Hot chocolate is perfect for a cold winter day, aka everyday here in Montréal. I am not kidding you: the sidewalks are so frozen over with ice that you could skate on them. The “snow” in parks and alongside popular walking routes and roads *appears* to be powdery and soft, until you step on it and realize it too is ice, but it’s more deceptive because it pretends to be pillowy snow.
But rest assured, I came prepared. I’ve got many layers of clothes and I never go out without my toque, neck warmer and thermal gloves. So I’ve actually been too warm a lot, but occasionally freaking freezing. I am shocked at how casually locals dress. Many don’t wear gloves, and I’ve seen several people walking around in running shoes and light attire. Maybe their bodies have adapted to these sub-zero temperatures, maybe they’ve meditated beyond physical enlightenment so it doesn’t bother them, or maybe they’re smarter than me and are just out for a two second walk to the corner store or bus stop; meanwhile I have been walking several kilometres outside everyday. It was fun at first, but when the sidewalks freeze like they have now, it’s more tedious and dangerous than anything else. So I’ve been doing as the Montréalers (Montréalians?) do and trying to stay indoors as much as possible. It’s PAINFULLY cold sometimes: the other day I literally got a brain freeze when I walked down an exceptionally windy street. I do not need to experience that again, thank you.
I made this recipe many times before I left for my trip, and it was always a total pleasure to drink. Surprisingly I haven’t made or bought hot chocolate since I’ve been here. Writing out this post has confirmed: it’s what is missing in my life. Must have ASAP. The marshmallows really make it special, so do yourself a favour and buy some. YOU DESERVE IT. They are sugary clouds of joy and they make me feel like everything is ok.
VEGAN HOT CHOCOLATE + MARSHMALLOWS
[ serves one or two ]
2 cups unsweetened, plain almond milk
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
1/4 cup Medjool dates
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Toppings (optional but veeery recommended):
To make the hot chocolate: blend it all up until smooth, luscious and sweet. Adjust according to taste and texture preferences. Add marshmallows and chocolate shavings if desired!