Happy New Year! Hope 2018 is off to a fabulous start, may it be a year of health & happiness to you & your family.
As I sit at my desk, looking out the window at the barren trees, my attention is constantly brought back to a framed poster over my desk. "Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Chocolate." Obviously, it's a play on the famous words by Michael Pollan, and I try to live by his mantra in my daily life. "Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants".
But what about chocolate? Isn't chocolate a plant? Indeed, chocolate comes from the cacao tree, a small evergreen tree native to the tropical regions of Central and South America. Our Western culture is chocolate-obsessed - look no further than the huge variety of Halloween candies or Valentine's Day treats - with flavor combinations of all kinds. Walk into any restaurant and you're bound to see the chef and pastry chef pushing the limits when it comes to chocolate and its preparations. Chocolate-Covered Bacon? Chocolate Mac & Cheese? While neither of these dishes appeal to me and my taste buds, someone has conceived and prepared these recipes.
I take chocolate's precursor, cacao, quite seriously. I've made cacao part of my daily routine for its health and nutrient properties. Cacao has the ability to nourish my body with its calming effects upon the nervous system. Today, I'm sharing my recipe for Simple & Sophisticated Rose-Infused Hot Cacao, which is the perfect drink for these cold months of the year. My hope is that you make this drink party of your daily routine, too.
Rose-Infused Hot Cacao
Ingredients: (note - use organic whenever possible)
1/4 C cashew pieces
1 1/2 T raw cacao powder (I like Sunfood) pinch of sea salt
1/4 t vanilla extract
1 large or 2 small dates (I use Deglet Noor) 2 1/2 C boiling water
1/2 t dried rose petals
Place cashew pieces, raw cacao powder, a pinch of sea salt, vanilla extract and dates in a high-speed blender. Pour boiling water into the blender, put the lid on top, and allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
Carefully blend the contents until completely smooth. Pour into 2 mugs. Top with dried rose petals - let them sit on top of the hot cacao for a moment or two before drinking. This infuses the drink with the beautiful rose scent.
Relax and enjoy this cozy mug of hot cacao. Repeat as often as needed.
recipe can be doubled, to serve 3-4 mugs
omit the rose petals, if desired, and top mugs with shaved chocolate instead