Wait, someone help me! How is it that Christmas is 4 days away? I feel like since Thanksgiving, life has been on 11 and the last few weeks just flew right on by. This is my absolute favorite time of the year and in a blink of an eye it’s nearly over.
Since wrapping up all of the end of the year client work and the last few holiday craft shows, getting every last web order shipped out all over the world, wrapping and shipping all of the presents to send back home to our families, finishing my advanced yoga teacher training and all of the various social engagements typical of this time of year, the time to just sit back and relax this season has felt super few and far between this holiday season. We have been taking the fleeting moments where we can get them. Every meal has felt rushed and I have been doing my best to squeeze in workouts and yoga time. Last weekend I finished my final hours of my 500-hour yoga teaching certification, yesterday the last of the packages shipped around 1pm and it finally felt like I could finally breath again.
In addition to the crazy schedules, this holiday season has actually brought some really wonderful cooler temps and grey skies here in Southern California, even a little rain. It has been so pleasant and such a welcomed change. With the crisp, cool weather we don’t get too much of here, I have found myself seeking out hot soups, stews and hot comforting drinks! I created this drink a few weeks back, literally in the middle of a thousand things going on. I wanted the rich creaminess of a good cup of hot cocoa but I also was in the mood for a good spicy chai. As a libra, decision making isn’t always my strong point, so I thought, let’s just throw the two together. How could two things that are so right, ever go wrong?
This Chai Hot Chocolate is my new obsession! It is so simple to make, literally minutes. The subtle hints of spice from the chai is so nice with the rich and silky chocolate. It’s rich, creamy and comforting and I love that it’s only sweetened with a couple of dates, it contains no dairy and it’s nut-free. So it’s paleo-friendly and vegan.
Warm lemon water in the morning and hot tea throughout the day are my go-to hot beverages, but with yesterday’s crisp and cool day and finally feeling relaxed, a steamy mug of something sweet and comforting was just what the Christmas Elves ordered. One mug of this Chai Hot Chocolate and everything is right in the world.
PS since it’s the holidays and all, if you are looking to indulge a little – add a shot of spiced rum, some tequila or maybe some bourbon to your Chai Hot Chocolate. Can’t go wrong there, either!
- 1 1/2 cups strongly brewed chai, hot
- 1/2 cup full fat organic unsweetened coconut milk, warmed
- 2 Medjool dates*
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao (or regular baking cocoa)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
Using tea bags, brew your chai, nice and strong. I recommend 2 tea bags to the 1 1/2 cups of water. You can also use chai concentrate, store bought or homemade (if it’s sweetened, you may want to alter the amount of dates used in this recipe). Heat the coconut milk till it’s steamy, either on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Add the hot chai, the warmed coconut milk, the dates, raw cacao (or cocoa), coconut oil, vanilla extract and sea salt into your high speed blender. Put the lid on, but remove that small cap in the lid (if you have it) and hold the lid down tight with a towel (otherwise the steam will cause the lid to explode off, spewing hot liquid everywhere). Blend for a minute or 2 until the hot chocolate is creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust your sweetness, if necessary. Pour into mugs and serve with a cinnamon stick or a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. If marshmallows or whipped topping of some kind is your thing, that would be great, too. Enjoy!
NOTES: you can adjust the level of sweetness to whatever you prefer, 2 dates were plenty sweet for me, you may want more or less. You could also opt for maple syrup, honey or another sweetener of your choice.[/print_this]
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