This fiery chilli hot chocolate recipe is the perfect pick-me-up for winter hikes and snowshoe adventures.
I love to pack this recipe on hikes, ski days and snowshoe trips because it’s so nice to have a warm drink on the hill. And this recipe perfect for that, chocolate and chillies are warming herbs and help your body maintain a toasty core while adventuring in frozen temps.
The cocoa is familiar and feels like a childhood treat while the chillies defiantly add an adult spin, without the alcohol, but I must admit – if an oz or two of Grand Mariner fell into the pot I wouldn’t toss it out 😉
In her book the Alchemy of Herbs, Rosalee De La Foret explores the the world of herbal medicine from the perspective of food, she suggests that:
“ adding more herbs and spices into our diet comes with many benefits. They provide essential nutrients, support natural energy, promote healthy aging, prevent diseases, aid in the repair of vital processes and strengthen healthy bodily functions”
De La Foret’s book is full of amazing recipes that are healthy and healing. This Fiery Hot Chocolate recipe was inspired by De La Foret’s Hot Chocolate recipe, but of course I’ve put my own fiery spin on it.
Cocoa and Chocolate
When kept in a raw or only lightly processed form cocoa can have lovely warming and mood boosting effects. Cocoa is said to be an anti-inflammatory and a cardio-protective herb, that helps to lower blood pressure while supporting brain health… sounds good to me! I’ve chosen to use a gorgeous rich Dutch Cocoa for this recipe, it makes the most luxuriously dark hot cocoa.
Chilli peppers are definitely warming! When used sparingly chillies have amazing herbal properties, they warm the body and rev up the metabolism. Chillies are immunostimulant, which means they help to boost your immune system which is great for winter months when we tend to spend more time inside. Use this key ingredient sparingly, you want to feel that warmth on the back of your tounge, but the aim is for an enjoyable warmth not a buffalo wing contest. If you’ve gone too far you can dial the heat back by adding a bit more honey and milk.
Honey is an excellent natural sweetener, it is also known to be anti-bacterial and anti-viral, which makes it an important ally during cold and flu season. I’ve used honey as the sweetener in this recipe, I suggest using a big tablespoon full, but obviously add to your own taste preference.
Ok, so here it is… probably my easiest recipe yet.
Fiery Chilli Hot Chocolate
2 cups water
1 tbsp local honey
1-2 heaping tbsp organic, fair trade dutch cocoa powder
a pinch of chilli flakes (1/8 -1/4 tsp)
1 cup organic milk or milk alternative (almond, soy, hemp, coconut)
In a saucepan, warm all ingredients on low until everything is melted and combined. Simmer on very low for 2-5 minutes, the goal is to warm the ingredients and bring out the chilli flavours without cooking off the benefits of the honey.
Taste test and alter to your liking.
Remove the chillies by straining through a fine sieve into 2 mugs or insulated travel container… (aka, thermos).
Then hit the trails!
This recipe is part of a little 3 part mini-series I’m working on for February about how to love winter. This is my final winter push before all spring breaks loose and it’s back to the garden. So stay tuned for the companion articles and feel free to let me know if you try this recipe and what you thought of it.
Until then, thanks for hanging out!