Many of you know of my obsession with super chic, incredibly inspiring raw chef and creative director Meredith Baird of M.A.K.E. To keep us inspired during this season, she is generous enough to share her Chaga Chocolat Chaud recipe with us while finishing her stay in Maine.
M | Greetings from the snowy coast of Maine! I am excited to share what has been on our menu this wintry first week of 2014.
Chaga Chocolat Chaud
This recipe was inspired by the recipe for the classic French hot chocolate - which typically uses bittersweet chocolate chips instead of the super sweet (and weak) coco powder that we are used to drinking in the US. The result is a much richer, creamier, decadent and healthier experience. Of course we took it to a whole new level!
In place of heavy cream we used Brazil Nut Milk, which is my favorite dairy substitution. Brazil nuts are high in fat so the milk is much less watery than other nut milks. Brazil nuts are also rich in Selenium which is a key mineral in balancing and boosting metabolism.
In place of bittersweet chocolate chips, we are using raw cacao paste. Using cacao paste instead of cacao powder or regular chocolate gives this drink a superfood boost. Cacao paste is an extremely high source of antioxidants and minerals. The healthy fats boost brain function, heart health, and are especially beneficial during cooler climates--adding internal warmth and moisture to your skin.
For those of you not familiar with Chaga. Chaga is a medicinal mushroom that grows over the course of many years on birch trees. Because of this, Maine has a lot of locally harvested chaga. Chaga is said to have one of the highest antioxidant levels in the entire world. Siberians called it the "Gift of God" and the "Mushroom of Immortality." Chaga is very dense and dry so it isn't used like a typical mushroom. You usually find it in grounds, similar to coffee--or as a powder. With this you brew a tea.
1 Tbsp of Chaga
1 Qt Boiling Water
Brew chaga with boiling water for at least 20 minutes or longer for optimal extraction. Strain.
4 Cups Brazil Nut Milk (made by blending 1 Cup Brazil Nuts with 4 Cups Water, strain)
4 oz Cacao Paste
2 Tbsp Honey/ 2 Dates or Few Drops of Stevia to make it sugar free
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Sea Salt
Pinch of Cinnamon (optional)
Blend all ingredients on high in the Vita-Mix or another high speed blender for 2 minutes until the mixture is very warm.
Fill a glass with half chaga tea brew and half chocolate mixture. The result is a mixture between hot chocolate and a hot mocha.
Serve and sip! It's delicious ---