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Buttery Cocoa

22 December

christmas cocoa BLOG PIC

Oh, Christmas! It’s Christmas. Happy Christmas!

This magical week is here, and it’s filled with all the fun and chaos that comes with the buildup to Christmas. Holiday parties, giving and receiving, celebrating friendships and family, and falling asleep on the couch in front of the tree.

For me, this year will forever be remembered as the one where my 7 year old asked the truth about Santa, and we told him the truth about Santa.  

After a solid week of him asking in great frustration “But why did adults make up this horrible lie to tell children?!” and not really having a sufficient answer, I was nervous that the magic of Christmas was completely gone for him.

The difference in who he is from 6 to 7 is so profound. Still sweet and innocent in so many ways, the move to 1st grade has represented a huge shift from little kid to big kid. From baby teeth to big teeth. From dependent to slightly more independent.

And while there is so much to celebrate about more independence, there is also a little sadness wrapped up in all of this. I am saying goodbye to the sweet eager child who made gluten-free cookies for Santa, peeled carrots for the reindeer, and left out ice cubes for Frosty the year he thought all of the wintertime characters came to your home.

I have a child who narrows his eyes skeptically when he hears any folklore, asks impressively intelligent questions, and rolls his eyes like a pro.

None of it is terribly cute anymore, but it’s all part of his growing up into a young man, and truthfully, my growing up as a parent.

I’m learning to relate to him differently, and I feel us drawing closer in new ways, not just as mother and son. I am honoring the person he is becoming, and letting go of working so hard to mold him into a person I think he should be.

It’s hard work, and also liberating. So it has meant a good amount of celebrating and letting go in the past month with a perfect Christmas treat {enter hot chocolate!}

Making up and serving hot cocoa has been a really neat way to bring some of of that little boy magic back into his smile when I see him take his first sip at it.

He even closes his eyes in sheer joy at the flavor, a move I know he gets from me! 

Ditch the cocoa packets made with refined sugar, additives, corn syrup and who knows what else and get out a small pot and a whisk – this recipe is super easy.

Use real cacao powder {a powerful antioxidant and source of magnesium!} and mix in some butter or ghee {adds key blood sugar balancing properties to the drink, not to mention amazing flavor!} and get in touch with your own inner child.

A few days ago I told my wise old 7 year old I was going to make this cocoa for us and he flung his arms around my legs and tried to lift me up while yelling “You’re the BEST!” in his excited little boy voice.

We enjoyed our treat at the dining room table topped with some whipped cream and giggling at random silliness the whole time.

My heart swelled with new layers of love and I realized then that the magic of Christmas isn’t determined by a belief in Santa, it’s hidden in perfect little moments like these.


Christmas Cocoa

2 cups milk of choice

3 tbsp cacao powder

2 tbsp maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

dash of cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

2-3 tbsp pasture butter or ghee

Optional: cayenne pepper


Warm the milk in a sauce pan over medium heat, watching carefully not to scorch it. Whisk in the cacao powder, sweetener, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sea salt.

Once the mixture is hot, add in the butter and whisk until combined. The melted butter will form a bit of a layer at the top, but we like this. To fully emulsify, use a stick blender or pour into a standing blender and blend.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.


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Ryanna Battiste, Integrative Health Coach

Ryanna is a coach, accomplished speaker, and recipe developer with extensive experience helping women cultivate a mindset of self-love so they may heal and thrive while developing new habits in the kitchen.

10 Responses to “Buttery Cocoa”

  1. Ellie Peek December 22, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

    Best wishes to you and your families for a very Merry Christmas and a beautiful, healthy and blessed New Year! Ellie

  2. Robin Thomas December 22, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

    I love hot cocoa on a frosty morning! I will use coconut milk and coconut oil, as we are dairy free. Happy Holidays to you all!

  3. Katey December 22, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

    Delicious! A bit hit! My daughter detected that it was extra delicious and guessed that I put marshmallows in it. She was SO HAPPY to know she was drinking butter. So happy. I admit, I added a teensy bit more maple syrup than the recipe called for.

  4. Victoria April 13, 2016 at 12:26 am #

    Delicious, just what I wanted to warm up on a cold April night.

  5. Maureen December 5, 2016 at 3:30 pm # just captivated my attention with your beautiful expressive heartfelt thoughts!! Thank you sharing this delightfully delicious treat! You are the most precious Mammas ever and I wish you, Nick, Miles and Baby Lucas a most sweet Christmas together with lots of love swirling around your world of of joy!!

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