My first time tasting an adaptogen powder wasn’t a great experience. I sprinkled a teaspoon into my herbal tea and ended up with a watery, bitter drink I chugged down to just get it over with. Since then, I’ve experimented with incorporating adaptogens into my routine in different ways, from smoothies to power bites, before landing on my favorite iteration: hot chocolate. After some tweaking, I have my favorite way to end the day, while working adaptogens and other power-packed ingredients into my diet.
If you’re expecting a Nestle hot chocolate, this probably isn’t your drink. It’s not too earthy, but definitely tastes (& is!) healthier than the packet version. It’s lush and creamy, but not as sweet, and will leave you feeling relaxed rather than hyped up on processed sugar.
This cocoa is a calming and meditative way to wind down in the evenings.
If you’ve heard of adaptogens but still aren’t sure what the heck they even do, here’s a quick lesson. Adaptogens are a plant (usually an herb, root, or mushroom) that helps your body get into balance by helping it produce what it’s lacking or help it curb anything it has in excess (read more about adaptogens here!).
The star of the show, cacao, is loaded with essential and trace minerals (especially magnesium) that can help balance mood swings. Maca is great for regulating hormones, mood and has a high mineral and vitamin content, most notably iron, magnesium and b complex. Bonus: it has a malty taste that compliments the cocoa so nicely. Collagen adds some nice creaminess to the drink, while packing anti-inflammatory power and supporting gut, skin, hair and nail health.
Ashwagandha and cordyceps are my current adaptogenic go-tos because of their ability to support adrenal health, the immune system and help our bodies adapt to stress. The drink is finished with a dash of cinnamon which aids digestion and supports insulin’s ability to metabolise blood sugar.
I’m a no-recipe-recipe kinda girl, so feel free to take all measurements as suggestions and tweak them to your own liking. I generally steer clear of dairy and I promise you won’t miss it! The canned coconut milk contributes the perfect bit of creaminess and flavor. If you don’t prefer coconut, any dairy-free milk will do.
You can also make it ahead of time as a mix. I like to triple the recipe and store it in a jar so it’s ready for a couple more drinks throughout the week. Just combine the dry ingredients and leave out the wet ingredients. When you’re ready for a cup of cacao, mix up 2-3 TB of the dry mixture with the wet ingredients in your mug.
- 1 tbsp raw organic cacao
- ½ cup organic coconut milk (canned version) + ½ cup water (or 1 cup any non-dairy milk)
- 1 tbsp/scoop of collagen powder
- 1 tsp maca powder
- ¼-½ tsp each of adaptogens of your choice
- Generous dash of cinnamon
- Pinch of pink salt
- Sweeten to taste with stevia, maple syrup or honey (I like to do 2 tbsp of honey or maple syrup)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Pour milk and water into saucepan, gently heat. While milk is warming, mix dry ingredients in mug. Pour half the warm liquid into mug and mix to ensure the liquid and powder are thoroughly blended. Mix remaining liquid and vanilla extract in using a matcha whisk or electric whisk for extra frothiness. Sweeten to taste. Enjoy!