Ever wonder how amazing it is that certain flavours pair well together?
Mint and chocolate, orange and chocolate, apple and cinnamon? Then there’s tomato and basil, fennel and citrus or balsamic vinegar and strawberries.
Well, it’s no different than maca and cacao. Both have deep flavours that complement each other. Some describe it as deep roasted caramel and butterscotch but however you describe it, it’s W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L
Maca powder benefits
Maca root is marketed as a superfood.
It’s actually a plant native to Peru and technically, maca is a cruciferous vegetable and therefore related to broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale.
It is known as an adaptogen which means it supports your body’s response to stress. Like other adaptogens such as ashwagandha, ginseng, rhodiola, and licorice, maca benefits include reducing the inflammation and oxidation that accompanies stress.
Maca is sold as a tincture but is commonly available as maca powder; either in capsules or as a bulk supplement that can be added to smoothies, protein powders or in this case, hot chocolate!
For more, read my post Adaptogens. Can They Really Help To Reduce Stress?
What is cacao?
Cocoa is a powder made from the ground up, roasted cacao beans. Cacao refers to the plant itself and any products made from non-roasted seeds.
Cocoa products are made from roasted seeds. Historically, cooks have used cocoa powder in chocolate making and baking. When the raw food movement crashed onto the culinary scene in the mid-2000s, raw cacao products, such as cacao powder became popular.
Raw cacao powder does have more polyphenols than roasted cacao powder but the differences are minor enough in my opinion that to only recommend raw is unfounded. Both will provide a great source of nutrients and health-promoting phytonutrients.
I do find raw cacao powder to have a more intense chocolately flavour which is why I use it, and raw cacao nibs for my trail mix et.
Cacao polyphenols have been researched for cardiovascular health, in particular brain health. Studies have shown it benefits human health in many ways. For more, check out my post – Cacao vs Cocoa. What’s the difference?.
Maca Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups milk, soy or milk alternative (almond, rice, hemp etc)
- 1/3 cup coconut milk use light coconut milk if desired
- 1 tsp vanilla extract use pure, it's worth it
- 2 tsp sugar use sugar of choice: white, coconut, or try maple syrup
- 2 tsp maca powder
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon for sprinkling
Pour milk, soy or nut beverage in a sauce pan. Add coconut milk and vanilla extract and stir. Place on stove top over low heat.
Whisk in the sugar, maca powder and cacao powder until well combined.
Heat gently over low, low-medium heat until hot. Be careful not to boil it, heat it just before it boils.
Remove from heat and pour into two mugs, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy