To all of you who turn your noses up every time I stir bananas into my recipes where they don’t belong, you are in luck! With great self-control, I resisted the mashed banana. I did it for YOU.
Obviously, regular hot chocolate is brilliant. I never realized how much I loved hot chocolate until I moved to the East Coast and experienced the brilliance of L.A. Burdick’s and City Bakery. These places serve up rich, thick, chocolate goodness that just coats your throat with luxury. What makes Mexican hot chocolate unique is the addition of cinnamon (and occasionally other spices). I included an optional pinch of cayenne, for I never turn down an opportunity for a little fire!
So how did I sweeten this without bananas? No, I didn’t use maple syrup or honey. I used dates. Three of them gave this the perfect amount of sweetness. I also added a “sweetened by dates” label, so if you have a collection of dates to use, you can click on that label and check out what other recipes I have for you!
What you'll need:
- 1 cup milk of choice, or water
- 2-3 dried pitted dates
- rounded 1/4 cup quick cook steel-cut oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- rounded 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- pinch of cayenne (optional)
How to make it:
- Mince dates into the smallest chunks possible.
- Bring milk (I use 1/2 c almond milk and 1/2 c water) to a boil, add dates and oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add a teaspoon of flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. If using cayenne, add now. Stir.
- When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice and any other additional toppings (chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, coconut whipped cream, nondairy yogurt, etc.).