We are always looking for new ways to refresh our daily habits and the kitchen is one place that you can easily make changes that reap long-term benefits for your health. Recently we chatted with Qnola’s founder Danielle Copperman to get a peek at what her morning ritual looks like and she shared a recipe for a deliciously fresh approach to hot chocolate.
Unlike most healthy (for want of a better word) hot chocolate recipes, this one involves quinoa, which not only elevates the protein, fibre, amino acids and omega 3 content of the drink, but also increases the creaminess of it like nothing else. It’s perfect to drink first thing in the morning, consumed instead of a smoothie (it is basically a hot smoothie). This drink is a functional addition to particularly active lifestyles and also, rich in antioxidants, has the power to support immunity and protect the body at times of fatigue.
1 cup cooked quinoa (about 200g)
30g cacao powder
520ml plant-based milk or water
5-6 medjool dates
2 teaspoons fresh vanilla or vanilla extract / powder / paste
1 tablespoon maca powder
Pinch Himalayan pink salt – to taste
30-40g tahini or nut butter (we like almond, cashew, pecan, hazelnut or brazil nut)
2 teaspoons melted coconut oil (could also use extra virgin olive oil or melted cacao butter)
If you haven’t already cooked your quinoa, do so now as per the packet. If it’s loose and unpackaged (yay, good for you!), I generally bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to the boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the water is completely absorbed. Halve the cooking quantities if you don’t want so much leftover quinoa, as 1 cup of raw quinoa will over double in size and this recipe only calls for 1 cup of cooked quinoa.
Once cooked and cooled (you can rinse with cold water to speed things along), add to a high speed blender with all the other ingredients. Blend on a medium speed for 30 seconds then on the highest speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is completely smooth. Taste and season, adding more superfoods, salt or dates to suit your taste, then transfer to a saucepan and heat, whisking, over a low-medium heat. If the result is too thick, add a little extra plant-based milk or water to thin to taste.
Serve piping hot. Top with Himalayan pink salt, Qnola of choice or any superfoods / spices you used in the recipe, or decorate and infuse with fresh rosemary, dried rose petals or chamomile flowers.
+ You could also serve over ice, or blend with ice, for a chocolate milkshake / slushy option