I have managed to go most of my life without a coffee addiction. I made it through high school, university and full time work mostly unscathed, aside from a few mild flirtations. Why the anti-coffee stance you might ask? I am sure coffee is fine for a lot of people (my husband doesn't appear to be overly affected by it) and you could argue from a pure enjoyment perspective that perhaps it is worth indulging in. But for me, coffee is not a great pick. It is not kind to my stomach, and takes my adrenals on a joy ride that this recovering stress case really can't handle, I realized how much it was negatively affecting me after embarking on higher than normal coffee consumption a little over a year ago. Coffee and I have since parted ways, and I am having a lot of fun creating yummy alternatives that allow me to feel like I am treating myself while also giving my adrenals a break.
One of my favourite coffee alternatives is Dandy Blend. It contains dandelion root, which mimics the flavour of coffee, without the acidity. I enjoy a latte much more than a straight up hot chocolate, I find the slight bitterness of the Dandy Blend (which is very similar to coffee) helps to balance out the sweetness of the chocolate. I don't have a very heavy hand with sweetener, but even so. I have learned to appreciate a bit of bitter with my chocolate, and find that this coffee alternative helps to round out the flavour of the beverage without the coffee jitters or other side effects that wreak havoc with my system. I have added a touch of medicinal mushrooms to the recipe, which is of course optional but also fantastic for immune system support. Harmonic Arts and Four Sigmatic are two of my favourite companies to source medicinal mushrooms from.
The spice blend I have recommended below is a mix of equal parts cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, although simple cinnamon would be lovely in this drink. I purchased a "coffee spice" from a farmer's market while traveling and have elected to make my own blend of these spices now, as I quite enjoy the combination of flavours. If you like this blend, you could pre-mix a larger batch of the dry ingredients (Dandy Blend, Raw Cacao, spice blend & medicinal mushrooms) so that it is good to go for a quick and easy beverage. I love making up a batch of homemade hazelnut milk to have with this latte, although any nut milk (or milk of choice, for that matter) would work well.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this recipe!
Caffeine Free Hazelnut Mocha
1.5 Tbsp Dandy Blend
1 Tbsp raw cacao
1/4 tsp blend of ground cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg (or just cinnamon!)
1/4 tsp medicinal mushroom powder
1 tsp maple syrup
1.5 cup hot water
1/2 cup hazelnut milk (or milk of choice)
Combine above ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth.