Ever since New Years Eve I’ve felt light in my chest in a way I haven’t felt in months. It seems like the universe spotted our lanterns solemnly sailing through the sky on Saturday and decided to grant us our wishes, because over the last few days, sign after sign has appeared, pointing me in the very direction I’ve been searching for during my anxiety filled autumn.
Inspiration is present and I feel the motivation and energy to work again. Exciting emails about collaborations and meet ups have arrived in my inbox, convincing me that 2017 is going to be exactly that adventurous year I was hoping for.
I’ve started to feel a little bit better in my body as well. As it turns out, taking a break from coffee and gluten was the push that I needed to start building up my gut health again + a little help from Morinda powder (commonly called Noni Fruit).
It’s a long process, but even the smallest signs of improvements gives me the motivation I need to continue with my self care routines and wholesome cooking.
I’m normally of the opinion that everything you need can be found in “regular” foods. As long as you eat a varied diet and take care of your mental and physical health, there’s no need for unnecessary supplements. But over the last couple of months I’ve truly experienced what a powerful aid certain supplements, herbs and superfoods can be for a body that has been putting up with a lot of stress.
This I’m carrying with me into 2017, as I explore ways to navigate those periods of stress or anxiety that I will inevitably fall into sometimes. As for now, I’m adding in a handful of extra powerful foods to my diet to get well again. Most of them common things found in most peoples kitchens, such as turmeric, coconut oil and spices.
To superfoods I count foods that have an unusually large amount of beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants or healthy fats in them. In this recipe, that would be the turmeric for sure, in which the active ingredient is curcumin. A powerful anti-inflammatory substance and all in all aid to the immune system. But also the coconut oil with its lauric acid, which helps protect the intestines from harmful viruses and bacteria. Last but not least, tahini (a creamy paste made from sesame seeds) is a good source of healthy fats, calcium and fiber.
Over the holidays, Renee’s superfood truffle recipes immediately caught my eye and awakened my cooking curiosity again after weeks of idleness. For that I am very grateful. When I lose touch with my kitchen explorations I feel lost in my entire being.
I tried making her chocolate, tahini, honey & turmeric truffles – a warm, creamy and luscious mess poured into silicon molds and refrigerated until firm. A lucky miscalculation made me run out of molds before the truffle ganache was finished, which birthed this hot superfood chocolate recipe. I had perhaps 3-4 tbsp of ganache left in the sauce pan, and I got the idea to pour milk over it, reheat it and whisk it to creamy deliciousness. As a little treat to enjoy immediately, while waiting for the truffles to firm up. And oh boy was that a good idea! I shared a cup with Hannah, and we both swooned over the intensity of the flavors. It really hit the spot, as Hannah said.
Since then I’ve reworked the recipe a little to simplify it and balance the sweetness. The result is an incredibly creamy and intensely chocolatey cup of cocoa, with the slightly “adult” twist of turmeric & tahini.
The tahini can we swapped for almond butter for an equally delicious cup of cocoa, if you want a more “kids friendly” recipe :-) And the turmeric can be increased or decreased as you please. The black pepper I added because it improves the bioavailability of curcumin in turmeric (simply put: it allows our bodies to absorb more of the good stuff from the turmeric).
Notes: 1) For this recipe I haven’t added any additional sweetener, but relied solely on the sweetness from the chocolate & the plant milk (a slightly sweetened kind works best, be it with rice, sugar or agave). If you want your cocoa even sweeter you can add some honey or maple syrup. 2) The tahini can be subbed with any nut butter of choice, it’s all delicious! 3) The purpose of the black pepper is to increase the bioavailability of curcumin (= the good stuff) in turmeric. It doesn’t effect the flavor in any particular way.
Hot Superfood Chocolate with Tahini & Turmeric
makes two small cups or one large
4 squares (about 40g) dark chocolate, 70%
2 tbsp light tahini
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/3 tsp vanilla powder
a couple of pinches cayenne pepper
pinch of black pepper
1 1/2 cup plant milk (I used a combination of hazelnut, rice & cashew)
In a small sauce pan, gently melt chocolate, tahini and coconut oil along with about 2-3 tbsp of the plant milk. Once melted, add the rest of the plant milk & spices and gently warm while whisking. The cocoa is done when it’s steaming but not boiling. It should be slightly warmer than drinking temperature. Pour in mugs and dust over turmeric and cacao powder (optional). For a fancy effect, swirl in some coconut milk :-) Drink immediately!
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