I love it when I discover things by accident, especially when they’re as delicious as this raw hot chocolate.
I also love that I’m finally getting skilled enough in the kitchen to throw something together, and it actually works!
I can’t tell you how often I’ve got “creative” and ended up with something that tasted foul. F-O-U-L, foul!
And I always have the same dilemma – do I struggle through and eat it, even though it tastes horrible, or do I feed it to the worms (in our compost bin)?
But I’m so pleased that I’m finally getting a feel for this whole “cooking” thing, and I’ve only been doing it for, what 15-20 years?
OK, I’ll admit it, I’ve only been creating raw food recipes for about 2½ years, so maybe it doesn’t have to take that long to get the hang of it.
So if you’re worried about being more adventurous in the kitchen, take it from me, you may make some duds now and then, but it’s definitely worth it, because you’ll get better and better, and in no time you’ll be making food that everyone loves.
Anyway, this raw hot chocolate was the result of one of those happy accidents.
I was soaking some cashews to make something or other, and I just got to the point where I’d had enough of restocking the kitchen.
As much as I love the fact that my family enjoys eating the dishes I make, sometimes I get bored with making the same old things. (I like to experiment, had you noticed?)
And besides, I didn’t want those magnificent cashews to go to waste.
So that’s when I had the inspiration to make the cashews into a raw chocolate smoothie.
I chucked them into the blender with an equal amount of dates, added a bunch of raw cacao and a pinch of vanilla, plus some water.
And that’s when the inspiration happened.
I realised that if I kept blending the mix, like I do with my raw banana oatmeal porridge, that it would start to warm up.
And I could turn it into a raw hot chocolate, which sounded very appealing, given how cold the weather is around here at the moment.
And of course I just happened to have some fresh strawberries lying around that needed to be eaten, so I artfully arranged one on the side of my big, toasty warm mug of raw hot chocolate.
Well, I think I may have outdone myself this time.
It was sooooooooo creamy and warm and tasty and sweet and chocolatey and everything that’s wonderful about hot chocolate.
And the strawberry was definitely the winning touch.
I also managed to strike the perfect balance between the dates and the chocolate, so it was kind of a bittersweet hot chocolate, instead of a sickly sweet hot chocolate.
Wow. And yum.
And it was so thick and creamy that it stuck wonderfully to both my insides and to the inside of my mug.
I wonder what the most elegant way is to clean out my mug afterwards?
Straw, spoon, finger, tongue? We don’t want to waste any, after all.
Nope, there’s no way to do this neatly.
So you’ll need to find yourself a corner where you can messily finish off this magnificent creation, or maybe just learn to ignore the raised eyebrows until you’ve finished every last drop.
- 1/2 cup (70g) cashews, soaked 1-2h (soaking optional)
- 3 med (70g) medjool dates, pitted
- 3 tsp (5g) cacao powder
- pinch vanilla bean powder
- 250ml water
- 1 strawberry
- (Optional) Soak the cashews in filtered water for 1-2 hours and drain.
- Add everything to the blender except for the strawberry.
- Blend until mix is smooth, and starting to warm up, around 1-2 minutes.
- Pour into a big mug and garnish with a fresh strawberry.
- Drink immediately.
During: 5 min
- You don’t have to soak the cashews if you don’t want to, or if you don’t have the time. I’ve made it with soaked and unsoaked cashews and the result is pretty similar. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, then pre-soaking the cashews might help to create a smoother texture.
- I prefer to use Loving Earth’s Really Raw Organic Cashews, so pre-soaking them will also improve the availability of the nutrients in these truly raw nuts.
- You can play with the number of dates to get the flavour balance you prefer. You might find that 3 is not sweet enough for your taste buds, so try 4 small ones or 3 extra large ones. Similarly, you can make it less sweet by reducing the amount of dates in the mix. It’s up to you.
- I love using Loving Earth’s Raw Cacao Powder, and once again, if you find the chocolate flavour too strong, you can always add less.
- You can make your own vanilla bean powder, by air-drying vanilla beans for 1-2 months (or until they snap instead of bending), and then grinding them in a coffee or spice grinder. Or you can save yourself the trouble and buy ready-made raw organic vanilla powder from someone like Loving Earth. (I’m a big fan of theirs, can you tell?)
- This recipe does come out quite thick and rich, so if you want something a little lighter, you can add more water and make two regular mugs of raw hot chocolate – one for you, and one for
yousomeone you love.
- The strawberry is optional, but it does complement the chocolate flavour very well. If you have another fresh fruit you prefer in combination with chocolate (e.g. mango, blueberry, banana), you could always use that instead.
- To make this “hot” chocolate, just keep blending it at high speed until the outside of the jug feels warm. If it’s not too hot to touch, it should be about the right temperature. It may start steaming a little, but if it doesn’t burn your mouth when you drink it, then it’s still raw (unless you have lips of steel).
- I like to drink this pretty much as soon as I’ve poured it into the mug. In fact, I break one of my usual rules for this recipe, and actually drink my raw hot chocolate before I clean the jug. Partly because I usually make too much to fit into my mug, but also because I don’t want it to cool down before I get to drink it. Just make sure you’re not too blissed out afterwards to go back and wash the blender jug.
- If you want to have this in warmer weather, just replace half the water with ice-cubes, and blend just long enough to make it completely smooth, and have yourself a raw iced chocolate treat instead. Mmmmmmm.
This is one of my completely original, made-up-on-the-spot recipes, born out of the desire to use up some soaked cashews and a hankering for a warm, comforting drink.
I also wanted to keep it simple, and to stick to using wholefood ingredients as much as possible.
Oh yes, and it had to pass the usual “tastes so good I want more” test.
And I’d have to say that my raw hot chocolate recipe is a raging success on all fronts.
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And have an awesome, chocolate-filled day!
~ Nikki, Eating Vibrantly