Recipe: My Morning Hot Cacao

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I loooooove my morning Hot Cacao drink. I've never been one to drink coffee (can't handle the caffeine) but I do like the feeling of a hot morning drink that gets me focused & energized.

 Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

First I'll begin by saying that COCOA & CACAO are not the same. Both are chocolate, yes, but cocoa is the result of pure cacao being highly heated, processed, & with sugar added. This creates the chocolatey sugary powder most people are used to when making say, a hot chocolate.

Cacao on the other hand, is the raw, pure form of the cacao bean that has been ground down into a powder, but not heated. And no sugar has been added. This allows for all of the wonderful superfood health benefits to be intact & useful to our bodies. It contains about the same amount of caffeine as a decaf cup of coffee (however cacao from different brands & different countries, can vary).

Similar to other natural health products (like Essential Oils), not all are created with equal quality, purity, or integrity. The brand of Cacao I love is One World Cacao. This cacao is sourced sustainably & ethically direct from farmers in Guatemala & owned by a friend of mine in Newport, RI who has been in the cacao industry for a decade. (Hot tip: if you’re a local you can select local pick-up when you order online & grab it from her commercial kitchen + Use my code MEREDITH10 for 10% off your order at oneworldcacao.com.

 Processed with VSCO with au1 preset

Why Cacao? What are the health benefits? Here's a few:

Increases focus & energy
Improves memory
Creativity inducer
Curbs appetite
Increases Metabolism
Highest natural plant source of: Magnesium, Iron, Sulfur, Antioxidants (40x that of blueberries)
Eats plaque & phlegm from organs
Beneficial for the digestive & cardiovascular systems as well as brain & cognitive function
Activates & opens the crown & heart chakras

Basically, it's amazing. And I've heard it’s great for those trying to get off coffee. Can't say from experience, but worth a try.

So let's get to the recipe, shall we?

What you need: 
1C - 1.5C Hot Water (I like it more thin so I do 1.5C)
Small Handful Raw, Unsalted Cashews (optional - for smooth, frothy latte type texture)
1oz. Ceremonial Grade Cacao from One World Cacao (use code MEREDITH10 for 10% off)
1T Unrefined Coconut Oil
1T Coconut Butter (not the same as “cocoa butter”)
1T Honey (raw, local, or good quality)
1 drop doTERRA Cinnamon Essential Oil

Optional add-ons:
Other doTERRA Essential Oils like Peppermint or Cardamom. 1 drop per serving is all you need!

Vital Proteins Collagen Powder (for protein, gut health, hair, skin, nails, joints, etc)

Spices like Cinnamon, Turmeric, or Cayenne

Superfood powders & herbs like Maca, Tocos, Reishi, Ashwaganda, whatever you like or have in the pantry. I like the brand Moon Juice. I’ve even added their Pea Protein Powder to it.

What to do:
If you're adding cashews (helps create the creamy, latte texture) you can pre-soak the cashews or let them soak in the hot water in the blender for a few minutes while you grab everything else. If you don't have time or remember though, that's okay too. 

Add water, cashews, cacao & all other ingredients into a high-powered blender like a Vitamix. Blend & pour into your favorite jar or mug & enjoy!

makes 1 drink
5 minutes

Recipe: Coconut-Lemon Bliss Bites

I've been meaning to, & have promised to many, that I would post about these little yummy, healthy bites... so here it is! A perfect post-exercise or travel snack. Great to have on hand to keep from getting HANGRY.


What you need: 
1C cashews (raw)
8 medjool dates (pitted)
1C shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/2t good vanilla extract
1T honey or maple syrup (optional; again, the good stuff!)
pinch himalayan sea salt
3-4 drops lemon certified pure therapeutic grade essential oil (what is this?)
1-2T warm water
food processor


What to do:
Blend cashews & dates in a food processor until integrated.

Add half the coconut (reserve the rest for later), vanilla, sea salt, honey/maple syrup, lemon certified pure therapeutic grade essential oil , blend again. Add 1T at a time of warm water until mixture starts coming together enough to form.

Lightly wet hands & roll into bite-sized balls to your desired size. Then roll in the remaining coconut. Place on a plate or baking sheet. Once all done, put the sheet into the freezer for at least 30mins before eating.

Want to learn more about Essential Oils? Click here for the basics & some of my favorite ways to use 'em.
 

makes 15-20 pieces
40 minutes