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)
with 1/2 teaspoon of one or some of the following superfood powders and adaptogens:
he shou wu
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
Read our full interview with Danielle about how to start your mornings off right. You can find Danielle online at Qnola and Model Mange Tout.