It's year 2006. I'm running the Spice of Life kitchen inside Foodworks in Guilford, CT. I am deeply devoted to eating raw food, meaning, I have begun a journey where cooking food is not a reality for me. It's a story worth writing a book about, but for now, I'll spare you the details.
When winter hits Maine, hot chocolate is a must. After spending a few hours snowshoeing or sledding with my boy, nothing warms you up quite like a cup of chocolatey goodness. This recipe puts a cultural twist on a staple recipe and features an unusual pairing of roses, saffron, and chili peppers, giving it a Spanish influenced kick that will warm your body throughout.
I absolutely love kefir and would consider it to be my favorite way to consume dairy. Well, second to raw cream in my coffee :) My love affair with this fermented beverage began when I started shopping at the Portland Farmer's Market in late 2009. We came across Swallowtail Farm & Creamery owned and operated by Sean and Lauren Pignatello of Whitefield, Maine. After tasting their products, we were immediately hooked!
We love our coffee program here. In fact, we couldn't imagine starting off our day with anything other than a cup of coffee. A few months ago we decided to take a week off from coffee. Yerba mate, Camille's mom's famous Red Tea, and of course chaga made for perfect alternatives yet after 1 day we were back sipping on our butter brew. You can say we are addicted to the caffeine, but quite frankly, it is the morning ritual and damn good flavor that keeps us coming back for more of this sacred drink.
As of lately, my absolute favorite afternoon-pick-me-up has been my own version of a Chocolate Milkshake. As a work-from-home Momma, something to wake me up or help create a 2nd wind in the afternoon is basically a must. I've put myself on a somewhat "limited" food protocol as of lately (I'll explain more soon) and so my choices in the afternoon have also become a tad "limited".
Nearly 2 years old now, Wilder has drawn up quite the appetite. Although he is still breastfeeding periodically thru the day and night, Wilder can basically eat non stop throughout the day. Sometimes there are not enough snacks available to meet his hunger needs so recipes like this, which are not only nutritious, but can be made in a matter of minutes when the boy's hunger cravings come full force!
Chocolate... You know you love it! But, if you try to play it off and say it's toxic, well, either you've never had good chocolate, or you just don't enjoy having fun! We're big fans of the Theobroma cacao and happily consume as much as our cacao induced open hearts desire! Both Cami and I have been fortunate to work with some really great chocolate products including freshly harvested cacao beans complete with their deliciously sweet and tart fruity outer layer. In fact Camille has planted many cacao trees at her former residence in Hawaii.
Chocolate dates back to 1100 BC and was enjoyed in copious amounts by Montezuma, whom was said to consume 50 cups daily to enhance his libido. Chocolate has stood the test of time and continues to bring smiles to people of all ages. Jeanne Calment, whom lived to be 122 years old, ate upwards of 1 kilo, that's 2.2 pounds of chocolate per week. The research continues to lean towards chocolate being a longevity food, one that is mineral rich and ranks amongst the highest antioxidant foods sources available. Sacred Heart Chocolate, which is by far our favorite commercially made chocolate company, has tons of info and studies pertaining to chocolate and it's health benefits, which you can find here.
Soothing the Soul...
When the cold sets in, nothing feels more soothing then a cup of hot cocoa. Gently warmed raw milk, lightly sweetened with maple syrup puts smiles on the entire family, including our little guy Wilder. Whenever possible, I love to upgrade my meals with wild foods, so vanilla like quality of chaga tea gets added into the mix. If chaga in unavailable to you, simply use all milk for the liquid base, and please, no skim or lowfat milk please, that would just be cruel!
- 2 cups Raw Milk
- 2 cups Chaga Tea (optional)
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Cacao Powder
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup or desired sweetener
- pinch of Sea Salt
- Add the milk and tea into a sauce pot and slowly warm over medium heat.
- Once it's hot, whisk in the salt and cacao powder.
- Continue to whisk as you sweeten to taste.
- Pour into your favorite mug, sit back, and enjoy!
Every morning I am forced to make a tough decision. How should I prepare my coffee? Most days I enjoy the most delicious cup of Joe with a splash of unpastuerized cream that we buy from the Amish down the road. The richness of the cream merged with a touch of stevia and locally roasted coffee beans makes for such an amazing experience that I often wish I can just sit and drink coffee all day.