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  • Creamy Cinnamon & Cardamom Hot Cocoa (+ homemade cashew milk)

    Hey! Hi! It is all of a sudden really, very cold. It snows, then rains...then freezes, etc etc. So, it is hot cocoa season / the season for all the warming comforting beverages.

    It is also the season of "giving", so, I'd like to chime in and remind to give to yourself the permission to not be perfect, and to also think about giving non-phyiscal "gifts". The gift of presence (in yourself and with others!), the gift of peace, the gift of calm, the gift of knowing all is well (despite all the stuff going on in our world).

    Also, the gift of nourishing hot cocoa, with the power of the rich cashew. Seriously satisfying. A seriously great way to explore the flavors of cocoa or raw cacao, and the power of plants. It excites me to know that this cup of entirely plant-magic (ok, minus the sea salt and water). The cashew milk is my go-to plant milk. I find that it froths the best, is the simplest to make with the least amount of waste created (no straining, no nut pulp!), and has a great mouthfeel/texture. The key, I think, is to remember that when heated, cashew milk does thicken slightly (pretty sure it is albumin proteins doing their thang, as they are heat-sensitive globular proteins). 

    You can use this thickening power to your advantage! But overall, I'd suggest a 1:4 ratio of raw cashews to water. When heated, this ratio is not cloyingly thick, but is not watery. A dash of sea salt, and perhaps sweetned of choice/a soft date added to the blender, and you're good to go. But, experiement with the ratios to find your ideal texture, flavor and viscosity.

    Cheers my friends; stay present, calm and cozy!

    PS: inspiration for this, and many a cozy beverage, comes from Laura at The First Mess. How spectacular! And also, for blending, I use my vitamix but rest assured, if you soak your cashews (I like to accelerate the process with hot water), you can totally use a conventional blender-just let it run for a few moments and taste for texture along the way....it is a journey-enjoy it! Lastly, my go-to milk frother (a gift from my Brazilian beau, because apparantly Latin America is way more up on their Nespresso game then the US) is this one. I LOVE IT.



    Cinnamon and Cardamom Hot Cocoa (or Mocha) + Cashew Milk // makes 4ish cups cashew milk + 1 serving of hot cocoa //

    Hot Cocoa:

    • 1 cup cashew milk (recipe follows), or your favorite milk
    • 1 1/2 tsp your favorite cocoa or cacao powder 
    • 1 large soft date
    • pinch sea salt
    • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    • scant 1/4 tsp cardamom
    • splash vanilla (I use vanilla bean-infused rum)
    • optional: 1/4 to 1 cup of your favorite coffee or espresso, for a mocha

    1. put everything in a blender, and blend until smooth. 

    2. Froth with your favorite frother OR heat up the cocoa mixture made in step 1 in a small sauce pan or microwave for 30-ish seconds. 

    3. Pour into your favorite pre-warmed mug or over your favorite coffee/espresso. Enjoy immediately!

    Cashew milk:

    • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked either overnight or 10-15 minutes in hot water
    • 4 cups filtered water
    • pinch sea salt
    • optional sweetner or a date if desired

    1. combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust to taste. Store in a non-pourous container in a the fridge for up to 5 days. If the cashew milk is too thick upon refrigeration, add a splash of water to thin.