Spiced superfood hot chocolate

After a long, chilly and wet walk in Central Park — which we’ve had a lot of this spring — a warming beverage is a most welcome treat. Herbal lattes have been my brew of choice lately — creamy potions made by blending hot water or brewed tea and coconut butter + coconut oil with an ever-changing combination of herbs, spices, and superfoods. The coconut butter and oil emulsify in the blender to create a wonderfully rich, creamy and coconutty base that’s entirely dairy-free. And as an added bonus, the fatty acids in coconut are a great source of energy and also have antimicrobial and weight-balancing effects.

This rich and chocolatey elixir is my version of a Mexican hot chocolate — i.e., hot cocoa spiced with cinnamon and cayenne — that’s kicked up into high gear with a few of my favorite herbal allies:

Cinnamon: warming, great for digestion, reduces insulin resistance and improves blood glucose balance.

Maca: rich in protein, minerals, and essential fatty acids, energy-enhancing, hormone-balancing. Be sure to buy gelatinized maca powder for use in smoothies and potions. In this process the maca root is boiled and then pressurized to remove the starch. This type of maca powder dissolves more easily in liquids and is easier to digest.

Medicinal mushrooms: rich in minerals and B vitamins, immune-supportive, anti-cancer, antibacterial properties. Reishi, chaga and cordyceps are a few of my favorites.

And last but not least, cacao: rich in antioxidants, energizing, good all-around happy medicine.

With this supercharged line-up, this is a hot cocoa unlike any you’ve had before and guaranteed to put a spring in your step!

Spiced superfood hot chocolate
Serves 1

1 cup hot water (boiled and cooled for a few minutes)
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon raw honey or unrefined liquid sweetener of choice (e.g., maple syrup or coconut nectar), to taste

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon gelatinized maca powder
1/4 teaspoon medicinal mushroom powder (e.g., cordyceps, reishi, chaga)
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of raw vanilla powder

Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender (e.g., Vitamix) and blend on high speed for at least 30 seconds to allow the coconut butter and oil to completely emulsify (taking care when blending hot liquids; cover with lid and a towel and apply firm pressure while blending). Pour into a mug and enjoy!

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