Make Ahead

Quinoa Cocoa (Hot Chocolate)

August 21, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

A totally different way to use up leftover quinoa, this creamy, delicious and nutritious beverage is balanced enough to fuel a workout or recover from one...This sweet treat is gluten-free, naturally sweetened, dairy-free, nut-free and can easily be made vegan. Even better, if you have kids with a sweet tooth, this may be the recipe to try -- high in protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants-- this healthy hot chocolate is more like a meal and naturally sweetened with dates and a touch of raw honey. This batch made a full pitcher of hot chocolate for me and my husband to enjoy so I tried it a few different ways -- hot, warm, cold from the fridge, hot over ice and cold with ice. My favorite ways to enjoy it were warm and hot over ice. If you like this recipe, please visit my blog: for more allergy-friendly and vegan creations. —DUZE @BakingBackwards

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup fully cooked red quinoa (or 1/3 cup dry quinoa, cooked full in a 2:1 ratio. Be sure to rinse your quinoa completely before cooking to remove any bitterness from the saponins)
  • 2-3 dashes coarse sea salt
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 2 level tbsp 100% cocoa powder
  • 2 level tbsp size pieces of raw cacao paste (or if you don't have this ingredient you can substitute the same amount of your favorite dark chocolate bar, OR double the amount of cocoa powder above)
  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 very small pitted dates or 1.5 large medjool dates
  • 2-3 tsp raw honey or maple syrup (to make VEGAN use maple)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Add quinoa, cinnamon, water, salt, honey and vanilla to a high speed blender. Blend until very smooth. Add the oil, dates and cocoa and cacao paste pieces and blend until very smooth and frothy. If your blender can generate heat, heat on lowest heat setting and use the stir setting gently. If your blender doesn't generate heat, transfer the mixture to a small pot and heat over a medium low setting, whisking. After 2 or 3 minutes, transfer back to your blender and blend until frothy. Taste! If it needs more sweetness add extra raw honey and blend to incorporate. If it tastes gritty, your blender may not be strong enough to break up the quinoa and you should strain the liquid in a fine mesh sieve before serving. Serve immediately for warm and creamy hot chocolate.
  2. For a unique summery drink, pour the finished creamy and warm drink over ice cubes in a glass.
  3. For a cold drink, transfer the creamy beverage to a pitcher and store in the fridge for at least an hour before serving straight or over ice.
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