30g cacao powder
520ml Plant Based Milk or Water
5-6 medjool dates
2 teaspoons fresh vanilla or vanilla extract / powder / paste
1 tablespoon Maca Powder
Pinch Himalayan pink salt - to taste
30-40g tahini or nut butter (we like almond, cashew, pecan, hazelnut or brazil nut)
2 teaspoons melted coconut oil (could alos use extra virgin olive oil or melted cacao butter)

ELEVATE IT

with 1/2 teaspoon of one or some of the following superfood powders and adaptogens:
ashwaganda
amandamide
rhodiola
reishi
chaga
he shou wu
cinnamon
ginger
chilli
turmeric
bee pollen

METHOD

If you haven’t already cooked your quinoa, do so now as per the packet. If it’s loose and unpackaged (yay, good for you!) i generally bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to the boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the water is completely absorbed. Halve the cooking quantities if you don’t want so much leftover quinoa, as 1 cup of raw quinoa will over double in size and this recipe only calls for 1 cup of cooked quinoa. Once cooked and cooled (you can rinse with cold water to speed things along) add to a high speed blender with all the other ingredients. Blend on a medium speed for 30 seconds then on the highest speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is completely smooth. Taste and season, adding more superfoods, salt or dates to suit your tastes, then transfer to a saucepan and heat, whisking, over a low - medium heat. If the result is too thick, add a little extra nut milk or water to thin to your tastes.

Serve piping hot. Top with himalayan pink salt, qnola of choice or any superfoods / spices you used in the recipe, or decorate and infuse with fresh rosemary, dried rose petals or chamomile flowers.

+ You could also serve over ice, or blend with ice, for a chocolate milkshake / slushy option