It’s that time of year to increase coziness and show yourself some soft self-care.
I always find myself turning to plants and herbal remedies to align with the seasons of the earth. As the plants return to their roots in winter, so are we invited to curl inward and allow motivation to settle into rest and inspiration.
The spirit of the earth speaks to us through the senses, and the plants in this recipe mingle with the body, mind, and heart to kindle feelings of warmth and pleasure.
In the womb-like darkness of wintertime, I share with you my ultimate herbal hot cocoa recipe: a sweet and rich blend that provides a warm hug for the heart, boosts serotonin levels (happiness hormone) through the darker nights, and provides calm and balanced energy to uplift our winter days.
Hot Cocoa is a treat for the senses: it smells, tastes, and even feels luxurious to encounter. The natural sweetness from the syrup and spicy bitterness from the cocoa blend to create a life-and-heart-affirming infusion. Hot cocoa reminds me of simpler times, its dark and earthy color like the soils we all come from, and upon which we all return. Cocoa has been used as a sacred and ceremonial herb for centuries, beloved for its richness in minerals and serotonin-inducing effects.
The recipe below is the ultimate hot cocoa — we’ve amped up the goodness with a few other anti-inflammatories and calm-inducing herbs.
Enjoy this herbal hot cocoa recipe anytime you need a pick-me-up, or a reminder to enjoy the moment exactly as it is, and as you are, for you are loved.
Serving Size: For one 16 oz mug of cocoa
1 heaping tbsp of organic cocoa powder
1 tsp of organic turmeric powder (optional)
1/2 tsp of organic cinnamon powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper powder
1/4 tsp maca root powder (optional)
1/2 tsp of lavender buds
1/2 tsp of chamomile buds
*You can replace the lavender and chamomile buds with any herb of your choice! I chose these two for their calming effects.
8 oz milk of your choice
Maple syrup to taste
To Blend & Brew
Steep the lavender and/or chamomile buds in 8 oz of boiling water for 5-7 min (as if you were making an herbal tea). This tea will be the liquid base of your hot cocoa and will add an extra layer of depth to the blend.
Add the brewed herbal tea and milk to a small pot. Bring to a low simmer.
Add in your cocoa, turmeric, maca root and cinnamon powders. Whisk well to blend the powders until all of the clumps are out.
Let the blend simmer for 5-7 min, or until there is a bit of froth on the surface. Add in your maple syrup to taste and finish with a spoonful of coconut oil.
Pour the blend into your favorite mug. Enjoy!