Rainy Day Hot Chocolate

It’s been raining in southern California for many days now. While I enjoy living in a place where this is the worst of our winters (sorry mom, but I don’t miss the rocky mountain snow), I’m still not a big fan of wet, chilly weather for days on end. Combined with the waning moon, mercury retrograde, and the fact that it’s still winter (with short days and long nights), I’m leaning hard into cocooning at home with warm soups and stews, constantly sipping hot beverages from my new handmade mug.

Today I whipped up a mug of liver-supporting hot chocolate with astragalus, burdock, and dandelion roots inspired by two of my favorite herbalists: Julie James of Green Wisdom Herbal Studies and Rosalee de la Forêt. Specifically, Julie covered astragalus root in this week’s Monday Plant Exploration class, a series I highly recommend, and Rosalee had a podcast episode many months ago that gave the recipe for “Liver Love Hot Chocolate”. You can find links to both of these resources below:

My recipe for today’s concoction is based on my own preferences, but in case you’re curious, here it is:

For every 16 oz of water, use 3-4 slices astragalus root and 1 tablespoon each of burdock root, dandelion root, and roasted cacao nibs (optional: toss in 1/2 tablespoon marshmallow root for moistening properties).

Place everything in a pot and simmer for 45-50 min. Strain, then return to pot. Stir in about 1/4-1/2 cup milk (or nut milk of choice) and honey to taste (I usually use about 2 tablespoons); warm until the entire mixture is hot to your liking (I like it quite steaming, just under simmering).

Pour into mug and stir/whisk in 1/2-1 tablespoon cocoa powder (I also toss in a 1/4 teaspoon reishi mushroom powder). Sip and enjoy!

I like to make a big batch of root decoction and save the extra in a mason jar in the fridge for a quicker hot chocolate the next day or so.

Let me know if you try making your own hot chocolate, or what your favorite beverage is for chilly winter days!