Valentine's Day marks the end of the
massive spending phase Holiday season in our family. Over the past several months we have celebrated Thanksgiving (traveled), my hubby's birthday, Christmas (traveled), New Years, my Birthday (staycation), and we wrap it all up on February 14th withValentines Day. Every year, by the time Valentine's Day comes around, we are truly ecstatic at the prospect of staying home, snuggling up on the couch and just plain enjoying one another's company. The aromas and comforting tastes of a home cooked meal, the gratification of knowing we got the kids to bed with time to spare, the effervescence of our favorite French bubbly and of course the chocolate(s), make Valentine's Day a true festival of LOVE. As for the chocolate, we don't exactly sit around and sample from the standard heart-shaped box. As usual, I have to mix in a little Good Clean Health for a nutritional umph! But trust me, we don't skimp on the indulgence or mess with the age-old equation of LOVE + CHOCOLATE = VALENTINE'S DAY.
Whether it is, Black Bean Fudgey Brownies, Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites, or Tofu Chocolate Mousse(Stay Tuned: GCH recipe to be posted soon), there is never a shortage of delectable chocolate goodies on Valentine's Day. This year I am going with an unbelievable guiltless whole food rendition of Thickened Hot Chocolate. Oh my goodness this is soooo good and very good for you - chock-full of anti-oxidants. Depending on the recipe proportions you can make a delicious hot chocolate beverage for breakfast in bed or an elegant hot chocolate pudding for nuzzling by the fire. So here is one of my new favorite ways to enjoy chocolate on Valentine's Day or any day for that matter and yes, it starts with breakfast (preferably breakfast in bed).
- 2 Tablespoons high quality Raw Cocoa powder
- Agave Nectar or Xylitol to taste (I prefer it unsweetened, but, have made it with 2 tablespoons of Agave nectar and those with a sweeter tooth love it)
- *1/2 Tablespoon Oat Flour (Gluten Free (GF) if you have a sensitivity),- optional adds thickness- If you desire a thicker, pudding like consistency add up to 3 Tablespoons of the oat flour
- 1 cup pure water
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (GF)
- pinch of sea salt
- 3 cups of milk (I prefer non-dairy: either unsweetened Almond or Coconut-from a carton, or for an extra decadent option use coconut milk from a can (not the light version)
- Garnish (optional): Organic strawberries or raspberries, raw cocao nibs
- * You can find oat flour at some grocery stores or make your own by blending it in a coffee grinder or in a high powered blender such as a Vitamix* (See notes below for more info). Adding the oat adds thickness to the hot chocolate. There is a traditional mexican hot chocolate that is thick and delicious and it is called "Champurrado". What is used to thicken it is Masa harina/corn flour. This hot chocolate reminds me of Champurrado but a Good Clean Health version.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the: cocoa powder, sweetener, oat flour, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and salt.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cocoa mix and water.
- Whisk together the cocoa and water over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a low simmer and stir frequently (for about 3 min)
- Reduce heat to medium and whisk in the milk
- Heat through and then stir in the vanilla
- Remove from heat, pour into a favorite mug and enjoy!