This recipe came about as I was refilling my mason jar of Pau D'Arco last night. Its nutty, earthy and yet sweet scent brought to mind cinnamon, rooibos, chaga and raw cacao. I decided to bring all of those fabulous ingredients together in a spiced chocolate latte, perfect for curling up in front of the fire or with a good book in bed.
In addition to being delicious, this chocolate latte is also fabulous for you. Pau D'arco is a fantastic tonic herb, containing anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and immune boosting properties, among other benefits. I have written about chaga tea many times before, touching on its wonderful immune boosting and cancer fighting properties. I would definitely recommend David Wolfe's Chaga King of the Medicinal Mushroom book, as he goes into great detail regarding this incredible medicinal mushroom.
Rooibos is a lovely herbal tea that I have found most people have a love/hate relationship with, including yours truly. I initially wasn't a huge fan, and only started drinking it during my third pregnancy. I was looking for something that was non-caffeinated and nourishing, and the guy I spoke to at David's Tea told me it was a good source of iron. This piqued my interest, as it was my first plant based pregnancy and I was a bit paranoid about having all of my nutritional needs met! While I am not certain that it is a reliable source in and of itself, rooibos tea is anti-inflammatory and high in a variety of minerals, which makes it a good choice for general health and wellness in my books. This recipe is a great way to consume rooibos if you are not a huge fan of the flavour on its own as the raw cacao, and other ingredients balance everything out, and the flavour of the rooibos does not dominate.
My kids are touch and go when it comes to hot chocolate, but they thoroughly enjoyed this one. I elected to use maple syrup as my sweetener; my in-laws gave us a gorgeous can produced by an extended family member in Quebec for Christmas, and I thought it would compliment the rest of the flavours nicely. I kept the sweetness subtle, following a conversation with my friend where we extolled the virtues of a light touch where sweetener is concerned. Neither of us are big fans of overly sweetened beverages! Feel free to adjust the level of sweetness as you see fit.
Cinnamon Spiced Chocolate Tea Latte
1.5 cups Fortifying Tea (recipe below)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
1/4 cup raw cacao
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup cashews
Assemble all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
6 cups water
1/4 cup pau d'arco
2 tsp Chaga powder
1 tbsp rooibos
Steep for 15 mins & strain. This recipe makes enough for four servings of the Cinnamon Spiced Chocolate Latte; extra tea can be kept in a mason jar in the fridge.