Ok. I'm going to let you in on a little secret here: I love mochas. I like cooking. I like running. I like reading.
I LOVE mochas.
Something about the coffee and chocolate combo just makes me happy all over. It's my one vice in a life filled with mindful eating and lifestyle habits.
Lately, however, I've run into some issues with my mocha love-affair. 1) the cost of buying them from local cafes 2) limited options of the milk used at said cafes 3) negative side-effects from the caffeine in the espresso (it's ES-presso, friends. Not EX-presso.) 4) inconsistent quality/finished product Knowing that I am never limited to what meets my eye, I decided to step outside the box (as I do in other aspects of my life) and make my own homemade kick-ass mocha. I have to say that experience makes the experimentation process easier--practice may not make perfect but it makes better. I began this experiment with the Healthier Hot Chocolate I developed two years ago when I started my health coaching practice. To that recipe, I added some Dandy Blend* for coffee flavor. Yeah. DISCLAIMER: Upon drinking this beverage, you may find yourself unable to stop. Please use caution when preparing this incredible alterna-mocha and limit the portions you use. Or don't. LIVE IT UP!!!!
2 tsp Dandy-Blend Instant Herbal Beverage with Dandelion 2 tsp raw Cacao powder 1/2 cup boiling water 1/2 cup almond milk sweetener of choice: stevia (vanilla flavor), raw honey or maple syrup
1) Boil water in a tea kettle or hot pot. I avoid using microwaves whenever possible. 2) add the powdered Dandy Blend and raw cacao powder to your favorite mug 3) add the boiling water 4) add almond milk 5) add sweetener 6) stir 7) sit down in an incredibly comfortable chair, sip and pat yourself on the back for creating something that is not only delicious BUT incredibly healthy and GOOD for you--without the negative side-effects of caffeine, refined cane sugar or processed soy milk.
1) *Dandy-Blend is a granulated coffee alternative. It is made from extracts of roasted barley, rye, chicory root and dandelion root and beetroot. Dandelion helps tonify (strengthen) and detoxify your liver. Chicory has so many amazing benefits, I'll just let you read them by clicking here.
2) I prefer almond milk to soy or rice for a couple of reasons. Rice milk, while good for people with nut allergies, is really high in sugar and not so high in nutrients. If you don't have an allergy, choose almond milk. Soy milk isn't ideal for me because it gives me gas (soybeans are REALLY hard to digest for some people) and I'm not a fan of having too much soy in my diet because it's being linked to some health concerns due to the phytoestrogen properties inherent in the bean.
3) raw cacao powder. Cacao is a superfood, packed with lots of powerful antioxidants to offset free radical cell damage in my body. Awesome. Jury's out on whether adding boiling water affects the potency of the superfood properties, but here's something I DO know: it's not crap cocoa processed by a megacompany using less-than-optimal ingredients. The product I buy is from Navitas naturals and here is their mission statement:
Our food philosophy is simple: Nutrient rich whole foods are best produced using organic agricultural methods with minimal processing. Focusing on both food safety and nutrition, we handle our premium superfoods with care. This includes third party testing for all our products. Our facility is Organic, Kosher and GMP/HACCP Certified. In addition, we utilize methods such as freeze-drying and low temperature processing to ensure maximum nutrition and safety.
The cost of all these ingredients together comes in WAY under the cost of buying a mocha a day.
This works for me because I know as the weather cools, I'll be wanting them pretty frequently and my wallet can't really justify buying them out all the time. When I DO, however, it will only be from Diesel cafe in Davis Square. Hands-down, time after time, delivering a high-quality product with exceptional customer service and their queer-friendly/welcoming atmosphere brings LGBTQ and savvy hetero fans from near and far. Visit my friends there---and tell them I sent you.