With the Blood Harvest Moon tonight it got me thinking about autumn and Valerian hot chocolate. The leaves start to turn their beautiful shades of red and golden yellows and the mornings start to become crisp, my head and heart starts to wonder to thoughts of scarfs, gloves, bonfires, mulled cider and hot chocolate. Nows a great time to harvest and use Valerian Root as you may also be drying it off for personal use (hopefully away from your cats). This hot chocolate recipe has Valerian added but also is helped by the soothing effect of other relaxing herbs allies mingled together to help you sleep and relax after a long stressed day cozied up with friends or loved ones. This is a perfect accompaniment and celebration to commemorate the start of the season of the witch.
This is a recipe I adapted from a range of hot chocolate drinks called “Sleepy Slurp” (which isn’t the best) and then further adapted by James Wong. Its his take on Valerian Hot Chocolate I use below with a few changes in the instructions to prevent the loss of vitality from the roots and herbs in its preparation. You can probably make this easier with hot chocolate powder. You can use orange flavoured chocolate, if you don’t have plain chocolate. I think it’s good to treat yourself and its all part of the magic that helps us relax.
It’s also tasty way to use Valerian and the other herbs and the tastes combine well. It wont hide the taste of Valerian if that’s what you’re hoping (I don’t think you ever can actually hide it) but compliments the roots earthy taste really well, and its the best recipe i have found for it so far if you really can’t stand the taste on its own. Goes great with Yule bread.
Valerian Hot Chocolate Ingredients.
- 3 tablespoons fresh Valerian Root (1 tablespoon of dried).
- 3 1/4 cups full fat milk or non dairy alternative.
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon balm (1 tablespoon of dried).
- 3 teaspoons fresh lavender flowers (1/2 – 1 teaspoon of dried, you can leave these out if you don’t fancy such a floral taste).
- 6 leaves and three heads of fresh Passion Flower (1 teaspoon of dried)
- Peel of 1 1/2 fresh organic non waxed oranges.
- 1 3/4 oz dark chocolate.
- dash Vanilla Essence.
Instructions for Valerian Hot Chocolate.
- Heat milk up to just before boiling (do not boil as it can make it taste nasty). Infuse the valerian root, lemon balm and lavender flowers and orange peel in the milk for 10 – 15 mins off the heat,like you would a cup of tea, as boiling the herbs will remove the qualities you wish to keep in the steam due to their volatile nature. Best leave the lid on the pot, it will keep the volatile plant constituents from evaporating off.
- Whilst this is infusing melt the chocolate over a double boiler or bain marie until it has melted.
- Strain milk into the melted chocolate removing the herbs and orange peel with a strainer. Whisk chocolate into the milk mixture.
- Add the Vanilla essence and serve immediately before milk goes cold.
handy hint…if you like it slightly thicker you can add some corn flower to the milk whilst it is heating up. I would suggest upwards from 3 teaspoons to taste, first mix with a little cold water and pour into the milk and then heat it up following the instructions.