This Spiced Chocolate Milk will Get you Through the Winter

And it's vegan, too. 

The first time I tried chocolate almond milk was a life changing experience. I had just given up cow's milk, on an account of it causing more than a few unsavory side effects on my body, and turned to vegan "milk" alternatives for a quick solution. Though I adored the store-bought stuff just as much as the next girl, I knew these "milks" were brimming with synthetic vitamins and palm derivatives my body simply didn't need. 

But I was supremely lazy when it came to making my own milk alternatives and was disillusioned by the high-maintenance recipes I found online for do-it-yourself almond or cashew milk. Eventually, I picked up my own hardcopy of Sarah Britton's cookbook, My New Roots. In her cookbook, Britton shares a very simple recipe for making your own nut milks at home, and it opened my eyes to a completely new way of approaching milk alternatives. Now, it's my go-to recipe for making nut milks - my favorite being cashew milk. It's rich, delicious and perfectly sweet. 

To discover Britton's nut milk recipe, you can view her explainer video below. For a homemade, *sweetened* nut milk recipe, check this one out. 

My foray into taste-testing a few different hot chocolate alternatives this Fall led me to contemplate how I could turn my own nut milk into something new and maybe just a little bit not-so-boring. As much as I love making my own nut milk, sometimes you just want something...different. And that craving for something more eclectic led me to craft my own spiced vegan chocolate milk recipe. 

And yes, it can also be turned into hot chocolate. Score

Before I begin listing off the ingredients, instructions and all that good recipe stuff, it's important to note that you can customize this vegan chocolate "milk" recipe however you'd like, and that the type of nut you use depends entirely on your own preference. I've made this with both cashews and almonds, and it has been a hit with friends and family regardless of which type of nut I've used. This recipe can also get a little complicated, but I promise you, it's worth the hassle. Let's dive in! 

The Fancy Stuff You'll Need: 

  • 2 cups of homemade nut milk (follow either recipe provided above, or your own) - ensure your homemade nut milk is sweetened chocolate "milk" by following the suggestions in this recipe
  • 1 small piece of cheesecloth (or similar material safe for cooking with) 
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger
  • 3-4 cloves (whole, not ground)

What You'll Need to Do for Spiced Chocolate Milk

  • After you've made your homemade nut milk, pour it into a large pitcher or jug and place it in the fridge to keep cool 
  • Using your cheesecloth, make a spice bag and add your cinnamon stick, piece of ginger and cloves to it, ensuring it is tied tightly
  • Place the spice bag in your pitcher/jug of nut milk and let it sit overnight, allowing the flavours to meld 
  • When you're ready to consume, sprinkle some cinnamon or cocoa powder on top of your glass of spiced chocolate milk, and enjoy 

What You'll Need to Do for Spiced Hot Chocolate

  • In a medium-sized sauce pan, pour your homemade, sweetened chocolate "milk" 
  • Use your cheesecloth to make a new spice bag or reuse the existing one you made for your chocolate "milk"
  • Turn your stove to medium heat and add your spice bag to the pot of nut milk 
  • Stir the milk and spice bag together, stirring constantly until the nut milk comes to a slight boil
  • Remove from heat and let "steep" for 5-10 minutes
  • Sprinkle with a dash or cinnamon or cocoa powder, or top with a vegan whipped "cream" and enjoy 

Hot tip: if you'd prefer to leave the spices in your chocolate milk (cold or hot), you can use ground cinnamon, clove, ginger and some nutmeg and simply add the spice blend to your nut milk when you initially make it, or when you turn this recipe into hot chocolate!

My Favourite Way to Drink It

Personally, I love drinking this spiced vegan chocolate milk cold, and typically pour it into small, glass jars I've kept around from other products. I take the chocolate milk with me to my office for those early mornings when I can't stop for coffee, but also use it as a liquid base for smoothies, a sweet treat or as a boost after a hike or run. 

~All imagery in this post courtesy of yours truly (me)

FoodJacalyn BealesComment