*This Coconut Chocolate Milk is dairy free, refined sugar free, Paleo friendly, and Vegan.
Lets talk about milk, shall we? I don’t drink it. Not conventional cow’s milk, anyway. I haven’t had a glass in 5 years. I used to drink milk all the time. In disturbingly large quantities, to be honest. When I was pregnant with my 5 year old I was obsessed with milk. OBSESSED. Call it a pregnancy craving, if you will. I was going through a half gallon of milk a day. By myself. I don’t know if that’s impressive or sickening, but the fact is there was nothing on earth I loved more than a glass of cold milk over ice (yep, I get weirder).
So, how did I go from a half gallon of cow’s milk a day to no milk at all? Both of my parents have MS and at this time, five years or so ago, they were looking into treatments to ease or eliminate symptoms associated with MS. They met with a doctor who gave them a lot of information regarding diet and auto-immune diseases. Information that they, nor I, had been privy to before that time. One piece of that information was about conventional dairy and the problems that come from over-consumption. One thing that stuck with me is the fact that we, as humans, are the only species that continue to drink milk after infancy, and not even the milk of our own species. Now, I’m not saying that it’s wrong to eat dairy (heck, cheese may be my greatest downfall), but this fact resonated with me. And I also think that raw dairy is a whole different ball game (raw milk is incredible), but I think over-consumption can lead to problems. All through my pregnancy with K, and for several months after, I was drinking a half gallon of milk a day. I was also experiencing debilitating migraines, at least 2-3 a week. They would often last for days at a time.
When my Dad told me that they were going to go off of dairy per their doctors recommendation, I decided that I was going to stop drinking milk, cold turkey. A funny thing happened. I stopped drinking milk and have not had one migraine since. Not in 5 years. Now, I am no expert on diet or a medical professional, this is just my experience that I wanted to share with you. I know that dietary preferences can be a big source of controversy and am not saying that it is right or wrong to consume dairy. For me, however, there has been a marked improvement in my health since I stopped drinking milk.
This may be bizarre, but I am not a cereal person (yep, weirder still), so I haven’t really missed milk that much. But the one thing I have missed is the occasional glass of chocolate milk. I used to LOVE a glass of milk and chocolate Ovaltine, served over ice, of course. I’ve tried the store-bought almond or coconut chocolate milks and haven’t really cared for them.
The other week I stopped by a raw foods cafe in town, run by my friend Karen (who is a raw foods genius, by the way). She had made these bottles of coconut chocolate milk that were sitting alongside a selection of fresh juices. I decided to give one a try, seeing as everything else she has made that I’ve tried is gold.
It was INCREDIBLE. I sat there in my car, gulping down this cold, coconut-y chocolate milk and wondered why anyone would ever drink regular chocolate milk when such a wonderful concoction existed. Then I cried over the many years gone to waste, void of the happiness I would have found in the occasional glass of coconut chocolate milk. Just kidding. That last part may be a bit over-dramatic. But I did run home and re-create this drink so that I could regularly enjoy it. It’s easy to make and there is nothing quite like freshly made coconut milk. It’s creamy and rich, but clean tasting and the combination of chocolate and coconut is one of my favorites.
If you don’t have a nut milk bag to make this with, a piece of muslin will do just fine.
You may notice that I’ve added sunflower lethicin to the recipe. Sunflower lethicin is a binding agent that emulsifies that fats in the coconut milk. Without the lethicin, the oil in the coconut milk will separate and rise to the top, leaving a hard, thick coating on top of your milk that will only blend back in if the milk is brought to room temperature. With the addition of sunflower lethicin, the fats are emulsified, and though the mixture will still separate after a few hours in the fridge, a quick shake is all it takes to bring the concoction back to it’s original creamy and smooth state. You can find sunflower lethicin online or at most health food stores.
- 8 ounces Unsweetened Dried Flaked Coconut
- 4½ cups Hot Water
- Pinch of Salt (I use Himalayan Pink)
- ⅓ cup Coconut Palm Sugar (can use maple syrup as well, start with ¼ cup and add to taste)
- 2½ tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste or Extract
- 1 teaspoon Sunflower Lethicin
- Place the flaked coconut in a high speed blender (I use a Vitamix) and cover with the hot water. Cover with the lid and let sit for 10 minutes so that the coconut flakes can soften.
- Blend the coconut and water for 1-2 minutes on medium/high speed, or until the coconut is completely broken down and mixture appears smooth. Let mixture sit for another 10 minutes, or until it has cooled a bit.
- Place a piece of muslin over a large bowl, with the fabric hanging over the sides (you can also use a nut milk bag). Pour the coconut mixture into the muslin.
- Gather up the ends of the fabric and let the coconut milk run through it into the bowl. Squeeze the muslin pouch to extract all of the coconut milk that you can from the coconut pulp. Discard the coconut pulp or save it to make coconut flour.
- Add the salt, coconut palm sugar, cacao powder, vanilla, and sunflower lethicin to the bowl of coconut milk and whisk until ingredients are dissolved and mixture is smooth.
- Pour into a seal-able container and place in the refrigerator.
- Serve chilled! Give the mixture a good shake before serving, since ingredients may settle.
Still thirsty? I make drinks sometimes: