Between the recent gloomy weather, my usual chocolate cravings and perhaps a certain tin of fancy hot chocolate, I have been making lots of chocolate smoothies with a twist -drinking them warm. It may sound odd, but don’t knock it until you try it. After all, if we can have cold soups then why not hot smoothies? Thinking about it, I’ve been having hot smoothies since one winters day years back when somebody’s parent decided to warm up a carton of some tropical smoothie and pop it in a flask for after a few hours worth of tobogganing.
Having a hot chocolate smoothie reminds me of the super thick hot chocolate that you can buy in Italian coffee shops and bars dotted around the Alps. If you’ve ever drunk it you’ll know what I’m referring to -a drink so thick it demands a spoon to be consumed. However, this smoothie made with cacao and sweetened with banana is perhaps a little less sickly than it’s inspiration. Paired with a few warming spices, it makes the perfect drink for curling up in front of the fire after a weekend walk, or maybe just for a mid afternoon pick me up!
- 200ml creamy plant milk
- 1 very ripe small banana
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 scant tbsp oats
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- Small pinch cayenne pepper
- Warm the milk through with the oats in a pan. Be careful not to let it get too hot or boil.
- Blend the milk and the rest of the ingredients together until smooth.
- Return to the pan to heat for another minute, adjusting the cacao and spices to taste if needed.
- Serve, and drink immediately.
- Using a thick, creamy plant milk makes this smoothie extra indulgent. Make your own by diluting coconut milk or by blending cashews with water.
- Omit the oats or add extra milk for a runnier texture.
- You can also add vanilla or chocolate protein powder if you wish.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, why not double up the portions and share this treat with a loved one or friend?