Monday, January 16, 2012

Cinnamon Hot Cocoa

By Diana Hsieh

On my super-restrictive elimination diet, I've been in a bit of a bind regarding hot beverages. Normally, I drink black tea with cream, usually just one cup in the morning. Also, if I'm tired from running errands, I find that a cup of tea restores me nicely. I don't just enjoy the taste: a cup of tea is a moment of quiet peace for me.

On my MRT test, coffee and tea tested "green" for me, so I could drink them. However, cream is what makes these beverages palatable to me, but dairy won't be on the menu for me for a while. Tea without cream is really too bitter, and I only barely tolerate coffee, even with lots of cream. It's possible to make a coconut-based creamer with coconut milk and egg yolk, but eggs are also off the menu for me, at least for a few more weeks. I'm also limiting my consumption of coconut milk. Oh, and I still dislike coffee, so I'd just prefer not to drink it. Coconut milk in tea is just plain gross.

Happily, I've found an acceptable substitute for tea: cinnamon hot cocoa. I just pour boiling water over approximately 1 tablespoon of pure (Ghirardelli) cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and often a pinch of sea salt, then stir. The cocoa and cinnamon tends to settle, so I stir periodically while I drink.

It's not the tastiest beverage ever, but it's better than nothing! The cinnamon adds a sweetness and complexity to the cocoa, and the touch of salt makes the flavors pop. I'm sure that other spices would work well, but alas, I'm pretty limited in my spice choices right now.

I know lots of people who can't tolerate either cream or coconut milk... but you might like my cinnamon hot cocoa!

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