Adaptogenic Hot Cocoa with Cordyceps (vegan recipe)pin it!Hey, happy Sunday! Popping in with one of my happy hours for you guys because this comforting/naturally energizing cocoa has been my go-to afternoon sip lately. I know the title of this drink is kind of mystical or woo woo sounding, but a daily flick of cordyceps powder (fungus-derived!) has shown some promise for me personally in terms of energy levels and combating stress/inflammation. It has a naturally earthy taste, as you might expect a dried and powdered fungus would, but once you swirl it into this frothy mix of cacao, coconut oil, and roasted almond butter, you kind of forget that it’s there. I get mine from Moon Juice, and you can read a bit more about the product here. Obviously everyone is different in how they respond to ingredients like this, so always exercise discernment with your own body/life in mind :)

I’m taking a slightly different approach to the links today, too. There’s a few items for reading, cooking, and watching, but also some notes on things I’ve been personally using/loving in my home and everyday life. Maybe you could call this a post-holiday self-care gift guide? Let’s get to it.

I made this date and caraway granola last week and it’s incredible. The orange zest is so bright and perfect for the Winter blahs, ya know?

I never understood the loud and proud “eat clean” proclamations. It’s a surprisingly divisive expression (born out of an otherwise body-positive movement).

I shared 5 hearty and powerful smoothies on The Kitchn last week. This was kind of a dream assignment for me, and I’m really proud of the photos. Wrap-up post and links to all of the recipes are here!

The beauty supplement aisle whooooa! As always, GOOP tends to open up a floodgate of googling and tab-opening, but I found this to be an interesting read anyway. Magnesium is my thang though.

Raise the vibration (raise it, raise it).

You guys know how much I love my bud McKel’s work, and her 21 day reset program is so great if you’re guru-weary and want some gentle and practical advice from someone who knows their stuff. McKel wants you to change your life for the better; not just deprive yourself under the guise of some deep-level bodily purge because it’s the new year.

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So, in this photo we’ve got 2 brands that I’m really into right now. Chosen Foods sent me a box of goodies last week to play around with, but I’ve been using their avocado oil for a long time anyway. The spicy sesame oil they sent has been added to almost every savoury food we’ve been eating. It’s a cold-pressed sesame oil with a decent kick of chili and garlic. It’s so perfect just drizzled on brown rice with a handful of thinly sliced scallions and ripe avocado. Since we’re in the season of roasted vegetables, the avocado oil spray might become a regular fixture in my kitchen long after this sample can is gone. It can take high heat and the sprayer has such a perfectly controlled mist–without any weird fillers or propellants either. 10/10!

Cha’s Organics spices have been key players in my kitchen lately. I turn to spices a lot in the cold weather–in stews, pans of vegetables, or my warm and milk-y potions. Their powdered turmeric, I swear, tastes like fresh turmeric roots. No bitterness, super mellow, and almost creamy in a way. The cinnamon is also on a whole other level–quite fragrant and noticeably sweeter. Doesn’t hurt that this company is Canadian, too!

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This paring knife from Zwilling J.A. Henckells. I always try to be super minimal and just use my chef knife (or sometimes a pocket knife) for everything, so have resisted a decent paring knife for a while. This particular one was sent to me last week and I haven’t stopped using it. While this was sent as a gift, I’m in no way obligated to sing its praises here. But I will anyway because this knife is great.

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I’ve been sipping the Echinacea Plus from Traditional Medicinals every day and haven’t even felt a tiny sniffle, despite being in the company of illness. Plus it tastes really nice with just a tiny hint of smooth spearmint.

I reluctantly accepted an offer from Sudio Sweden to try their Regent Earphones, but I’m so glad that I did. They’re wireless which is great, but they also shut out the entire outside world when I’m using them, which is perfect for using my fave meditation app or when I just don’t want people making small talk with me at the gym *shrugs*. They have very fancy gold details, too! (15% discount for my followers with this code: thefirstmess)

Luminance Skincare is an all vegan, totally natural skincare company based in California. I pretty much jump at any chance to try some new lotion, serum, face oil or what-have-you. The Delicate Facial Cleanser and Nite Skin Butter have been making my skin so happy in this season of cold and dryness. I also love the extremely thorough directions that they offer for all of the products on their site. Knowledge is power!

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Last thing of the bunch is this wonderful new book from Joy McCarthy! I think you guys know that I’m not a cleanse kinda person, which is totally fine because this book outlines practical ways to make positive, naturally healthy changes to your lifestyle. Joyous Detox is filled with healthy recipes, easy-to-digest information (see what I did there?), and meal-planning tips to reach your maximum potential in body and mind.

Print the recipe here!
NOTES: I buy my mushroom powders from Moon Juice, but they can also be had via Sun Potion and Four Sigmatic. They taste like you might expect ground mushrooms to taste–super earthy! I think they enhance anything with coffee, cacao, maca or mesquite powder. If you don’t like almond butter, you could replace it with any nut/seed butter you like. Peanut butter would be so decadent!

2 tablespoons roasted almond butter (smooth)
2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
3/4 teaspoon powdered cordyceps
sweetener, to taste (I used about 2 teaspoons of maple syrup)
1 1/3 cups boiling water

In an upright blender, combine the almond butter, coconut oil, cacao powder, cordyceps, sweetener, and boiling water. Slowly bring the mixture up to high speed and blend until totally combined and frothy, about 20 seconds. Pour the adaptogenic hot cocoa into your favourite mug and enjoy :)

**A note on cordyceps sourcing: Some articles that discuss this ingredient will detail the more traditional procurement methods ie the fact that the fungus was found to grow on caterpillars at high altitude, eventually consuming the host. I know, I know, sounds so gross. Higher demand for this product and modern cultivation practices means that most cordyceps are grown on grains in lab environments instead, making this powerful ingredient totally vegan!

  • abigail08/01/2017 - 5:29 am

    I definitely need to get my hand son the Avocado oil spray it sounds SO useful and I can always do with more avocado in my life!

    Abigail Alice ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full08/01/2017 - 10:21 am

    This hot cocoa has almond butter in it; I’m sold. I’ve been all about adaptogens lately… my nutritionist said I likely have adrenal fatigue, and I’m not looking to add another prescription to my routine. Herbal remedies are the way to go!ReplyCancel

  • Karlie08/01/2017 - 10:24 am

    This looks so wonderful and nourishing. I love your happy hour links, I always have ALL the tabs open and end up learning much more than when I began! xoReplyCancel

  • Mer08/01/2017 - 10:39 am

    Thanks for the info’ about Cha’s spices. I have been struggling to find a non bitter turmeric powder. I laughed when I clicked on the link and saw that Chas is the brand of ayur masala that use all the time for making ‘sweet’ curry salads (‘sweet’ as in not hot spices ….not ‘sweet’as in desserts). It is absolutely delicious with lentils or chickpeas and dried currants, raisins, cilantro, scallions etc kind of dishes…or an apple sweet coconut curry sauce for rice. Why didn’t I think to try their plain turmeric powder before ? :-) And Canadian too! Awesome.ReplyCancel

    • Laura08/01/2017 - 10:43 am

      Oooooh I think I need to try that blend now! :) Thanks for the tip.

  • Julia08/01/2017 - 11:57 am

    I´m always excited for your link loves and the cocoa recipe hits the spot too! I´ve been experimenting with mushroom powders too, lately, going all in with chaga, cordyceps, reishi and he shou wu (which isn´t a mushroom I think, anyways…) and definitely feel their balancing and energizing effects. Cordyceps has been my fave so far, and weirdly enough I really like the smell and taste, it´s almost caramely… Happy new year to you! Much love from Vienna! JuliaReplyCancel

  • Anya08/01/2017 - 5:26 pm

    What a lovely, lovely post! So much good stuff, I don’t even know where to begin. Alll kinds of tabs open ;)ReplyCancel

  • Abby09/01/2017 - 11:19 am

    I’ve been really wanting to try reishi powder and cordyceps for awhile now and this recipe might be what I need to finally bite the bullet!ReplyCancel

  • callie09/01/2017 - 2:16 pm

    I love Luminance Skincare products. I have tried many since getting my first trial pack of their cleanser, moisturizer and toner. My goodness, it has transformed my skin. Thank you as always for your thoughtful posts, I have loved everything about your blog since my Momma introduced me to it!ReplyCancel

  • Nina Olsson - Nourish Atelier09/01/2017 - 6:05 pm

    Lovely, It’s the first time I encounter adaptogens in a recipe since I read about it in Bon appetit not long ago. I’m fascinated by this fungus… And I want ALL the lovely looking stuff in this post, the facial cleaner and those head phones, but mostly I’m looking forward to your book Laura, the coves look so beautiful. x ninaReplyCancel

  • Julia @ HappyFoods Tube10/01/2017 - 8:27 am

    Whaat? Avocado oil spray? Gotta find it around here. This hot cocoa must taste amazing. Never tried almond butter, but going to give it a go!ReplyCancel

  • Deane10/01/2017 - 8:32 pm

    Thanks! Where are you purchasing Moon Juice products? Are there any problems importing it to Canada?ReplyCancel

    • Laura11/01/2017 - 12:17 pm

      Hi Deane,
      I ordered the Moon Juice products from their site and had them shipped to a US postal box that my partner and I have set up. We live right by a border crossing, so it is a uniquely convenient situation for us. I’m not sure if Moon Juice ships to Canada, but after picking them up in the US and driving the items over, I had no problems at customs with bringing it all in.

  • Alexandra11/01/2017 - 8:56 am

    Yum, so much awesome stuff in this list :)

    Congrats on finally revealing your book cover, by the way. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.ReplyCancel

  • Terri Newton12/01/2017 - 5:31 am

    Hi Laura. Could this be made cold? Thanks. Terri. Just started using adaptogens would love to see more recipes that use them especially as yours are so good. Terri.ReplyCancel

    • Laura12/01/2017 - 8:24 am

      Hi Terri!
      I think you could do this cold. I’d replace the 1 1/3 cups hot water + almond butter with 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk. I’d still combine everything in the blender, but if you decide to use the coconut oil, I’d make sure that it’s melted before you add it. Hope this helps!

  • […] Photo by The First Mess and the recipe is inspired by her adaptogenic hot cocoa. […]ReplyCancel

  • Sabell22/01/2018 - 10:48 pm

    Luminance is my favourite and Kim is awesome! So great to see you mention them in your blog ♥ Great hot cocoa recipe, Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Dana29/04/2018 - 4:23 pm

    I typically make the “Magic Mushroom Mocha Frapp,” but just whipped this up for a caffeine free and warm way to drink my mushrooms Very delicious! Used dates to sweeten like the frapp version :)ReplyCancel

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