Raw Vegan Chocolate Milk
It has arrived. The change of pace that comes with the flow in and out of seasons. Whether I like it or not, it's here. My blood beats to the new drum beat. My brain grows keen and focused. It must be the after-glow of a life spent in class rooms. Every August, the feeling of anticipation. Dreams of my future piling up into mounds of stories. Like the boxes of books in my bedroom I have yet to organize. Like the notebooks full of my scrawled, half-written poems lost to time. Here it comes. The wave.
I watch the crows sift into the skyline. They cross ripe sunsets like poppy seeds on cut grapefruit. They filter into the city in dark clouds searching for spent seed and weary insects. They march across my yard, glinting blue-black. I give them elegant names: Catherine and Richard and James. Usually with the prefixes lady, sir, master. I can see them eying the net covering my blueberry bushes, impatient and prudent and sly.
The crows mark the shift. The mockingbirds take their place in the order of things (demoted to court jester). Mosquitos cloud as they do, with no sense of what's to come (immanent death). And I lock in, my notebook filling with ideas. So much that my mind swirls as my head hits the pillow at night. There are a million things to do and too few lifetimes to do them all in. I have to remind myself to slow down. Slow my thoughts. Soak in the heat and smells of Summer.
So I sit down. Turn off the lights. Close my eyes. And I watch my breathing. In: Om. Out: Mah. Noticing as my thoughts float by. Usually my brain is plotting or writing blog posts or playing out dramas. As brains do. In: Om. Out: Mah. Back to the breath. Noticing the drum beet. The shifting energy. Adjusting, breathing. It'll all work out.
So, a simple chocolate drink. It doesn't get easier than this. Unless you're eating cacao nibs straight (which I've been known to do).
As the season shifts towards a more keen focus, I like to eat more chocolate. Not just because it's chocolate. Ok, partly because of that. But also because it's a different sort of focusing food-as-medicine than coffee.
Because I made this chocolate milk with whole cacao nibs it’ll give you a theobromine buzz. Which is like a caffeine buzz without the nasty crash. It’s generally milder than caffeine. So the caffeine sensitive tend to tolerate it pretty well (in small amounts). Cacao relaxes the vascular system, improves blood flow and releases serotonin in the brain. Research even suggests that it may have therapeutic effects (due to anandamide, a cannabinoid). Chocolate is, no question, the food of the gods.
A powerful blender like a Vitamix makes this drink smooth and creamy. No straining or nut milk bag required. It's meant to be a full fat, thick, make-you-weak-in-the-knees chocolate milk. It even crosses into milkshake territory (almost) depending on how many dates you add. Weaker blenders result in tiny cacao nib bits in the milk. If you don’t have a Vitamix and want a smooth texture you can pour the mix through a fine sieve (like a large tea strainer) or squeeze through a nut milk bag. It’s up to you!
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- 1 cup cacao nibs
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 3 cups water + more depending on your preference
- 4-6 dates (depending on your sweetness preference)
- pinch Celtic sea salt
- Combine the cacao nibs, cashews, water and dates in a large mason jar with a screw top.
- Close up the jar and set the jar in the fridge to "brew" overnight, or at least 8 hours.
- Once everything has "brewed" together overnight, pour all of the contents of the jar into the bowl of a high powered blender. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add more water depending on how thick you want your milk to be.
- Pour into your glasses to serve. Pop a straw in and enjoy!