Hot Cocoa

After taking a long break from things for the holiday I’m finding it difficult to get my momentum back. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s feeling this way right now. I cooked several large meals over the holidays and I’m feeling a bit burnt out from cooking and eating in excess. Luckily I still have plenty of leftovers from the weekend, and won’t have to make anything new. I still wanted to share a recipe with my readers this week just in case you happen to be feeling ambitious enough to make something. This one is a quick and easy one that will warm up your winter just a bit while feeling reminiscent of the holidays. Hot cocoa is incredibly easy to make at home. When I still ate dairy it was as simple as buying a pre-mixed packet. Unfortunately for us vegans most of the ready made cocoa mixes contain milk powder. On the bright side you only need four ingredients to replicate the store bought cocoa mixes, and it tastes way better.

Over the past few years I’ve become more conscious about buying fair trade products. I try not to get too “preachy” on the blog, because some perceive it as unwelcoming. I really don’t want to scare anyone away from veganism, but this is an issue that really bothers me. I feel that as a vegan who went vegan predominantly for animal rights issues I cannot knowingly purchase something that was produced in a way that is exploitative to other human beings. Human beings are animals just like cows, pigs, or chickens. Being vegan implies that you care about the rights of all animals. We all have value, and are deserving of equal rights. If you don’t already shop fair trade I ask you to consider making the switch. Nobody deserves to be enslaved just so you can have a few minutes of enjoyment, and save a few dollars. Yes, I understand that it’s a bit more expensive, but if you can’t afford something that wasn’t produced by slave labor maybe take a minute to reflect on whether or not you really need to purchase that item. I’m not saying that you need to strive for perfection, but in the spirit of “Veganuary” try your best to swap out some of your daily items like coffee and cocoa. I think you’ll find as you make these changes that the fair trade products almost always taste better, and are worth the marginally higher price.

Perhaps in the future I’ll do a post featuring some of my favorite fair trade products. For this recipe I like using SACO Conscious Kitchen Cocoa, or Equal Exchange Organic Baking Cocoa. If you get the Equal Exchange Cocoa make sure you buy the baking cocoa as the drinking cocoa contains milk. I use Wholesome organic vegan white sugar for this recipe. For vanilla extract we use Simply Organic. Top it with vegan whipped cream, and vegan marshmallows. We use Dandies Marshmallows, because they’re delicious and relatively easy to find. Oatly oatmilk is our go to non-dairy milk, but feel free to use whatever you prefer!


Hot Cocoa

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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To make more than one serving just multiply the ingredients by how many servings you intend to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 cups non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vegan sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • vegan marshmallows (optional)
  • -vegan whipped cream (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small sauce pan start warming non-dairy milk on a low heat.
  2. Add in sugar, and sift in the cocoa. Be sure to whisk as you add the cocoa to help keep it from clumping.
  3. Add vanilla extract, and whisk. Continue whisking the mixture periodically to prevent it from burning.
  4. Bring mixture to a simmer, and let it go until it is hot.
  5. Pour into a mug, and top with non-dairy whipped cream and marshmallows or leave it plain. You can dust with additional cocoa for a garnish.

Cold Brew Coffee

Coffee is one of my favorite things to drink any time, and as the temperature rises in the summer, cold brew is one of my favorite ways to consume coffee.

Due to the fact that the ongoing pandemic has kept me away from the local coffee shops that I would typically be visiting to satisfy my cravings, and because a cup of cold brew from a shop can cost nearly $5, I’ve found a way to brew my own. The method that I use doesn’t require any fancy equipment, and you likely already have everything that you need in your kitchen to make your batch of delicious cold brew. All you’ll need is a quart sized container, a fine mesh strainer, paper coffee filters, ground coffee and filtered water. You’ll also need some time– but that’s just for the coffee to brew.


Cold Brew Coffee

  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe is made in quart sized container.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of ground coffee
  • filtered water

Directions

  1. Place 1 cup of ground coffee into container. I use a quart size mason jar, if you are using a vessel that is a different size, you will need to adjust the ratio of coffee to liquid. For example, if you were to use a pint sized container, you would use only one 1/2 cup of ground coffee.
  2. Begin to pour filtered water over the coffee grounds. once there is enough water in the vessel to saturate the coffee, stir to make sure all of the grounds have been saturated. I like to use a chopstick to do this.
  3. Fill the vessel up the rest of the way with water, leaving a minimal amount of space at the top.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for about 24 hours.
  5. After 24 hours have passed, you need to strain the ground coffee out of the cold brew. I like to do this in two stages. First, pour the cold brew into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer and let all of the liquid drain from the coffee grounds before discarding them. Next, place a paper coffee filter in the strainer, and filter the coffee again into another bowl before pouring it back into the brewing vessel.
  6. Serve chilled and over ice. The cold brew coffee will keep in the fridge for about a week.

Healthy-ish Chocolate Shake

undefinedI used to drink smoothies a lot. It’s a great way to make sure you’re getting enough servings of fruits and veggies in your diet. I had an Oster Blend-N-Go which was perfect for making smoothies for one, but isn’t the best for making multiple servings. A few months ago we purchased a semi-decent Hamilton Beach blender, and our smoothie making has increased a lot since then.

undefinedIn a moment of ingenuity I invented this chocolate banana “milkshake” in an effort to use up a sample of Orgain plant based protein powder. It has since became a regular breakfast staple in our house.

This shake recipe is so decadent you won’t even realize that it’s actually kind of good for you. It makes a great breakfast, or dessert.


Healthy-ish Chocolate Shake

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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The coconut whipped cream is optional, but highly recommended.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of oat or other nondairy milk
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (optional)
  • 2 tbsp creamy almond or other nut butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp orgain or other plant based protein powder (optional)

Directions

  1. Cut ripe bananas and strawberries into small chunks and freeze.
  2. Place frozen fruits in the blender
  3. Add in two tablespoons of almond butter, cocoa powder, and protein powder (if desired).
  4. Pour oat milk over top of the other ingredients.
  5. Blend on high until smooth. Add more milk while blending if necessary.
  6. Pour into glasses, and top with non dairy whipped cream, and/or fresh fruit.