Keep the winter chill where it belongs: outside with this tasty, nutritious, and comforting version of the ever popular hot chocolate. Begin by making your own almond milk. Trust me, homemade nut milk is soo much tastier than any you can buy. You will not regret taking the time to make it yourself. Plus the leftover almond meal makes for a lovely skin exfoliant. Start now and enjoy an all-mocha tomorrow!
To Make Your Own Almond Milk
2 cups raw almonds
6-7 cups water (filtered)
Pinch of sea salt (1/8 teaspoon)
Soak the almonds overnight in some filtered water. Drain the almonds and remove the skins by pinching one end, the skins pop off.* Rinse the almonds and drain.
In a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix®, Combine filtered water (6-7 cups ), dates and almonds and sea salt. Blend on high for one minute. Strain the mixture through a nut milk bag, muslin bag, or cheesecloth into a glass jar or bowl. Squeeze well to release all the milk. Store in the refrigerator 3-5 days.
*Removing the skins is not absolutely necessary, however, the skins are difficult to digest. To make the almonds more bio-available, I recommend removing the skins whenever possible.
Alternatively, eliminate the dates and/or add a pinch of cinnamon or a little vanilla bean to enhance the flavor. Use the leftover pulp for raw cookies or crackers or as added fiber to baked goods..
I like to use the leftover pulp as an exfoliant for my skin. It's gentle, works to balance the oil production of the skin and feels incredibly decadent. I generally use it on my face, neck and chest. Mix 1 tablespoon almond meal with 1 teaspoon honey. Massage with a gentle press and roll motion over your skin. Rinse. Tone and apply your favorite luminous beauty serum or moisturizer.
To Make the All-Mocha
The ingredients are flexible; adjust it to your liking! Some days I want a really dark, rich, potent cup—by amping up the cacao, maca and spices. Other days I want a cup more reminiscent of traditional hot cocoa. The measurements here really are just to get you going. Have some fun and play around with different combinations.
12 ounces almond milk
1-2 tablespoons raw cacao
1-2 teaspoons maca
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon Maple syrup or coconut sugar (to taste)
Cinnamon to taste
Red chili to taste
Pinch of salt
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat ingredients over medium heat, stirring frequently. When all the powdered ingredients have dissolved and the mixture is hot, pour into your favorite cup and enjoy!