There’s nothing better to warm you up on a cold day than a cup of hot cocoa; and if you add avocado, it’ll be even more nourishing, thick, and velvety. It may seem like a strange combination, but the subtle flavor of the avocado is practically imperceptible and it gives a creaminess to the drink that is both rich and satisfying.
This recipe is wonderfully flexible. You can make it sugar-free or vegan, and add some extra spice and flavorings depending on your tastes and the occasion — the variations are limitless! Even though this is a treat, you can rest assured knowing that by including avocado in your cocoa, you’re adding a good source of fiber (11% of your recommended daily needs!), good fats and nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.
The Basic Recipe
Start with two cups of milk and one avocado. You can adjust the amounts depending on how thick you would like your cocoa. When selecting your avocado, you’ll want to find one that’s perfectly ripe. A gentle squeeze will let you know if your avocado is ripeenough. An ideal avocado should yield to light pressure, however, one that is a little too soft for slicing will work perfectly fine for this recipe as well. You can help speed up ripening a hard avocado by placing it in a paper bag with a banana and checking it daily until it’s ready.
Once you’ve got your avocado, scoop out the flesh and blend it with milk in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add a third of a cup of natural cocoa and finish blending. Heat in the microwave or on the stovetop on low until just under a simmer. Sweeten to taste with sugar, add spices and topping to taste, and enjoy!
To sweeten your hot chocolate without refined sugar, you can use maple syrup or stevia, or soak a couple of Medjool dates in hot water for a few minutes to soften and add to the blender along with the milk and avocado (blend a little bit longer to completely pulverize the dates). You can make this hot cocoa vegan by using almond or coconut milk instead of regular milk.
This hot cocoa is delicious with the warming flavors of cinnamon, and cloves. If you’re feeling inspired to try it as they did in the ancient times, add a dash of chile powder and cayenne to taste. This will definitely add a kick to your drink so just remember, add a little at a time, taste, and add more if desired. You can always add more later!
Though delicious on its own, top it with some whipped cream, chocolate shavings, or mini marshmallows for extra decadence. And for the adult crowd, there’s always the option to add a shot of tequila, mezcal, or coffee liqueur– we won’t judge!