My pantry is never without a stash of this homemade DIY dark cocoa mix. Warm, cozy drinks are an important staple for this Florida Girl adapting to life in northern Washington, you know? I mix it up in bulk, and I’ve been known to pack it up into jars for a simple handmade-with-love holiday gift. This year, I wanted to share the recipe with you in time to give you a chance to do the same!
My not-so-secret ingredient is maca – Lepidium meyenii – a plant in the brassica family (cousin to broccoli and all its cruciferous brethren) native to high altitudes of Peru. In the Andes, it’s long been eaten as a staple food and regarded for traditional medicinal uses. The dried root is thought to enhance endurance, and is known to contain glucosinolates and other compounds that can contribute to antioxidant and anticarcinogenic effects. It has a nutty flavor and aroma reminiscent of butterscotch that I really adore in my cocoa mix.
The powdered maca root, along with dark chocolate, raw cacao, and a hint of instant espresso, make this cozy drink warming and stimulating – perfect to keep you feeling perky on dark, chilly winter nights. Using real dark chocolate makes this cocoa very rich and satisfying compared to mixes that only use cocoa powder. A mini-prep food processor makes quick work of grinding the chocolate and blending it with the other ingredients. This recipe’s batch size fits easily in a quart-sized jar, and makes enough cocoa mix to yield over 50 drink servings!
This cocoa mix is lightly sweetened – much more modestly than your average cocoa packet – but the sugar amount can be altered to suit your preferences too (or replaced with an alternate sweetener of your choice). The coffee can be omitted if you wish to minimize caffeine, but I like to include just a bit to deepen the chocolate flavor. On the other hand, if you’re up for an extra pick-me-up, the powder can also be added to brewed coffee for a delicious mocha drink.
I keep my stash in a glass jar, ready to mix up. I start with a mug of homemade almond milk, and I usually add a heaping teaspoon each of cocoa mix and hydrolyzed collagen powder (it’s a nice way to work this supplement into my diet – whey protein or other powders can join in too). For exta anti-inflammatory flair, you could spike it with turmeric and black pepper. Recently, I bought a container of peanut butter powder for the first time, and I’ve found that a spoonful of that is a super-tasty addition!
I recommend a milk frother as a handy tool to blend everything evenly together and create a light, creamy, frothy beverage. It makes a really good gift wrapped together with a jar of homemade cocoa mix!
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Maca Mocha Cocoa Mix
- 100 grams dark chocolate finely ground
- 65 grams (1 cup) raw cacao powder
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) turbinado sugar or sweetener of choice, to taste
- 60 grams (1/2 cup) maca powder
- 10 grams (2 tablespoons) instant espresso powder
- 2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) salt
- Add the dark chocolate to a food processor and pulse until it’s finely ground. Add the cacao powder, sugar, maca powder, instant espresso powder, and salt. Pulse the food processor again, until the mixture is evenly combined. Transfer to an airtight glass jar for storage.