Adaptogen Hot Chocolate Concentrate

Taylor, her husband Ross, and son Judah are the founders of Avodah Farms. A farm offering housing + community, growing herbs and medicinal mushrooms, and selling herbal goods to help fund the whole thing.

Their farm is also home to a flock of icelandic sheep, chickens, and two donkeys.

 

Taylor may receive commissions for purchases made through links on this post. Thank you for all your support! 

The holiday season is upon us, and I am a big fan of warm beverages. You can probably guess that I love squeezing herbs into every nook and cranny of my life, so of course I would want to add them to my hot chocolate too! This recipe is basically a concentrated chocolate syrup that is added to your choice of milk or milk alternative to make hot chocolate.
 
I chose to focus on adaptogenic herbs for this recipe mainly because I love them, but also because the holidays can be stressful! Adaptogens are herbs classified as “adaptogenic” because of their ability to help your body handle physical and/or emotional stress.  Which means this elevated hot cocoa recipe can help you take a breath and enjoy the season. 
 
I used medicinal mushrooms in my recipe because that is what I had on hand. Here is a list of other adaptogen herbs that would be a great addition or alternative to the lion’s mane and turkey tail I used.
 
  • astragalus
  • ashwagandha
  • reishi
  • maca
  • turmeric 
 
Have fun and get creative! Maybe you don’t have access to many herbs locally. Adding some simple dried peppermint would make a delicious mug of cocoa! Or maybe a spin on Mexican hot chocolate by adding turmeric, cinnamon, and a pinch of cayenne.
 
RECIPE:
 
about 1-1.5 cups of your herbs of choice(I used turkey tail & lion’s mane mushrooms)
2 cups of cocoa powder/unsweetened
1 cup of raw cane sugar
3 cups of water
1 cup maple syrup 
 
Add your herbs and water to a pot. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid, and set on your lowest stovetop setting, or at a very gentle simmer, for 2 – 4 hours. (Essentially we are making a decoction here, for more details see my Homesteadmamas blog post all about decoctions) You should expect some water to dissipate. By the end of this step you should still have about 2 cups of water left. If you have lost more liquid then that, add more water until you have about 2 cups of liquid. 
 
Add sugar and cocoa. Stir and continue at the same heat for about 10 minutes. 
 
Remove from heat and strain while still hot. Make sure to press all the liquid out of the herbs. 
 
Add maple syrup and stir well. 

And there you have it! I like to mix milk and the concentrate together in a pot to warm on the stove. Due to the high sugar content, it should store for a very long time in the fridge, about as long as elderberry syrup or homemade jam would last. 
 
I find that a little less than 1/4th a cup of this concentrate is plenty when added to about 10oz of liquid for my hot cocoa. Of course, everyone likes it at different levels of strength and sweetness, so you may like more or less. It also makes a wonderful addition to your morning coffee too!

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