The best cashew & coconut hot chocolate

Dec 6, 2014

This is the most perfect beverage for cosying up on the sofa with on a cold winter’s day or as a post long walk treat at the weekend or as a dessert huddled round the kitchen table. If you’ve ever been to Spain and enjoyed churros dunked in warm hot chocolate, then this hot chocolate recipe will remind you of this, though it’s a much healthier experience! It’s hard to believe there’s no cream in this silky smooth drink and it’s all down to the cashews and coconut milk.

I love cashews. They got a bad rap for a short time during the low-carb craze because their carb content is higher than any other nut, but people are now rightfully appreciating cashews for all of their amazing nutritional benefits. About half the fat in cashews is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, they key fat found in the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown in virutally every research study to be associated with lower levels of heart disease and cancer, not to mention longer life-spans.

Compared with carbohydrates, monounsaturated fats lower LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) and raise the protective HDL cholesterol. Cashews, like other nuts are mineral rich (magnesium, calcium, potassium, selenium, phosphorus) and full of protein and fibre which why you feel so good when you eat them. When adding cashews to hot foods, you should add them in late in the game when you’re almost ready to serve as they soften quickly when cooked.

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Coconut milk is one of my favourite ingredients as it’s so versatile to use and so good for you. It makes its way into my breakfasts, desserts and dinners in one way or another, at least a few times a week so I always have a couple of tins in my kitchen cuboard, though they don’t stay there for very long! Now that winter is brewing, I’m going to be stocking up extra amounts to make this insanely delicious hot chocolate! Because of it’s high saturated fat content and the widespread misinformation about saturated fat in this country, a lot of people are wary of coconuts and products that come from coconuts. It’s true we shouldn’t overdo saturated fat, however, it is the processed trans fats we should be more concerned about, not the naturally occuring saturates found in the likes of coconut, butter and eggs.

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The saturated fats in coconut are mainly medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s). MCT’s are very different from their ‘long chain’ saturated fat cousins. They are easier to metabolize and break down in the digestive system. They are preferentially used for energy rather than stored as fat around your middle, which is great if you’re trying to keep your weight in check. 50% of that fat in coconut is lauric acid which has antiviral and antimicrobial properties so it can have a positive effect on one’s immune system too.

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Enjoy this toasty beverage and share your chocolatey creations with me @JessipesRecipes on twitter or instagram.

All the healthy best,

Jess x

The best cashew & coconut hot chocolate
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
It’s hard to believe there’s no cream in this silky smooth hot chocolate. It’s perfect for cosying up on the sofa with on a cold winter’s day or as a post long walk treat at the weekend or as a dessert huddled round the kitchen table.
Author:
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 75g (½ cup) cashews, soaked for 8 hours in 300ml water
  • 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons (25g) unsweetened cacao powder
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla paste/ seeds from a pod (optional)
  • pinch Himalayan salt
Instructions
  1. Soak your cashew nuts overnight or for 8+ hours. Once soaked, discard the water used for soaking and rinse the nuts.
  2. Add nuts to the blender or Vitamix with 150ml fresh filtered water. If you don't have a blender you can add the nuts & water to a bowl and use a hand held blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Add coconut milk, cacao powder, pitted dates, cinnamon and salt and blend until you have a smooth consistency and the dates have blended. Add more water if required to thin the mix slightly if you would like a thinner consistency (I like my hot chocolate quite thick).
  4. Warm gently in a saucepan until the cashew milk has heated through, stirring constantly to prevent any cashew clumping.
  5. Pour into mugs, get comfy and enjoy!

Hi, I’m Jess! Nutritional Therapist  & Personal Trainer, sharing workouts & nutrition made simple from my island home in Menorca. My mission? To educate & inspire people to achieve & sustain their personal health & body shape goals. I love to hike, cook, and bring inspiring people together.

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