The Heart Warmer 2.0: My Hazelnut Hot Cacao Recipe
can’t believe it’s already Valentine’s day! Though my man and I never really do anything too special for it, this year February 14 happens to be our two-month wedding anniversary, which is of course a cause for celebration! So we’ll be enjoying the day by preparing our favourite meal; brunch (duh), at home. Coffee, eggs, bacon, French toast, and fruit are always our Go-Tos, and as if that’s not enough, I LOVE making a special warm elixir to go with everything. Enter the hazelnut hot cacao. This mineral-rich spiced-up spin on hot chocolate tastes like Nutella… but is super healthy!
I was inspired to create this recipe by a hot chocolate my best friend Kalie and I used to make called “the heart warmer”, which we found the recipe for in a Seventeen magazine (when we were still young enough to read Seventeen). It included warmed milk, melted chocolate, and cinnamon… It was delicious and definitely not nutritious but we were obsessed. A full decade later and I still crave the heart warmer in the colder months, so I figured why not make a “healthified” version?!
My heart warmer 2.0 includes raw, fair-trade, organic cacao, hazelnut butter, plant mylk, and Ceylon cinnamon. It’s so versatile! Often I use pre-brewed chaga mushroom tea as the base to hike up the antioxidant content even more (did you know chaga mushrooms contain the highest amount of antioxidants ever discovered in a food?!) I also love adding a few scoops of collagen protein to make this elixir a bit more filling and super duper frothy. You can add different spices (pumpkin spice, hello), superfood powders, etc. You can even switch up the nut butter to change the flavour profile. I love using tahini, which makes it even richer and a little more savoury, coconut manna, or peanut butter if I’m feeling especially cheeky.
The raw, fair-trade cacao is key in this (processed cocoa will just not do!) for its mineral and antioxidant content. Cacao is a great source of magnesium and calcium and the best plant-based source of iron! Cacao also happens to contain forty times the antioxidants that blueberries contain per 100g. There’s a reason cacao is considered a superfood. Paired with a serving of healthy fat in the hazelnut butter and Ceylon cinnamon to help balance blood sugar, this hot cacao will keep you feeling energized, focused, relaxed, and happy all morning long.
2 cups unsweetened plant mylk – almond, cashew, coconut, or whatever you have. Keto? Go ahead and make this with canned coconut milk to make it even more decadent.
2 TBSP hazelnut butter
1 TBSP fair-trade raw organic cacao
1 TSP Ceylon cinnamon
Stevia or maple syrup to taste
Recommended but optional: 3 TBSP collagen peptides (makes it frothy)
Optional superfood add-ins: 1 TSP total of lucuma, mesquite, maca, or adaptogenic mushroom powder.
Warm the plant mylk in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Once hot enough, add the plant mylk to a blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend for 20-30 seconds on high.