I love chocolate drinks and have developed a few good ones for the blog, including the Vegan Iced Mocha and the Vegan Green Mocha Breakfast Smoothie, but they always included coffee. Since I can't drink coffee on the Elimination Diet, or use bananas, agave, or honey to sweeten, I decided to start experimenting with herbal tea as a base and dried dates to sweeten.
I was honestly shocked at how delicious this drink turned out. I made C try the hot version and he thought it reminded him of chocolate cake! I will have to decide at the end of the Cleanse how much coffee I want to drink going forward, but I will definitely be making this drink long after the Cleanse is over. It's delicious and fulfilling.
The cold version is a great mid-afternoon treat to take the place of an iced mocha from Starbucks. The warm version is the perfect soothing indulgence at the end of the day if you're craving a dessert.
Clean Chocolate Milk (1 servings)
1 ¼ cups water
1 yerba mate tea bag, or another herbal tea*
3 fresh mint leaves (optional)
About 3 Tablespoons (small handful) nuts or seeds**
1 (heaping) Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (I love Valrhona - expensive, but worth it)
3 dried pitted dates
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Pinch of salt
*I really like the Organic Yerba Mate with Green Tea and Peppermint from Whole Foods, but other green and herbal teas will work. Pick your favorite chocolate-compatible flavor.
**I mixed pumpkin seeds and cashews here, but almonds worked too.
1. Microwave water in a mug for 2 minutes. Let the tea steep according to the instructions, or about 3 minutes. You may add the mint leaves to steep with the tea at this point if you like – they give the drink a subtle mint flavor reminiscent of a peppermint hot chocolate.
2. When the tea is ready, discard the tea bag and mint leaves.
Note: If you would like to enjoy the drink cold, allow the tea to cool either at room temperature or in the refrigerator and then proceed with the instructions. Or you can make the drink with the warm tea and then refrigerate, serve over ice, or blend with ice.
3. Add the tea to the blender with the nuts/seeds, cocoa powder, dates, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
4. Blend on high for a minute or two, until the mixture is smooth and frothy. Depending on which nuts/seeds you’re using and the power of your blender, you may want to strain the liquid using a fine mesh strainer to remove any larger pieces of nuts/seeds that might remain.
4. To serve cold, you can blend the finished drink with a few ice cubes, or chill the drink in the refrigerator.
For a minty hot chocolate, simply serve in a mug and enjoy!
Nutrition facts for one serving, assuming you get one serving:
Serving Size 350 g