I love it when the days get cool. Especially when the skies are the colour of that bright blue that makes everything around you more striking and cheerful. When the cold air tingles your cheeks, giving them a rosy glow, but the winter sun still provides some comfort. If only all winter days could be this perfect!
And on a cold winter day nothing beats a steaming cup of hot chocolate.
This version of the drink is actually not only comforting, with the right balance of sweetness, creaminess and a touch of spice, but is also filled with good for you superfoods that perk you up so well.
Start with 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk (around 600ml). Poor the nut milk into a pan and bring it almost to boiling point on gentle heat. Next stir in 4 heaped teaspoons of maca powder – the superfood of the Andes that not only nourishes and balances the body’s endocrine system, energizes and helps cope with stress, but also gives the creaminess of a malt drink. Next add 2 teaspoons of raw cacao powder – a great source of minerals and antioxidants – and 1/3 of a teaspoon on ground cinnamon. Stir continuously until all the lumps dissolve and you have a smooth luxury drink. Now add a flower of star anise, a pinch of cayenne pepper and 3-4 cardamom pods. If you would like to sweeten this slightly, add a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup. Let the drink infuse with the spices for a few minutes, then stir in a tablespoon of coconut oil – an amazing source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that increase your energy levels – and poure into mugs (this makes 2 servings).
Sit back, wrapped in a cosy blanket, warming your hands on a cup filled with steaming lightly spiced and oh so good for you drink. Makes me want to close my eyes and imagine sitting in front of a roaring fireplace with the crackling of the wood filling the room. One day…. but for now I at least can enjoy the luxury of this drink, knowing that it not only satisfied my taste buds, but is also bringing a world of goodness for my body.