I have more to tell you about Mexican Ingredients Part 2 you can add to your diet.
Mexican Ingredients Part 2 – Vanilla, Chocolate and Coffee
By the way, did you enjoy our previous articles, Mexican Food, the Basics to Start Eating Like a Mexican and Mexican Ingredients to Start Your Mexican Food Journey – Part 1?
Vanilla has an elusive, sweet and irresistible flavour, with practically zero calories.
Many people don’t know but vanilla is originally from the forests of Veracruz, Mexico.
And after the Spanish conquest vanilla was taken to Tahiti and Madagascar by traders, where it is grown today.
However, some people still believe that the best vanilla still comes from Mexico.
Vanilla plant is orchid and its pods are normally poached in liquid before taken the seeds out.
To do this the pods are cut down the middle and then put into a dish.
Vanilla its use to flavour up mainly:
- Ice cream
- Sweet popcorns
- Sweet potato and yucca
Chocolate is made from the seeds or beans of the cacao tree.
It is proven that cacao seeds can improve your health and is one of the best sources of antioxidants for you on the planet (1).
There is scientific evidence that proves cacao can provide you powerful health benefits but don’t confuse cacao with cocoa.
Cocoa starts the same way as cacao, from the beans.
The difference happens during processing; cocoa is heated at much higher temperatures than cacao does.
This result in a final product with a sweeter flavour but with fewer antioxidants and therefore less health benefits.
Cocoa is not inherently bad for you but the problem is that it is normally loaded with added sugars to cut production costs.
Cacao was revered in Mexico since the pre-hispanic era for the indigenous tribes like the Mayans and the Aztecs.
It was also used as a trading coin among them as well.
Chocolate is commonly spiced with cinnamon, cloves and chilli.
Cacao seeds are traditionally use to favour either sweet or salty sauces, dishes, drinks and desserts.
Mole is one of the most popular Mexican dishes that has cacao as an ingredient, but there are more.
One of my favourites is a hot chocolate drink, or even better a hot chocolate drink with red wine.
You can also make tamales filled with chocolate and fruits.
If you have the chance it is always better to use cacao seeds, otherwise, try to find chocolate at leas 70% cacao solids.
That’s because, as well as chocolate, coffee has lots of antioxidants and xanthines.
Despite having been demonised, chocolate and coffee are two of the healthiest beverages on the planet, and that is scientifically proven.
Everybody knows that hot water is needed to make a good coffee.
This is because hot water needs to run through the coffee grounds while brewing to become part of the drink.
The coffee plant is not a native Mexican plant, nor a Latin American one, in fact, it comes from Africa.
Coffee arrived in Mexico and Latin America thanks to traders and since then it has become one more part of the culture.
A Recipe For You: Wine with Chocolate and Vanilla
When you mix chocolate and alcohol together chocolate really makes the alcohol.
When you mix it with wine it tastes like a warm and fruity hot chocolate.
Today I have this wine with chocolate and vanilla drink for you.
Whit this drink you will also be able to share part of the Mexican culture with your friends and family.
Time: 5 minutes
- 2/3 cup of cacao powder
- 2/3 cup dry red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Shiraz) or fruit wine.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- 3/4 cup of whole milk
- 1/4 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- A pinch of sea salt
- A pitch of orange or clementine zest (clementine is a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a sweet orange).
- Combine cacao powder, wine, milk and cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Stir constantly until mixture is hot.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
- Pour into mugs and serve.
- Add orange or clementine zest over the top.
- Add sugar if needed.
I hope you have enjoyed Mexican Ingredients Part 2? Stay tuned for Mexican Ingredients Part 3.