I first learned of Ceremonial Hot Chocolate after the birth of my second daughter. It is a recipe published in my favorite postpartum guide The First Forty Days, The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother by Heng Ou. Designed as a Mexican-style cocoa, it is best prepared by and shared with a good friend or partner in celebration of mom’s powerful birth act. The addition of cornmeal gives the drink some substance and can be blended for a smoother consistency as the cornmeal adds an unusual texture. With slight modifications to the original recipe (I now remove the coconut oil), this is a beverage I still use regularly to nourish the soul and share with others when the occasion calls for it.
Ceremonial Hot Chocolate
2 cups light coconut milk or almond milk
3 tablespoons cacao powder or unsweetened dark cocoa powder (you could also use carob powder)
Pinch of sea salt
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon coarse cornmeal
1 tablespoon coconut oil, ghee, or salted grass-fed butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar to taste (optional)
1 small strip of orange peel (optional)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the coconut milk, and then stir the rest of the ingredients into the milk slowly.
When the cacao and sweetener are dissolved and it tastes perfect to you, drink warm. There may be some congealed bits of cornmeal, which add texture, or you can blend until smooth.