Happy Valentine’s Day! What better way to woo your sweetheart than with this Beetroot Hot Chocolate?
At first glance, the idea of beetroot hot chocolate might turn some people off, not the desired reaction for Valentine’s Day; but trust me, this deep, rich, velvety drink is so delicious it almost seems sinful.
So why eat beets on Valentine’s Day?
Well, according to the folks at lovebeetroot.co.uk beets are full of Betacyanin, a powerful antioxidant that is thought to lower LDL cholesterol, in turn protecting artery walls and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke – and Valentine’s day is the holiday of the heart. Also, a number of health organizations have deemed February as Heart Health Month!
Romance is in the air in February and perhaps most import reason to eat bees is that they are said to be an aphrodisiac. According to writers at OrganicFacts.net beets contain the mineral boron, which is said to boost levels of sexual hormones, leading to increased libido; now that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about
So, besides the health effects, adding beets to your hot chocolate also adds a richness and earthy depth of flavour to the recipe that is warm, exotic and unexpected.
Also, winter beets are in season around Valentine’s Day making them easy to find at your winter farmers’ market. Beets are a great crop for farmers because they are easy to grow in sandy soil and grow well in cool -climates. Beets also have few pests making them an ideal choice for Canadian Organic growers. Also, beets store well in cold storage and can keep for months in the right conditions.
Home gardeners can really succeed at growing beets if they have the right soil, beets do best in a sandier garden soil that is not overly rich, too much nitrogen and your beets produce mostly tops and small roots. Beets are tough but they do take a bit of tending, seedlings need to be thinned regularly to make room for large round roots to grow, and beets need water to get plump and sweet. So, if like me you have a hot, dry climate with clay soil you might be happy to hear that it’s not hard to find local beets in the shops or at your local farmers’ market, even in the winter.
How to make this delicious, warm and rich Beetroot Hot Chocolate:
Beetroot Hot ChocolatePrint
- 2 Cups Organic Whole Milk - Or non-dairy milk of your choice
- 2 Tbsp Organic Cocoa Powder
- 2 Tbsp Organic Chocolate Chips - Your choice, dark, milk or white chocolate
- 3-4 Tbsp Beetroot Pure - See instructions below
- 1/4 Tsp Vanilla
Wash, peel and cube 2-3 medium beets, boil with 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat with the lid on for 15 minutes. Once beets are tender, transfer beets and cooking water to a blender or Vitamix. Pure thoroughly starting on low and moving to high speed until beets are a silky texture, and set aside.
Beetroot Hot Chocolate:
In the same medium saucepan over low heat, warm milk, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and vanilla. Wisk often to ensure the chocolate chips are melted and to avoid scalding the liquids.
Add beetroot pure a bit at a time until desired flavour and colour are achieved.
Bring to a very gentle boil to ensure the beets are fully cooked and the natural sugars are released.
Turn off heat and taste, if a sweeter beverage is desired, add a bit of honey, but I love that bitter dark chocolate bite.
Transfer to 2 mugs and garnish as desired, or better yet – spike as desired, perhaps with an ounce each of Grand Marnier? 😉