This delicious hot cocoa is a fabulous evening drink to help you ease into a restful sleep.
The Cocoa butter and powder contain a few powerful ingredients that are major superstars in this recipe. First, magnesium is a key nutrient that helps us feel relaxed, fall asleep, and stay asleep. Second, tryptophan is an amino acid that boosts serotonin and melatonin production – which eases stress, boosts our sense of peace, and helps to regulate our sleep cycles. There are a few other blissful compounds found in unrefined cacao, but today let’s keep it simple and just appreciate how darn wonderful this food is!
Mucuna is another special ingredient in this hot cocoa, bringing in even more stress-busting power. Mucuna is a natural source of the amino acid L-Dopa, which gently boosts the release of dopamine in our brains (a feel-good chemical that allows us to experience bliss and pleasure). Mucuna also can significantly reduce cortisol levels, which we all know can wreak havoc if they aren’t kept under control.
Both Cocoa and Mucuna contain plenty of antioxidants and promote relaxation, sleep, and various feel-good chemicals in the brain. And while this isn’t the intention of this hot cocoa, it certainly has some powerful aphrodisiac qualities so feel free to brew up a cup for you and your loved one!
Reishi mushroom is another medicinal superstar in this recipe. While it has many many medicinal uses and plenty of research to back it up, we’ll just look at a couple of benefits that encourage restful sleep. Firstly, Reishi has a subtle flavor that pairs extremely well with chocolate. It helps stabilize blood sugar and balance hormone levels, both of which encourage a regulated and restful night of sleep. This lovely mushroom also helps ease stress, anxiety, and lowers inflammation.
Keep in mind, we are only heating the milk to warm it. You do not want to get it hot or let it simmer. The unrefined cocoa, raw honey, and raw milk are all part of the medicine! Overheating it will degrade some of the nutrients, but don’t stress it if you do – it’s still going to be a fabulous and relaxing cup of cocoa. If you’re drinking raw milk, add a little dash to your mug at the very end to absolutely, positively ensure you’re getting all those beneficial probiotics and enzymes.
If you don’t want to use coconut or dairy based milk, check out my mini-post on choosing your milk!
1 ½ c coconut milk or raw milk (pasture-raised)*
1 T unrefined, raw cacao butter
1 t cocoa powder
½ t reishi powder
½ t mucuna powder
drizzle of raw local honey
dash of cinnamon (optional)
1. Pour all the milk into a heavy-bottomed pot and turn your burner to the lowest setting.
2. One at a time add in all the ingredients (except cinnamon) and whisk continuously and thoroughly.
3. You want to very gently heat the milk until it’s warm, once the cocoa butter has fully melted turn off the stove.
4. Once all the ingredients are thoroughly blended, pour the hot cocoa into your favorite mug.
5. Lastly add a dash of cinnamon and voila! Take a deep breath, get cozy under a thick blanket, and let everything go.
As always we want to prioritize ingredients that are: local, pasture-raised, unrefined, fair trade, organic, and responsibly sourced whenever possible. I don’t list these next to my ingredients because I think it can be overwhelming when reading a recipe, but know that I prioritize all of these things whenever possible. They are both important and worth the extra cost.
“We need to stop calling local food expensive and start calling it valuable.” -@womenwhofarm