It's been a hard week.
Three bright, amazing young people were brutally murdered a few miles away from where I live. A former law school classmate passed away. And yesterday, a dear friend's mother lost a four-year battle with cancer.
I didn't know any of these people personally, but my heart aches for those who did. In the wake of their losses, everything else seems superficial and unimportant.
But, life keeps going, and we try to live our lives a little better, remembering how very short and precious they are.
A few weeks ago I was in Richmond for the day and visited the Urban Farmhouse Cafe. Their coffee special of the day was a cocoa almond butter latte. I was already a fan of the coffee, almond milk, and hot cocoa mix combination, so I knew I had to try it.
It was amazing.
I love the way the flavors of almond and chocolate compliment each other, (part of the reason why I love these cookies so much) and of course coffee and chocolate always go together. I must add though, that even if you're not a coffee fan, you should try this method for almond butter hot cocoa.
Though it can be pain to get out the food processor, it's worth it for this recipe. Once you've warmed the milk, the food processor acts like a milk frother and builds in all those air bubbles. You'll feel like a barista!
I also like to think of this cocoa almond butter latte as a healthier alternative to the butter in coffee trend. The idea behind adding butter to your coffee is that the fat helps your body metabolize the caffeine more gradually, giving you longer bursts of energy and productivity. I'm not entirely sure of the science behind it, but I think I'll take the healthy fats and protein in almond butter over the saturated fat in butter. I like to save my butter consumption for brownies. :)
For what it's worth, I did feel full and wide-awake all morning after drinking one of these. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the trend and whether you think almond butter would be a good substitute!
Have a blessed week, friends.
Cocoa Almond Butter Latte
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup almond milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee (Our favorite is Enderly Coffee. It's run by two former two teachers in Charlotte. They're amazing people, part of the proceeds go back to community programs, and the coffee is fantastic.)
Combine almond butter, cocoa powder, sugar and milk in a microwave-proof bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stopping to stir every 30 seconds. Add the vanilla extract. (There may still be some clumps of almond butter. That's ok!)
Add chocolate almond milk mixture to a food processor, along with the coffee. Blend for 30 seconds to a minute, or until smooth.
I drank mine as is, but if desired, pour through a fine mesh strainer.
- Not a fan of almond butter or almond milk? Try peanut butter and regular milk.
- This recipe makes one serving, but can be easily doubled. You might need to pulse it in the food processor/blender in two batches.
- Have an immersion blender? Use that instead. Warm the milk, almond butter, sugar, and cocoa in a pan on the stove. Add the coffee, then use the immersion blender to combine.