Tag Archives: recipes from the book

Champurrado (p.34)

If you like champurrado, you may also like pinolillo, which is similar, but grittier, and (unlike the recipe below) if you make it with sugar and plant milk, it tastes kind of like the plant milk at the bottom of the cereal bowl.

Champurrado is a creamy hot chocolate that is thickened with corn flour, and traditionally sold with tamales as a breakfast-on-the-go by tamaleros in the streets of Mexican cities. Even if you don’t have a tamalero handy, champurrado is not to be missed! It can be spiced with cinnamon, anise, or vanilla. Muchas gracias to our fine illustrator, Cat Callaway, for helping us figure out the right search terms to learn about champurrado.

Makes one cupful
Takes 15 minutes

  • 8 ounces plant milk
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour (masa harina)

Simmer the plant milk, cocoa powder, and sugar over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar and cocoa are completely mixed in. Add the corn flour and continue to stir for about 10 minutes, making sure no corn flour sticks to the bottom of the pot. Serve warm.

Some traditional recipes call for champurrado to be frothed with a molinillo. If you want a lighter beverage but don’t have a molinillo of your own, an immersion blender will do the trick.


Cocoa Masala Chai (p.32)

Note: We meant to keep everything to a more universal “plant milk” that works for everyone, but it looks like this one escaped our notice. Soy milk it is!

Karha Masala, or chai, is a blend of tea and other spices. There is so much variation in chai spices. We use several variations on karha masala that work well with cocoa. Here’s one simple recipe that uses ingredients you may already have on hand. Plain black tea is the most commonly used tea, but you can also use Earl Grey (the bergamot in Earl Grey is a citrus oil, and citrus goes well both with chocolate and in chai) or even green tea or rooibos.

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon tea leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • Soy milk (optional)
  • Sweetener (optional)

Heat water in a kettle or saucepan.

Meanwhile, put your tea in a tea ball and drop it into a mug. In the same mug, combine the cocoa powder, allspice, anise, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.

When the water has reached your desired temperature, add enough to fill the bottom quarter of the mug and stir it into the cocoa powder and spices. Add more water and steep for three to five minutes.

Remove the tea ball and add soy milk and sweetener if you want them.

Simple method: For a simple cocoa chai, add cocoa to a plain tea or premixed chai. Either way, it’s taste-tea!

Savory Cocoa Pumpkin Soup (page 110)

We were initially just going to include one pumpkin soup recipe, but we were having so much fun caramelizing the onions that we came up with two options. This savory version is our best solution to butternut season.

Makes about 6 cups
Takes 90 minutes

1 butternut squash
4 cups diced yellow onion
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon powdered coriander
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 chile peppers
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups plant milk
1 (3 ounce) bar of dark chocolate
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds

Bake the squash at 375°F for about an hour, or until it’s soft enough to pierce easily with a fork. While the squash is in the oven, dice the onions and cook them in a large pot on low, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Chop the chili peppers and roughly chop the chocolate.

By the time the squash is ready, the onion should be caramelized well. Add the coriander, curry powder, chile peppers, vegetable stock, and plant milk to the pot. Remove the skin from the butternut with a knife, chop the squash into chunks, and add them to the pot.

Stir in the chocolate and continue stirring until the chocolate is melted. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to a smoother consistency. Add the pumpkin seeds. Serve with a side of pumpernickel bread.

Pumpkin Soup (page 108)

This sweet soup is great a great choice for picky eaters on special occasions. Words cannot express how thrilled I would have been if I had gotten this soup for dinner on my birthday as a child.

Makes about 6 cups
Takes 90 minutes

1 butternut squash
4 cups diced red onion
1 cinnamon stick
10 pods cardamom, crushed
5 whole cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon coriander
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 (3 ounce) bar of dark chocolate
1 cup raisins

Bake the squash at 375°F for about an hour, or until it’s soft enough to pierce easily with a fork. While the squash is in the oven, cook the onions in a large pot on low. Stir the cinnamon stick, crushed cardamom, and cloves in with the onion. Stir occasionally.

By the time the squash is ready, the onion should be carmelized well. Stire in the ginger, coriander, nutmeg, and vanilla and cook for a couple more minutes, then add the vegetable stock, coconut milk, and squash.

Stir in the chocolate and continue stirring until the chocolate is melted. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to a smoother consistency. Add the raisins then simmer for another five minutes.

If you want to go all out, throw together a pie crust and serve it broken up on top of the soup like oyster crackers. SO GOOD.

Brewed Chocolate (p.29)

Update: You can also use a mortar & pestle to crush the nibs.

Brewed chocolate is a must-try in the world of cocoa beverages. It’s similar to a cup of coffee, except that it tastes like chocolate. If you have access to a grinder that won’t blend so fast that it melts your nibs, you can grind your beans to maximize flavor by exposing more surface area during the brewing process, but mincing with a knife works great, too. If you’re using cocoa beans, wash them well or remove the papery outer husk. This beverage is simple, easy to make, and a new classic in our household.

Makes 1 mug
Takes 10–20 minutes

1 mug water
2 tablespoons minced cocoa beans or nibs

Put water on to boil. Put the nibs in a tea ball, and steep them in freshly-boiled water for 5–15 minutes. Enjoy!

Brewed chocolate with cardamom: Chop up a pod’s worth of cardamom and steep it along with the cocoa beans.

Creamy Chocolate Oatmeal (p. 132)

Check out this amazing photo of what chocolate oatmeal can be.

Chocolate oatmeal is basically the best breakfast ever. Fruits, nuts, and seeds are not optional unless you want to be hungry an hour later.

Makes 1 to 1 1/2 cups
Takes 20 minutes

Spiced apple
1 cup water
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped apple (if dried, add a little extra water)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or filberts
1 tablespoon cocoa nibs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
Plant milk (optional)

Budget oats
1 cup water
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup coconut flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Plant milk (optional)

1 cup water
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup seasonal fresh fruit
1/4 cup fresh nuts or seeds
2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
Plant milk (optional)

Combine all the ingredients of your preferred variation except the plant milk in a small pot, and cook on the stove at low heat. Stir occasionally, and stir in a little more water if needed. Remove the pot from the heat after the oatmeal has simmered for about ten minutes, or when it is at your preferred texture, and serve hot. If it pleases you, add a little plant milk to your bowl of oats to cool it off.

Instant oatmeal: Substitute quick oats for the rolled oats and dump everything—except for the plant milk—into a large bowl the night before. In the morning, stir in boiling water and wait a few minutes. Once you figure out your favorite combination of ingredients, premix a large batch of the dry ingredients ahead of time.

Pantry rescue: For all or part of the rolled oats, substitute that grain you got in the bulk aisle that one time. Adjust your cook time accordingly.

Cantaloupe Leather (page 119)

This recipe requires a dehydrator! You may be able to use an oven, depending on how low its thermostat can go. If the weather is hot and sunny, research solar dehydrating – it can be as simple as a few screen trays.

We discovered dried cantaloupe through a happy accident: a tasty-smelling melon was mushily overripe, the dehydrator was already running… and it turned out surprisingly well! Depending on how long you leave the melon in the dehydrator, it will develop a leathery consistency reminiscent of dried mango, or turn into crisp cantaloupe chips. Add a little spiced cocoa and BOOM! Magic.

Makes about 10 pieces of cantaloupe jerky
Takes 20 minutes prep (drying time depends on your dehydrator)

1 small cantaloupe
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Stir together the cocoa powder, ginger, chili flakes, and lemon juice to form a thin paste. Cut the cantaloupe in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into 1/4″-thick pieces and slice of the rinds. Coat one side of each slice with the chocolate paste and dry according to your dehydrator’s instructions.

Check the slices periodically, since different dehydrators can have vastly different drying times. Leave the cantaloupe in until beads of water don’t form when it is torn.

Dehydrated fruit can last many months in an air-tight container, or even longer if stored in the fridge or freezer.

Cantaloupe Chips: Continue drying the slices of cantaloupe until they crack instead of tearing.

Dip & Drizzle (page 165)

Yes, chocolate-coated grasshoppers are a thing!

When the basic recipe is warm enough, it can be used for dipping and coating other foods.

Bite-sized fruits and other foodstuffs can be placed on a tray of waxed paper and then drizzled with chocolate.  Alternately, add a cup’s worth to the basic recipe and ladle out the resulting mixture either into molds or onto waxed paper.  Most larger fruits will do best when sliced. Bananas, bread, and carrots [dry to touch] can be dipped whole or when sliced/cubed, and then placed on a tray for refrigeration.

The Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bar recipe (page 163) is also a great place to look for ingredients that can be dipped and drizzled upon.  You can also use flavored, spiced, or infused chocolates for combinations like mint-blueberry or ginger-orange-cinnamon.

  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Chili peppers (seeded)
  • Dried fruits
  • Figs
  • Kiwis
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Raisins
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries.  If you pit the cherry, you lose the stem, if you don’t pit the cherry, it is best to warn people
  • Biscotti
  • Bread
  • Candied ginger
  • Popsicles
  • Pretzels
  • Some bugs (not vegan)
  • Sweet carrots
  • That which grows in your garden
  • Zucchini
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough balls
  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Filberts
  • Flax seeds (use sparingly)
  • Pecans
  • Peanuts
  • Pepitas
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Peanut butter filled pretzels.  Buy these pre-made, squish peanut butter into pretzels, or use the filling from the peanut butter cup recipe.
  • Honeycomb candy (page 168)

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bar (page 163)

1/3 cup cocoa powder (heaping)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/3-1/2 cup trail mix

Melt coconut oil using a double boiler or solar oven. If you’re careful not to overheat the oil, you can also melt it directly on the stove or in the microwave.

Combine the cocoa powder and the powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. If your coconut oil isn’t already a liquid, take care of that now. Stir in the coconut oil. Add trail mix. Pour the mixture into a mold. This will make a standard chunky chocolate bar.

To make fruit & nut chocolate clusters, increase the amount to a cup of trail mix and dip out spoonfuls onto wax paper. It will hold together better if you allow it to cool slightly before spooning it out.

Here are some alternative ingredients to go in or on your chunky chocolate bars. Mix and match as appropriate:

  • Banana chips (sweet or salty)
  • Coarse salt
  • Fruits (dried/freeze-dried)
  • Nuts & Seeds (chopped
  • Puffed rice
  • Toasted coconut
  • Toasted oats
  • Wasabi peanuts
  • Candied flowers
  • Candied ginger
  • Candied nuts (page 167)
  • Candy cane (blended)

Dark Chocolate (page 160)

Agave Plant

Our rule of thumb is that there should be equal amounts of cocoa powder and coconut oil. We use the next-smallest measuring cup for the sweetener. We prefer to make chocolate the easy way: substitute coconut oil for cocoa butter. It’s technically “compound chocolate,” since it contains a fat other than cocoa butter, but it’s delicious and very easy to make.

1/3 cup cocoa powder (heaping)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup powdered sugar or 3 tablespoons agave syrup

Combine the cocoa powder and the powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in the coconut oil. When the mixture is smooth, pour the mixture into a mold.

Leave it in the freezer for 10-20 minutes; larger bars will take longer to cool. Store this chocolate in a cool place, ideally the fridge or freezer, until ready to eat. If you need to transport it–especially if the weather is warm–leave it in the freezer for a while and take it out immediately before you leave.

After you have tried the basic recipe, we encourage experimentation! The consistency of your chocolate mix can vary wildly. There are recipes out there for chocolate that contain very small quantities of sweetener, and those that contain next to no cocoa powder. As long as you come up with something that tastes good to you, go ahead and throw it in the mold. It will usually come out chocolate and merriment.

If you want to try a different blend of flavors, pair or replace the cocoa with other bitter and savory powders. Here are a few suggestions.

COFFEE BAR: Instant coffee will make a coffee bar. You may find fairtrade instant coffee in a few grocery stores, or look online. Decaf is also an option, or try powdered coffee replacements such as the Polish roasted grain beverage “Inka.”

CAROB BAR Carob powder gives a flavor very similar to chocolate but slightly sweeter.

SOUR CANDY Replace the cocoa powder with a brightly-colored sports drink powder.