Cacao is pure, natural chocolate, without any sugar added. It smells divine, tastes very bitter, and is oh-so-chocolatey.Jump to Recipe
If you've ever tasted unrefined chocolate then you'll know that it really doesn't taste wonderful on its own. You need to combine it with other ingredients to really drink it in.
This recipe for hot spiced cacao drink balances out the cacao's intense bitterness with milk, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and optional unrefined sugar.
Cacao health benefits
Each ingredient in this drink is loaded with powerful health benefits. Finally you can enjoy your chocolate knowing that you are doing a great thing for your body.
Cacao is a great source of the following vitamins and minerals.
- Soluble fiber
- Iron, magnesium, copper, manganese
- Potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium
- Saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids
- Very high in antioxidant polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins
Spice health benefits
CARDAMOM: An aromatic spice that has an antispasmodic and relaxing effect on the body. It accelerates gastric emptying, and helps to combat heaviness and stagnation in the stomach.
As a counter to the stimulating effects of chocolate, we appreciate cardamom's grounding quality that keeps digestion moving in a downward direction.
Cardamon is a powerful mucus destroyer that also assists with fat digestion. This means that cardamom will support the digestion of milk, or almond milk, in this recipe.
GINGER: Ginger is one of the best all-around digestive spices. It stimulates digestive juices, and relieves nausea and indigestion. It's warming, but not too warming. It also helps to burn away heaviness and congestion.
CINNAMON: Demulcent, heating, and light, cinnamon also helps to reduce the mucus provoking qualities of dairy by supporting the digestion of sugars. Its anti-microbial qualities also reduce gas and fermentation in the gastrointestinal tract.
NUTMEG: Nutmeg is an aromatic that helps to digest fats and promotes digestion overall. It is also a mild sedative and nervine. Nutmeg has a balancing effect when mixed with some of the other aromatics.
Recipe for Hot Spiced Cacao
Combine in a small bowl
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- tiny pinch Himalayan pink salt
Prepare cardamom pods
- 3-4 cardamom pods, (sub with ½ teaspoon cardamom powder)
- 1 cup almond milk, (sub with cow’s milk or another plant-based milk of your choice)
- 2-3 slices ginger, freshly sliced
- raw sugar (1 to 1 ½ teaspoons), (sub with brown sugar, coconut sugar, turbinado, raw sugar, maple syrup, or honey)
- Combine cacao powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl. Add 2-3 tablespoons of milk and stir well to incorporate into a paste.
- If you are using the cardamom pods in this recipe, crush them in a mortar and pestle first to release their flavor and aroma. Alternately, crush with the flat edge a knife, or grind them in a coffee grinder reserved for spices.
- Heat milk, ginger slices, and crushed cardamom pods (or cardamom powder) in a small pot over medium-low heat. The milk will foam up when it comes to a boil, so watch carefully and reduce the heat just as it comes to a boil.
- Add the spiced cacao paste into the hot milk, and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Stir occasionally for about 5 minutes with the heat on very low. The time will allow the cacao and spices to develop their flavors and harmonize together.
- Choose your favorite mug, and pour the spiced cacao through a strainer into the mug. Add optional sugar if desired. Enjoy the taste, aroma, and experience.