We are well into sweater weather. Though, frankly, it seems we’re actually moving into wool hats and puffy gloves-kind-of-weather. We’ve basically skipped right over fall, and with these cool temps, it is the perfect time and excuse to indulge in rich comfort foods and drinks to keep you toasty warm.
I know we all have a lot of feelings about the whole pumpkin spice situation – you either love it or hate it. And I’ve learned, people are definitely not shy about letting you know their opinion on the matter. But no matter your PSL preference, I think we’re all ready to move on to the next big trend. And the new flavor that seems to be cropping up everywhere is:
I’ve spotted lavender lattes at coffee shops along with lavender chocolates and baked goods at stores. And yes, they were all delicious. Lavender adds a distinct and unique floral flavor that can spice up your ordinary recipes.
These little purple, bluish flowers have been utilized for thousands of years going as far back as the Egyptians who used lavender in their mummification process while the Romans and Greeks used lavender for bathing, cooking, and perfume. However, unsurprisingly, the French perfected the use of lavender in cooking where the spice has become an integral ingredient in many of their seasoning blends and cuisines.
Lavender has also been used medicinally to treat anxiety, fungal infections, hair loss, and wounds. Hey, if it helps even minimally with one of these things, I’ll be adding lavender to my regular routine. I wouldn’t mind less anxiety and thicker hair.
And a little lavender goes a long way. Due to lavender’s distinct flavor, some people find the taste of lavender to be ‘soapy’ and not unlike the way some describe cilantro. For this recipe I would err on the side of caution and use less lavender to start and then experiment with adding more and more until you find the perfect balance of flavor for you.
Trust me, after trying this recipe you’ll be throwing your old packets of Swiss Miss right into the garbage.
Lavender Hot Chocolate Recipe
Makes about 2 cups
- 2 cups of milk of your choice: dairy, almond, cashew, etc.
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons of honey (or more to taste)
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon of lavender flowers (add another ½ teaspoon for stronger lavender flavor) OR use lavender essential oil extract and add 1 or 2 drops
- Pinch of salt
- In a large saucepan or pot, heat the milk on medium-high heat.
- Add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract, honey, salt, and if using the lavender flowers, add those in as well. (If using lavender oil, wait to add in until after step 4.)
- Whisk and stir until smooth. Be sure to stay near the pan because the milk and chocolate can burn easily.
- When texture is smooth, remove from the heat.
- If using lavender oil, stir in 1 or 2 drops, pour into mugs and enjoy!
- If you used lavender flowers, pour the mixture from the pan through a strainer into two mugs to get rid of the lavender flowers. (Lavender is edible but you may not want them texture-wise in your cocoa.)
- Once through the strainer, drink up and enjoy!
Notes: Play with the recipe and add or subtract the amount of lavender. I found with only a ½ teaspoon of lavender flowers, the lavender flavor was very subtle and I would use more the next time for more robust taste.
Without a doubt, this rich, warm lavender hot chocolate will be your go-to for the cold nights ahead. Not only is it a delicious and quick recipe, but the lavender will help you unwind and relax getting you ready for a cozy evening and a great night’s sleep.
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