Superfood Haute Chocolate

Is it just me, or do the holidays sometimes feel more stressful than joyful? Tons of running around, last-minute gift making, endless social events, and no time for much else! I catch myself skipping meals and losing sleep just to keep up. Not very relaxing. This year I am making a concerted effort to book time for treating myself, because all this holiday time should feel like a holiday after all.

As an act of indulgence, but also to keep my energy high and stress levels down, I’m drinking hot chocolate. Yes, you read that correctly. And because this is My New Roots, you know that this isn’t just any kind of hot cocoa – we’re talking all-raw and all-superfood-packed deliciousness to satisfy your sweet tooth and your healthy tooth (you do have one of those, I promise).

A while back in Lisbon, I was teaching cooking classes at an Ashtanga yoga shala, Casa Vinyasa where the instructors were drinking “Macacino” constantly. I finally asked what this fragrant, chocolate-y drink was, and they told me it was like hot chocolate, but with maca. It helped them keep their stamina up, and maintain that otherworldly calmness even after teaching 9 hours a day. After making a cup for myself I realized that they were really onto something, and so I set out to create a similar treat at home in Copenhagen.

This hot chocolate is not only super luscious, it contains a whole host of superfoods to make you feel amazing all season long.

Raw Cacao:  one of the best sources of magnesium found in nature, in addition to containing high amounts calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulfur, and potassium. Cacao contains many chemicals that enhance physical and mental well-being, including alkaloids, proteins, magnesium, and beta-carotene.

Ginger:
aids digestion; decreases arthritic swelling; destroys bacteria and viruses; lowers blood pressure; aids circulation.

Cinnamon:
aids digestion, relieves nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; has antiseptic properties; beneficial for the heart, lungs, and kidneys; aids insulin’s ability to metabolize blood sugar.

Cayenne:
reduces inflammation, relives pain, reduce blood cholesterol, clears congestion, boosts the immune system, prevents stomach ulcers, lowers risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

And of course, there is the maca…
Get your Maca on!
Maca is a root that has been grown for over 2,500 years high in the Peruvian Andes – it is in fact the highest-altitude crop on earth. The conditions in which maca grows are extremely harsh, and the plant needs to be incredibly resilient to survive and thrive. Although it resembles a large radish, maca is a member of the cruciferous family of plants (just like broccoli, cabbage, kale etc).

Maca is an “adaptogen” meaning it has the ability to balance and stabilize the body’s hormonal, nervous and cardiovascular systems. For this reason it is particularly effective for improving libido. Maca also has the ability to help us cope with stress, and stabilize our moods and energy.  Boasting 31 minerals and trace elements, maca is a nutritional powerhouse and a stress-relieving, healthy addition to many foods.

The flavour of maca is kind of malty and sweet. Some people taste vanilla and butterscotch as well, but most would agree that it is quite strong and can be overpowering if used frivolously. I find taking maca in creamy foods like smoothies, or with yogurt and muesli most appealing. Start with small quantities, like one teaspoon, and work your way up to more. Remember that taking a little maca every day is better than taking a lot at one time once in a while.

Look for maca at health food stores and gourmet grocers, sold as the dried, powdered root. Make sure that the product you are purchasing is 100% root – not other parts of the plant. Store in a cool dry place.

If you do not like spiced hot chocolate, just use the first four listed ingredients, plus milk or water. If you do not have or cannot find coconut sugar, leave this ingredient out of the mix and sweeten the finished beverage with honey or maple syrup.
You could also mix up a large batch of this and give it away as a gift! A wonderful superfood present for anyone on your list.


Superfood Haute Chocolate 

Serves 1
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
2 tsp. maca powder
1 Tbsp. coconut sugar
pinch sea salt
pinch cinnamon powder
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch ginger powder
small piece vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
1 ½ cups milk of your choice or water

Directions:
1. Boil water or warm milk on the stove and let cool slightly. If using raw nut milk, do not heat above 118°F/42°C.
2. Whisk in dry ingredients. Serve immediately with a cinnamon stick, if desired.

I want to wish all of you a safe, healthy, happy, and relaxing holiday this year. Spend time in your kitchens cooking something real for everyone that you love. There is no better time to spread the word that balanced, wholesome food is delicious! Lead by example, and share your inspiration.
Signing off for now, with love and light to all,
Sarah B
*   *   *   *   *   *
For those of you who have not yet seen my TED talk from a couple weeks ago, here is the video. I’ve also included the TED workshop I gave with Ono Kokmeijer. I hope you enjoy!

144 comments

  1. Pingback: Superfood Hot Chocolate | mountainmouse
  2. Lieke

    Wow, this is seriously the BEST hot chocolate ever. It’s so rich, creamy and tasty, I’ve never had anything like it! And it’s really easy to make as well. I like it best with almond milk.

  3. Susan

    Oh Sarah! You’re a goddess! Seriously, this was sooo delicious… Converting to vegan with you is nothing but a pleasure. :) Have a great week. Susan

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  10. Mary

    …without any words. Can’t seem to find any worthy or powerful enough for such a grand culinary experience shared with a most heartfelt friend. Oh yes, a couple of words, thank you.

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  12. Jill Windt

    “Warms You Up” in more ways than one…I have been seeking to add Superfoods to my life, and I just happened to have all ingredients in my pantry. Thank You !!! Added just a wee bit o’honey (raw) at the end to taste…Love in a Cup !!!

  13. Sandy

    Looks great! Can’t wait to try out maca, especially since I’ve been drinking a lot of hot chocolate this winter.

    I’m confused about why you would use honey, let alone raw honey, in a recipe where the beverage is boiled, though. Doesn’t the high heat denature the proteins and render the pertinent immune boosting nutrients defunct?

  14. Maria

    I have been searching for a hot chocolate that is not only very healthy and not so calorie laden but tastes good. This recipe fulfills all those wishes.
    Thank you

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  16. LW

    Maca has siginificant side effects, especially for those with thyroid disease. Read up on it before incorporating it into your diet.

  17. Sarah

    The recipe looks wonderful and oh-so-warming! Especially given the cold, wet, east-coast-of-Canada weather we are contending with at the moment! But, my question is, where did you get those beautiful socks??? Gorgeous!!!!

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  19. Charlotte

    Just made this tonight and it is hands down the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had! I just added a little 2% milk to the almond milk to thicken it up and it was ohhhh sooo decadent.

  20. anne van de water

    Sarah – i have LOVED this recipe and happened to come across it again this am and fell in love with your socks in the last pic! Can you tell me where you got those?? Love this post and those socks! Thanks!

    Anne

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  25. Melissa

    I LOVE this recipe! I read it last night and went to the market first thing this morning so I could make it today…and I’m so glad I did!!!

    For anyone who shops at Central Market, the Maca powder is in the Healthy Living/Vitamins section, next to the hemp and chia seeds.

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  27. Jane

    Found this recipe a couple days ago since it’s starting to get chilly and I LOVE this! I already had 2 cups today. Love the spices and the richness of the drink. This is the first time I’ve had maca and the past two days this had replaced my need for coffee. Best hot chocolate I’ve ever made! Thank you sharing this recipe. Just wanted to say I’ve made a few of your recipes and they are fabulous. Look forward to trying more.

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  32. RL*

    Hey, just a bit of confession here… I’m a recovering bulimic learning to love food again… and I have to say your blog is inspiring and helping me through my journey.
    Today, I made this maca hot chocolate and it was pure indulgence! I was savoring every sip and the warmth it brought to my body.

    Thank you xxx

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  36. Bailey

    Just made myself a couple cups! Springtime hasn’t made its way to Kansas yet, and this is so totally perfect and delicious I’ll probably make it even when the sun finally decides to shine! I can’t wait to cook my way through your site. Much love!

  37. Michelle

    I am so grateful I have discovered your website. Your Haute Chocolate is an answer to my chocolate addiction, not to mention the Nut Butter Cups I made today & have met with my children’s approval (used carob). Oh, how could i forget the delicious Life Changing bread – yummy! Thank you.

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    • E

      Jaime, thanks for this extremely informative link. I wonder if Sarah has looked at it, because I am now convinced that you should not make this drink with raw maca powder.

  40. Jaime

    Hey Sarah, Love love your site and recipes. I tried this Haute Chocolate last night and this morning and both times I got really nauseous afterword. I went back onto Amazon.com (where I bought it from) and read some reviews. There is a review from an ethnobiologist on there (named T.Lane) that is really interesting. He says that maca should not be eaten raw. Anyway, thought you might be curious. I put the link to the review in the “website” box in this “post a comment” area. Cheers and thanks again.

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  43. Kate

    This sounds amazing! We’re suppose to have a huge snow storm tonight so we’re all hunkering down, might have to make a nice warm drink to sip on!

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  48. kayleigh

    Hi Sarah!
    I’ve been interested in maca for a while now, but hesitant to use it because I was wondering if you knew if it interfered with hormonal contraception? I couldn’t find any info on it and figured you might know! Thanks :]

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  51. Karen

    Hi Sarah,
    My daughter introduced me to your site, and I’m loving it! Drinking the hot chocolate right now for breakfast and it’s divine. Thank you, thank you! I’m making the universal reversal soup tonight and have been more than happy with everything I’ve tried from your blog/website

  52. Jennifer

    Hi Sarah! I tried Maca twice now and my stomach is extremely sensitive to it! Is there a way to consume this without the upset stomach. I bought the Navitas raw maca poweder. Thanks for you help and the hot chocolate was amazing!!!

  53. Genet

    I have made this 3x now and I like more each time. I added a little Dandy Blend and raw honey as I was heating it today and it was so delicious! It was thick and creamy and tasted like the chocolate I used to drink in Spain. Thank you so much for sharing! One of those treats where I always thought I would have to settle for “less” than what I used to be able to drink and this is so much better!

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  55. Rebekah

    Awesome! You’ve blended my favorite yummy ingredients into one super-recipe!: chocolate, cinnamon and antioxidants. Thank you! Will try this next time I’m in the mood for hot chocolate.

  56. Anonymous

    Is it just me, or do the holidays sometimes feel more stressful than joyful? Tons of running around, last-minute gift making, endless social events, and no time for much else! I catch myself skipping meals and losing sleep just to keep up. Not very relaxing. This year I am making a concerted effort to book time for treating myself, because all this holiday time should feel like a holiday after all.guild wars 2 gold
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  58. Christine

    This drink is divine. Just divine. I’ve known about the benefits of maca for quite a while, but was at a loss for ideas on how to put it in our food and, well, not taste it. I had my husband (the one of us who needs maca more) try it and even he said it was great. Since I’m pregnant and not wanting to go overboard with maca, I’m only drinking a mug of this once or twice a week, using only a scant teaspoon of maca each time. But I imagine it will be a lifesaver during the coming weeks of sleep deprivation. Also, a note: if you use canned coconut milk like me, heat up the dry ingredients in a few tablespoons of water FIRST, whisking to make sure they dissolve, and then stir in the milk. The other way around always gets clumpy.

  59. Anonymous

    I’m curious on your take on stevia…using it as a sweetener in pure, concentrated form? (I understand whole is better.)
    -Monika

  60. kelly

    Sarah, can raw maca powder be used for this or do you recommend gelatinized? I’ve read that raw can be difficult to digest but it’s what I have on hand. Thanks!

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  62. Anonymous

    Fun Fact from my maca bag:

    did you know?
    Incan warriors would often consume maca
    for strength before battle.

  63. Anonymous

    Literally made a fist pump in the air when I found maca for this at my local health food store.:) Just tried it and it is fab! You also inspired me to make homemade nutmilk because of your video. I was so excited. I felt like I had made fire… or something else that seems impossible to just “make”:).
    Thanks for inspiring courage!

  64. heartybite

    Perfect for a lazy winter afternoon. It really gave me energy and tasted really yummy. Do you recommend a brand for maca? I can only find it non-organic in germany. Thank you Sarah, you definitely inspired me in 2012! Happy new year!

  65. Vanessa

    I wanted to add that I’ve been making this nonstop – I was nervous about 2 tsp of maca at first but I don’t taste a difference at all so for anyone nervous, go for the full 2 tsp. Also, I used half the sugar as I read it wrong the first time. But I really love it so much I haven’t tried it with a full tbsp of sugar. Lastly – I use my immersion blender which makes a nice foam on top and really blends it all beautifully. Super recipe again Sarah!

  66. Rosa Polak

    Hi Sarah, just recently I’ve discovered your blog and I’m in love with it!

    Already tried a couple of recipe’s: homemade ricotta soooo yummie and the winter challenge tart, wow! This choco tasted amazing too and so healthy :) Also I found your TED talk very inspiring.

    Happy New Year and keep up the good work in 2013! Lot’s of love from Amsterdam <3

  67. Anonymous

    Hi Sara! I love your face when you talk about food and try to explain how important it is to make a change .. I’m trying to do every day. Thanks a lot!

    Happy Holidays from Chile!

    Ivonne

  68. Anonymous

    Sarah, your posts are wonderfully inspiring. The holidays can be an especially challenging time for making the right choices for your body, but your blog always offers a bit of encouragement. The TedX Talk was spot on- small changes, and empowerment is exactly the word for this feeling I have found in the kitchen!

    Many thanks,
    Rachel

  69. Briar

    Making this delicious stuff today while watching the snow come down in New York City…Thanks you, Sarah, for your beautiful and nourishing treats!

  70. Martina

    This is by far the loveliest hot choco my tongue has ever tasted, even like a heavenly version of those super expensive ones served in hot choco places (I always get the spicy one). Thank you for introducing me to maca, I am sure it makes all the difference in the ah-mazing depth of the flavor here.

  71. Tim

    Sounds delicious. My hot chocolate is normally vanilla, cocoa powder, raw sugar and raw milk. It takes some additional time because it’s all in the technique of making it so the cocoa doesn’t just float to the top, but it has such an intensely chocolate flavor that it’s completely worth the effort. I think I might give this one a shot though. I love the idea of cayenne, ginger and cinnamon. I’m not sure where I’ll find maca, but I’m sure I can purchase some on Amazon.

  72. Kristen

    Love this recipe and can’t wait to try it out, perhaps with the homemade nut milk you make look so easy in your Ted talk. I love how I always learn something when I read your posts. Cheers!

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  74. Elle

    looks so good! I’ve been making cacao drinks for a while, can’t wait to try amping them up with delicious maca and spices.

    Sarah, I was wondering about Lectins found in grains and legumes, I have come across a number of “paleo” articles which suggest they are the devil, and as a vegetarian who loves and lives on them I feel a bit confused. I’d really prefer to stick to a plant based diet, but it makes me anxious to think I could be doing damage to my health. I’d be uber appreciative if you (or anyone else here!) could shed some light on the issue.
    Thank you!

  75. Mély

    Hello Sarah,

    I follow your blog since a while now, but not comment very often.
    I am from France, so sorry in advance if my english isn’t very good.

    I wish you, and all your family, a beautiful & magical Christmas ✭
    I tried your super hot chocolate this evening : it was WONDERFUL.
    Thanks so much for this sharing.

    It’s really simple, but so yummy…
    A few weeks ago, I posted 2 beverages with cocoa notes (vegan & with superfoods too) :
    - one was with the “fire energy” (in Tao cooking)
    - one was with the “earth energy” (still Tao cooking)

    You can find them here :
    http://www.chaudronpastel.fr/2012/11/23/boisson-cacao-chocolat-vegan-xocolatl-feu-terre/

    ♡ 

With lots of french love & wibes,
Mély ♥

  76. Vanessa

    Sarah – WOW. This was a wonderful recipe. I usually try and intake maca and cacao through smoothies but with the cold weather I haven’t been doing that. This is a perfect remedy. I started with just 1 tsp of maca as I’m quite sensitive to the taste but I didn’t taste it so next time I’ll try the full 2 tsp. I’m definitely going to make a big batch of this next holiday season to have on hand for those stressful holiday moments! Also, the photos are beautiful.

  77. Cookie and Kate

    This hot chocolate sounds so wonderful, Sarah. Thank you for providing the nutritional information; I learned quite a bit about macs while reading it. That top photo looks so cozy and inviting!

  78. Florentine meets you

    Hi Sarah!
    First: Wonderful blog! I love it.
    I’m searching for a book about food and its healthy effects. You explain so much about it; for example the effect of cinnamon, cacao or maca in our bodies. I want to learn so much more about it. Do you know any books I should read?

    Merry Christmas!

  79. TulaPearl

    I loooove Maca! I haven’t had it in so long. It certainly does boost mood and energy levels… and libido too. I would just make maca honey and eat it by the spoonful! Tasty treats… can’t wait to try the cocoa recipe!!! :) Thank you for this..

  80. Márcia Gonçalves

    Sometimes I make a very similar drink (called macaccino) but I never thought of adding cayenne or ginger. Great idea!

    And I loved your speech on TED, so inspiring! :)

    Merry Christmas Sarah! I wish you a very relaxing and joyful holiday time

  81. Darya

    So I just made this hot cocoa, and it is so delicious! Today is so dismal and rainy, it feels like evening since morning, and this hot cocoa was simply the best idea to brighten the day up. Thank you!

  82. sam

    congrats on a TED talk! I have been following your blog for the longest time but have not commented. I recently purchased 3 books from your recommended reading as well.

    The hot chocolate looks amazing, but that rug looks unbeatable. Happy holidays!

  83. Anonymous

    This looks divine! My family and friends can expect a variety of gifts care of MNR as I have been busy making black bean chocolate cookies, ginger kissed pumpkin seeds, raw chocolate and kale crisps to give away! Thank you for your simple yet healthy and absolutely delicious recipes. Wishing you and your family a fabulous christmas and new year!! I can´t wait to see what you have in store for us in 2013.
    Thank you
    Felicity

  84. Liz B

    Oh Sarah we miss you at Casa Vinyasa!! This looks divine – I’m making this on saturday night as an indulgence whilst I finish my Christmas baking and wrapping!!
    Lots of love and kisses xxxxx
    Liz B

  85. Ana Cooks

    It looks so delicious! In that workshop i’ve told you it’s hard to find coconut sugar in Portugal, but i’ll try harder, because that hot choco looks soooooo good!Happy ZEN Holidays :) and Thanks for everything!

  86. Anonymous

    You are really amazing Sarah! I have got a lot of inspiration replacing milk/eggs etc. to vegan stuff and it´s working of course :)
    Thanks for inspiration, nice photos and useful information.
    I wish you nice holiday time and all the best and may all your wishes come true :)
    Thank you for being!
    Liz

  87. Mary Banducci

    I love the idea of haute chocolate! What a great idea to add maca to hot chocolate! I recently addded astragalus powder to my hot drinks for a power boost but this recipe takes it up several notches. Yum! Also love the awesome knit socks and fur rug.

  88. Jana

    yumyum….yumminess! thanks for this warming-cocoa-heaven! indeed (before) holidays time sometimes gets way too stressful…very useful the maca info: I have for a while a box of organic maca powder at home and found the flavour a bit too overpowering in smooties (I might have added a spoon or two too much, being too excited to try it;-) I love munching on raw cacao (had a big chunk right now) when my body starts to lack magnesium;

    Merry+smily Xmas,happy+healthy holiday time+….I simply love your socks, they made me smile! tons of vanilla-love to you!

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