There’s just something about adding chocolate to a recipe that makes it so much better! I make my almond milk on a regular basis, in fact it’s pretty much the only milk I use now, other than the occasional can of coconut milk. I just like the idea of making my own foods from scratch, I know exactly what ingredients went into it and what preservatives stayed out! Keeping things as close to their natural form as possible is a definite goal with my recipes. This recipe is no different – it’s under 10 ingredients, no preservatives or fillers and it’s insanely delicious and nourishing.
Because I just love facts, I wanted to share with you why I use cacao in this recipe as opposed to cocoa. Cacao is the pure raw form of chocolate, before any processing has been done. You can get cacao powder that is literally stone ground from fresh cacao pods – the closest to natural chocolate you’ll get other than eating the actual pod! Cocoa is basically processed cacao. It is roasted at higher heat and usually processed with sugars and sweeteners, making it a bit more ‘unnatural’. I look at it like this – I can buy an apple or I can buy apple juice. If I want to full nutrients from the fruit, I’m going to buy the apple.
A note before you begin this recipe – you must soak your almonds for at least 6 hours or overnight – this step cannot be skipped. You will also need a nut milk bag (cheese cloth, jelly strainer bag..).
1 Cup (soaked) Almonds
3 Cups of Water (If you want a thicker, creamier milk, use 2 cups)
3 Tbsp Cacao Powder
5 Pitted Medjooled Dates
Pinch of Cinnamon
Pinch of Vanilla Extract
Place your soaked almonds, water, cinnamon and vanilla in a blender and mix until you get a creamy consistency. Grab your nut milk bag and hold over a large mouthed jug and slowly pour your nut milk into the bag. Squeeze the bag to strain out every last drop of milk you can. Put the nut milk bag aside – rinse out your blender and add the milk back.
Place your cacao and dates in the blender and mix again until you get a nice even chocolately texture. Pour from blender back into your milk jug, pour yourself a glass and enjoy! (If your blender doesn’t pulverize large pieces very well and you find you have large chunks of dates in your milk, strain through a regular strainer).
**You can also make a single serving from your fresh batch of almond milk but adding 1 cup of almond milk back into the blender, 1 tbsp cacao and 1-2 dates.