Think comfort, but healthy.

Even though my trip to Ecuador was during the spring time and it was anywhere from 60 to 70 degrees and sunny each day, every night we looked forward to retreating to our hotel for a piping hot chocolate.

Hot Chocolate is not a game in Peru, it’s a damn-near religion. And when they mean Hot chocolate, they mean actual liquid chocolate, straight from the source. Peru is the 8th largest cocoa producer in the world, and that's why the drink is so popular.

I found out at a hotel near Machu Picchu that Sol de Cusco was your best bet for making the most authentic hot chocolate, so I made sure to grab a few bars on my way out of the country (they were only $1 a piece). What makes Peruvian hot chocolate so special is that these Sol de Cusco bars had cinnamon and cloves in them! OMG. The flavor was punched up to the max.

I’m calling my version of this amazing drink superfood hot chocolate because everything that’s in it is great for your body (in moderation, as you already know), even though it’s a perfect winter treat that will make you feel like you're really indulging. It's super creamy and rich and yet has no dairy, which is still boggling my mind. Whether you're paleo, vegan, or even lactose-intolerant this is going to become your go-to hot chocolate recipe. It's great for after a workout, before bedtime, or even for breakfast (no, seriously). My version is dairy free and vegan although you’re free to make it with milk so you desire. Side note: I'm still cackling at that tweet about almond milk being for baby almonds.

Some nutritional benefits you'll find in this cup:

  • Cacao - antioxidants and a natural mood elevator
  • Cinnamon - antioxidants and anti-inflammatory
  • Maca powder - hormone balance, antioxidant booster, improved energy + mood
  • Coconut milk  - source of good fats, provides electrolytes, improved digestion and regularity

PS: If you drink it right before bed, you might have a hard time falling asleep. Maca and cacao are known to give you energy, and right before bed they have similar effects to caffeine.

Makes four 1-cup servings.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp light agave nectar
  • optional - coconut whipped cream topping (recipe here)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a sauce pan, melt the chocolate chips on medium, stirring so they don't stick
  2. Carefully pour in the coconut milk and combine, then turn the heat down to low
  3. Whisk in the cloves, cinnamon, maca powder, and agave nectar. Use an immersion blender for a thicker and more even consistency
  4. Let it all simmer on low for 5-10 minutes then take off heat.
  5. Top with coconut whipped cream and extra chocolate shavings if you're into that kind of thing.
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This ^ is that awesome Sol De Cusco chocolate bar that's made especially for hot chocolate.

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I used Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels.

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Cozy. As heck.

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