Alisa Cooks (formerly known as Frugal Foodie Fridays): Flood-worthy rains, gusty winds, and temperatures hovering just above freezing … nothing makes you want to hibernate indoors more than chilled to the bone weather. I think I’ll actually be grateful when the temperature cools, the air dries out, and the rains turn to snow. Oddly enough, it is much easier to keep warm in conditions like that. But for now, I will simply have to enjoy the fall, and this is certainly helping …
Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven, no? So who says they are only for eating … what about drinking? I grabbed a fresh package of Chocolate Hemp Bliss and a jar of natural peanut butter, and a new favorite was born.
To note, I really like the new improved version of Hemp Bliss from Manitoba Harvest (they upgraded it last year or earlier this year I believe). Tony, my husband, loves chocolate milk, and was actually quite keen on this version, which is slightly less sweet than your average chocolate milk or chocolate milk alternative. The hemp part adds a slight nutty nuance to the flavor that we both enjoyed (a couple of years ago hemp milks were a bit on the “skunky” side, but no more!), but some may find a touch "earthy." I have read mixed reviews on the Internet, some who report even their kids can't get enough and some who say the taste doesn't work, but perhaps the recipe below will win all of them over …
Of course, you can use the chocolate milk alternative of your choosing, or even use a plain or vanilla milk alternative and add about 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder per cup of milk alternative. That would be 2 tablespoons for the 2-mug recipe below.
If peanuts are a problem in your household, you can make this hot beverage peanut-free by using sunflower butter in equivalent amounts, or for a slightly different flavor, use almond butter.
Whatever version you make, you will be amazed by just how rich and flavorful a truly non-dairy beverage can be …
Hot Peanut Butter Chocolate Bliss
When made using Hemp Bliss, this recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Wheat-Free, and Refined Sugar-Free. To make the recipe Peanut-Free and even Nut-Free, see the note above.
- 2 Pitted Dates, chopped or torn
- Boiling or Hot Water
- 2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
- 2 Cups Chocolate Hemp Bliss (or chocolate milk alternative of your choosing – see note above for using other milk alternatives)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon Cocoa Powder
- Optional Toppings: Marshmallows (duh!), Whipped “Cream,” a Swirl of Coconut Cream
Set the dates in a dish and pour the hot/boiling water over top to cover. Let those sit and soften for a couple minutes.
Remove the dates from the water (can use a strainer or simply sift them out) and place them in your blender along with about 1/2 cup of the milk alternative and the peanut butter. Blend for a minute or so, pureeing as much of those dates as possible.
Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a small pot. Eat the remaining date bits left in the strainer. Add the rest of the chocolate hemp milk, the vanilla extract, and the cocoa powder to the pot, and place it over medium-low heat. Whisk and heat until it reaches your desired serving temperature. Pour into two mugs and enjoy as is (pictured) or if desired, top with marshmallows, coconut cream, or whipped “cream.”
Short on Time? – For me, this was just right. In fact, I could have left the dates out and been happy, but they added that final hint of sweetness and brought the flavors together in my book. Of course, if you want to simplify the process, you can always omit the dates, skipping that whole soaking and blending process. Simply place all ingredients in a pot and whisk while heating to break up any PB clumps. Sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener. I think honey, agave, stevia, coconut / palm sugar, or plain old white sugar would meld well with these flavors. You can also heat this in the microwave, but I’m a big proponent of stovetop hot cocoa.
Makes 2 sweet, warm mugs
Article, recipe, and photos by Alisa Fleming, author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, and founder of GoDairyFree.org. To comment on the original recipe, visit the Hot Peanut Butter Chocolate Bliss post on Alisa's personal blog, Alisa Cooks.