Breakfast Hot Chocolate
This is meant to warm you up, down to your toes, but a side effect is happiness, it’s made of chocolate, after all.
I was reading about ‘Champurrado’ in Lucky Peach magazine the other day. I had never heard of it before, but it is a chocolate version of ‘Atole’, a masa (corn)-based drink that they drink in Mexico to warm up ). Because apparently it gets cold there. As it turns out, this will warm you up whether you are Mexico-cold or Canada-cold.
The recipe in the article was created by Rick Bayless, and whenever I see his name I pay attention because his specialty is traditional Mexican cuisine, a cuisine I don’t know very much about, but find really interesting.
I would have pictured a warm chocolate drink from Mexico more like warm chocolate drinks that I’ve had in Europe, basically melted chocolate ganache (not that I’m complaining), but this is more like a mixture between hot porridge and a smoothie. That’s why I’ve called it breakfast hot chocolate, because it doesn’t resemble the hot chocolate that comes in the rip open packages with little dried marshmallows that you may or may not have enjoyed beside a roaring fire after a chilly summer night time swim. It’s actually pretty healthy, even if it leans towards the sweet side (chocolate without the sweet would taste more like black coffee).
Something that Mexico does that I love, is cinnamon with chocolate. Have you ever tried it? Cinnamon is a warming spice, so it makes sense to put it into a warming drink, and it also helps to maintain our blood sugar, so it is the perfect ingredient to add to something sweet. It also tastes really good with the chocolate.
The only chocolate to go into the drink is cacao nibs (roasted, cracked cacao beans). These cacao nibs are pure chocolate and are packed full of antioxidants, magnesium (if you crave chocolate on a regular basis, it may be because you are low in magnesium-pure chocolate is full of it), iron, and mood enhancement (for real, science says so). You can find them at health food stores or fancy grocery stores, often in the bulk section.
I subbed out the masa in the recipe for whole, soaked millet (corn is a common allergen, and millet is alkaline and pretty easy to digest). Subbed out the sugar (obviously) for fresh dates, doubled the pecans (and soak them instead of toast them), and added water to replace the milk (we kind of make it all into millet/pecan milk in the process anyway, so water works well in this case).
Our version contains more fiber and more fat, which lowers the overall glycemic load of the hot chocolate. It’s made only with real, whole foods and makes a really nice treat in the morning when you are pulling on your wool sweater and thinking about how nice a trip to Mexico would be.
- ¼ c Millet, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
- ½ c Pecans (soaked for 12 hours, drained and rinsed) (cut with (unsoaked) hemp hearts for extra protein or (soaked) Brazils for extra selenium)
- ⅓ c Cacao Nibs
- 6-8 Medjool Dates
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Vanilla Powder
- Pinch of Sea(weed) Salt
- 4 c Water
- Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until very smooth.
- Pour contents into a saucepan and cook on med/low heat wile whisking for 10 minutes or until thickened.
- Water down to thin it out if desired.
- Sip out of a mug or serve in a bowl topped with cacao nibs, freshly ground cinnamon and fresh fruit (raspberries, pears etc) if desired.
- Freezes well
Author & Photography: Dana McIntyre
“I believe strongly in food being your medicine, but I also believe that it should taste amazing, bring comfort and conjure up fond memories. I truly believe you can have your cake (broccoli?) and eat it too, and it is my goal to show you how.”