This recipe is my version of a recipe given to me by a woman named Julie Loveless. Julie was a vegan chef. She had a way with food and I learned from her, including adding a pinch of cayenne to recipes to bring out flavors. Which, now that I’m an herbalist, makes a huge amount of sense, because cayenne is a stimulant, and stimulants amplify the effects of the other herbs/foods they are combined with.
- 2-3 medjool dates, depending on size
- 12 ounces non-dairy milk – almond, coconut, or your milk of choice
- 3 teaspoons cacao powder (I also use this mushroom adaptogenic powder for one of the teaspoons, to get a little herbal goodness, but it’s not necessary)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash of cinnamon or peppermint extract (optional)
You can use a high-speed blender that has a hot chocolate setting, or heat up the ingredients then blend.
Add all ingredients to a blender and process. I usually run it through my hot chocolate setting twice to get it hot enough, because I store my dates in the fridge and, between those and the cold milk, there is a lot of heating that needs to be done. Alternatively, I heat everything in a pan, then process it once. You just have to make sure the dates “dissolve.”
Julie’s original recipe used hot water with a little non-dairy milk added. It would be less calories that way, so that is an option.
I like adding peppermint extract around Christmastime. Other times I’ll add cinnamon, which is a warming herb and is nice in the winter.