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Easy Vegan Hot Chocolate + Hot Chocolate Protein Oats

 
hotchocolateoats

Who says hot chocolate is just for the holidays? I for one think it is now, in the throws of winter, that we most likely need this kind of sweet and simple pick-me-up! I am excited to be finally posting this recipe as it is one I have made for a few years and its a total two-for-one.

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hotchocolateoatmeal

First, I show you how to make a SUPER simple hot chocolate that is wildly healthy and full of chocolate flavor! This creamy hot coco is the perfect night cap on a chilly evening. I enjoy it as dessert - it keeps my sweets cravings satisfied without leaving me over-stuffed like some other sweet treats will do. You whip up this recipe in your blender and takes just minutes to make …if you don’t have a high speed blender (that gets hot) you can heat (and re-heat) the coco on your stove. This recipe makes enough for one steaming mug AND leftovers because….

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I transform the extra hot cocoa into something even better (if that’s possible) by pouring it over oats and other goodies to create the BEST overnight oats you’ll ever enjoy. This oat recipe is protein packed and full of ALL the good things. I enjoy this kind of thing during a busy morning, post workout. I use hemp protein, which is a super clean source of this essential macronutrient but usually a little unenjoyable for me….yet when you mix it with hot chocolate, well, that problem goes away.

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I love that you can customize this recipe and make it your own - I usually throw in whatever superfood powders I have lying around, most of them (especially the more earthy flavored ones) tend to bring out the flavor of the cacao - which is a great added bonus. I also love taking one thing recipe and using it as the base for another, especially this year as I commit to less waste … this recipe lets me do that in all the best ways!

Scroll down for the recipe!


Serves: 1 (twice) • Prep Time: 10 minutes/overnight


SUPER SIMPLE VEGAN HOT CHOCOLATE

  • 1 16oz. can lite coconut milk

  • 1.5 cup plant milk

  • 1/4 cup cacao powder (sub cocoa powder)

  • 1/4 cup liquid sweetener of choice (I love maple syrup, date syrup or agave)

  • pinch sea salt and cinnamon

  • Optional: reishi mushroom powder, maca powder, dandelion root powder, ashwaganda, etc, you can ALWAYS top with coconut cream, as I did in the photo


Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend on high for 3-4 minutes or until very warm. Taste and adjust sweetness, salt or spices. You can serve warm from the blender (it should be nice and frothy) OR you can take it a step further by adding it to a small saucepan on medium heat and simmering for 5 additional minutes, or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Serve in a cozy mug and top with coconut cream (the solids from a can of regular, not lite, coconut milk mixed with a little liquid sweetener) and a sprinkle of cinnamon. *This recipe can be double and tripled, be sure to reserve 1.5 cups for the overnight protein oats.


CHOCOLATE PROTEIN OATS

  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats

  • 1 tsp. chia seeds

  • 1 tsp. flaked coconut

  • 1 scoop unflavored hemp protein powder (optional, can sub any other protein powder)

  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened dried cranberries

  • 2 tbsp. nuts or seeds such as walnuts, cashews or pumpkin seeds *optional

  • 1.5 cup of hot chocolate recipe from above, slightly or entirely cooled

  • Top with 1/4 cup fresh/frozen blueberries, sliced banana, flaked coconut, nut butter, etc.


The night before you want to enjoy your oats, take a clean 16 oz. mason jar and combine all of the ingredients above save the hot cocoa and toppings. Put the lid on and give the dry ingredients a shake to combine throughly. Then, add in the hot chocolate - once again put the lid on and shake til really well combined. Set in the fridge overnight. In the morning, top the jar off with any fresh additions and enjoy cold OR reheat in a sauce pan (adding additional liquid as needed, I used about 1/2 cup almond milk). Serve in a bowl or eat it right out of the jar!

 

LOVE THROUGH FOOD, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN




 

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Sweet Zucchinni Protein Breakfast Bowl

I've wanted to post this recipe for a while but I've put it off, because, well, this delicious dish is hard to make *look* pretty ... and when describing it, it doesn't exactly *sound* delicious either BUT LISTEN, it's great, just try it, just trust me, I promise! You'll never even notice the zucchini but you'll love how full and satisfied you'll feel and you just won't believe and tasty this bowl is!

I have a love affair with zucchinis - and let me tell you why...

1. They are super cheap (we grow our own in the summer)

2. They are nutrient dense (B vitamins, magnesium are two of my favorites for balancing hormones) 

3. They are absolutely flavor neutral, which leads me to my next point...

4. They are a great bulking agent for a huge variety of dishes like this breakfast bowl - not to mention soups, stir fry and YES, even smoothies (in place of frozen banana). 

YES, that's right - zucchini isn't just for savory dishes! I am telling you, you are going to love it as an addition to your breakfast bowls because it bulks them out with healthy fiber and plant nutrients ... bigger bowl of food = happier tummy. Look at it this way - If you can get a vegetable worked into your morning meal without even knowing it's there flavor wise - why wouldn't you give it a try? 

I up the anty even more by using quinoa AND oatmeal for a boost of grain-free protein (quinoa is actually a seed) but you can of course use full-on oats here, no judgement. Alternatively, you can use only quinoa (if you're gluten free or paleo-based, for example) - just be sure to add flax or chia or else it will stay far too watery, especially with the addition of the squash. 

You can flavor this bowl anyway you like but I include my favorite mix of warm, spicy sweetness below. 

HOT TIP: *If* you're still like - WOAH, I kinda want to try this but I think you're bat shit crazy for putting squash in oatmeal...you can use half a small grated zucchini and half a mashed banana to ease you into the idea. 

Let me know if you give this a try, you brave, brave soul! 


Serves: 1 • Prep Time: 3 minutes • Cook Time: 6 minutes


  • 1 small zucchini, grated (option to peel if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 -1.5 cup plant based milk or water
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax OR chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom 
  • 1/4 pink salt
  • TOPPINGS: I used sliced banana, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, almond butter

1. Grate a small zucchini directly into a small pot with the oats, quinoa, flax seeds, maple syrup, seasonings and plant milk.

2. Stir to combine and put the mixture on med-high heat. Stir frequently for 5-6 minutes or until the zucchini is tender. If you notice your mixture getting too thick for your liking before the zucchini is totally cooked, add more plant milk or water and continue to stir.

3. Pour the cereal into a bowl and top with your favorite flavorings - I include what I added above but you could just as soon add fresh mango, berries, pear, apple, almonds, raisins, etc. Yum!

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Sunday Oatmeal Bowl

I eat oatmeal every chance I get. Other than when I was eating a low-carb diet it has always been a go-to breakfast staple. Some of my earliest memories involve pouring hot water over a bowl of Quaker 'Dinosaur Egg' oats to reveal those weird little baby dinosaurs. I LOVED that shit - but looking back, WOW, that's gross both in concept and composition (okay, but I still think it's also kinda cool).

Anyway, in one of my previous blogs I spoke to how much I love the ritual of breakfast. Preparing (and eating) breakfast is a pure joy for me - mind, body and soul. On most work mornings I exercise, shower, make a smoothie, pop my over-night oats in my bag (recipe for overnight oats to come soon) and run out the door. Rushing in the beginning of the day leads to stress and poor digestion but it is just part of life for so many of us. When I do have time to slow down on the weekends I really take my time (you might even see me getting up earlier than I do on weekdays just so I can maximize my cozy morning routine).

On my days off I do sometimes make pancakes or waffles or whatever I am craving but usually I just want an expertly crafted bowl of oats. My Sunday Oatmeal Bowl is more of method than it is a recipe as you can (and should) make them a little different every time to suit your taste but none-the-less I think this simple staple is blog worthy.

This version is really my go-to, my baseline for all other oatmeal variations soI am sure I will be sharing plenty of recipes on this theme so stay tuned.


Serves: 1 • Prep Time: 5 min • Cook time: 7-9 min

  • 3/4 cup of quick-cooking steel cut oats (I have done a lot of experimenting with different types of oats and I really like these best - they have great texture but still cook fast and I can buy them in bulk on Amazon)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1-2 tbsp. grade B maple syrup or coconut sugar (or any sweetener of choice)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 a banana, mashed (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Topped with all of the best breakfast flavors and textures: 1/2 banana, hemp seeds, coconut sugar, almond milk and my chia seed jam 

1. Add the oats and water to a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. 

2. As the boiling oats begin to absorb the water add in the almond milk, salt, cinnamon, mashed banana and sweetener. Continue to stir to combine. 

Note: Depending on the desired consistency you may have to add a bit more water or almond milk, do this slowly and continue to stir as you go.

3. Once the oats are soft but still chewy (about 7 minutes) turn off the heat. At this time I always like to add a splash more of almond milk as it helps to cool down the oats and thin it out a bit (I like a goldie locks consistency, somewhere right in between soupy and scoop-able).

4. Put the oats in bowl and add the toppings artfully. Face plant into said bowl. 

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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