I have never been a coffee drinker. As a child, I hated the smell and would go to the opposite end of the kitchen to avoid the smells wafting from my parents' mugs. As an adult, I ADORE the smell, and have even come to love the taste - maybe once a month. Living in Costa Rica helped awaken me to the joys of quality mug of coffee. While I don't crave coffee, I do adore the feeling of a hot mug of satisfying brew in my hands - especially now that we are living in Minnesota! Strangely, I'm not a big tea person. I like spice, and froth, and rich rich flavor.
Today is October 14th, and outside it is SNOWING. I repeat, October 14th. When we moved here I prepared myself mentally for snow from maybe late November (like Nov 30th) to perhaps early April. I like layers, and wool, and fireplaces, soup, and knitting, and thanks to my work with y'all I really don't need to leave the house much aside from carpooling duties. My grand plan? To stay inside for December - March. Today's snow, however, is a big 'ole reality check, and I am feeling thoroughly daunted by the winter to come. Yes, I really did choose to move to Minnesota despite my dislike of snow. I'm freaking out, y'all.
Thus the need to self-soothe.
OPTION #1: Croissants. There are mind blowing almond croissants at the bakery around the corner. Best croissants of my life. Buttery, crispy, complex, perfect croissants. This is not a sustainable option.
OPTION #2: Cheese. This is problematic, as recent explorations into how my body interacts with dairy have revealed that all things made of cow dairy are not a great choice for me. Sheep and goat milk are fine, thankfully, so this is at least a good occasional indulgence.
OPTION #3: My Marvelous Maca Lattes. I discovered these a mere 3 days ago. Almond milk, cacao powder, cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric, and more! I have literally been looking forward to the next one all day every day. They give me all of the joy of a cup of java with none of the caffeine jitters. I do find the maca powder to be energizing (supposedly it's an aphrodisiac as well!). I found the original "Miracle Maca Latte" recipe here on 40 Aprons, which is one of my favorite food blogs, and of course immediately began to tinker with it. I had a jar of maca powder I got ages ago that I'd been trying to remember to try out, so this recipe was a casual convenient experiment that has turned into a full blown love affair.
I've made a few alterations to suit my own cravings, of course 🙂 I have quickly realized that my tiny jar of maca powder is not going to last very long, and was thrilled to also discover Thrive Market as a source for quality healthy ingredients at a great discount ( use this link for 25% off your first order! ). I just ordered a big bag of maca powder, organic cacao powder, organic turmeric, and my other favorite - cacao nibs, so that I can make my new favorite drink in bulk to get me through the winter!
YOUR GUIDE TO MARVELOUS MACA BLISS
In a small saucepan heat and whisk together:
1.5 Cups unsweetened almond milk**
1.5 T maca powder >> check out Thrive Market for great prices on this!
2 T cacao powder
Pinch ground cinnamon
Healthy pinch ground cardamom
1 grind of fresh black pepper
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
**I actually make my own almond milk by soaking a cup of raw almonds in 4 cups of water overnight. In the morning I puree them and strain in a nut milk bag.
***I plan to experiment more with spices this week, including ginger, nutmeg and possibly even a cinnamon stick for a bit more of a chai feel.
Thoughts on sweetener: I have been training myself over the past year to eat chocolate with little to no sugar. I've come to love the taste of pure raw cacao. This recipe is admittedly tasty with some honey or maple syrup stirred in, but I'm personally loving it straight.
Chances are if you book a free website consult with me on a cold winter morning, I'll be cozily layered in wool and fleece, sitting by the fire, and sipping a steaming cup of maca bliss. Won't you join me?
I might just make it through my first Minnesota winter after all!