It’s taken me a while to put this post together (hence some of the Christmas-y themes present); to get into the swing of 2017, actually. Anyone else?
Not helping matters is the fact that I spent the first week of the year in Grand Cayman. The trip was truly a dream, and if I can find a way to wrap my head around writing about some of the wonderfully weird things that happened – with some of my favorite people in the world – then, I’ll do that. You can definitely expect photos and a recipe to come soon though!
The last couple of weeks then have been spent catching up, tackling a slew of new photography projects, cleaning and organizing (always more cleaning and organizing), and generally chilling and snuggling with Sneaks. I finally read two of the books that have been resting on my nightstand: Sweetbitter (liked) and The Girls (liked a lot).
My kitchen experiments have been minimal. I’ve been mostly relying upon cold-weather standbys like big bowls of veggie soup, hearty mixed greens, and cups of steamy beverages to get me through my days. As the snow continues to fall outside, I am focused as much on keeping warm as I am on staying fueled. This version of vegan white hot chocolate is one of my go-to recipes for both.
I like this drink because you can more or less take the base – a hot vanilla-infused nut milk – anywhere you like. The chestnut spread is not necessary (and I realize, is a bit obscure), but it does add some extra sweetness and seasonal flare, if you want to try it. You can up the adaptogen quotient as much as you wish, but I definitely recommend the maca here. Maca is a natural immune booster, hormone balancer, and universal feel good promoter; all qualities that seem especially important this time of year.
To keep those feel good vibes going, my friends at Dreamfarm would like to give two winners a prize pack that includes 3 of their very best kitchen gadgets, valued at $45. If you’ve been reading here for a bit then you might know that I love their tools – and I say that as someone who is admittedly not a fan of excess tools, in general. I like to keep my prep and my cleanup simple! I am particularly fond of the Levoons for their compact nature, and their handy leveling scrapers.
Each prize pack has: a set of Levoons, and Levups, as well as a Chopula. You can enter to win via the Rafflecopter widget below. I’ll select and contact the winners via email one week from today (February 2nd). Good luck – and if you are in a chilly area of the world right now, please stay warm and cozy!
VEGAN WHITE HOT CHOCOLATE WITH CHESTNUT
Serves: 2 (Or 1 giant mug for yourself!)
Notes: I realize that some of these ingredients may not be in your pantry right now, but I do kind of think that they should be! If they’re new to you, I’ve linked to them for your reference. In terms of making this a “white” hot chocolate, the cacao butter is key in achieving that flavor. Alternately, you can make this a standard (superfood!) hot chocolate by swapping in 2 tablespoons of cacao powder, instead.
2 cups nut milk of choice (I prefer almond milk for this recipe.)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cacao butter
1 tablespoon chestnut spread (optional) OR 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon maca powder
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
Place the nut milk, vanilla extract, and cacao butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil.
Carefully pour the warm milk mixture into a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse just until combined. Drink immediately.
** Only open to residents of the United States **