Hello Cacao Lovers!
I have been asked to share my Ceremonial Cacao recipe for some time, and having done a ceremony for the New Moon just last night, I feel inspired to share it while it is fresh in my mind and probably still active in my body.
First, I’d like to say that this recipe is an adaptation of the different methods I have been initiated to, mixed with my own experience preparing cacao. I would recommend that you use this recipe as a guideline, but highly encourage you to connect with this sacred medicinal plant and experiment to create your own recipe.
Before we go into the recipe, I’d like to share that drinking Cacao has become an integral part of my personal healing journey; And it has been beautiful to witness Cacao’s healing wonders on others in the Ceremonies I have guided. Make sure to open yourself up to receive whatever IxCacao (the Mayan Goddess of Cacao) has to offer to you at the moment you are connecting with it.
I like to count approx 40g/person. This is double what some recommend, but I think it’s a good amount to experience cacao in a ceremony. However when I make cacao for myself in the morning for example I use about 10-15grams.
What makes Cacao ‘ceremonial-grade’ is the quality and process (including all the hands it has been through) before it arrives to you. The cacao must be 100% pure and organic and should come from Fair Trade. I buy mine from Cacao Blessings which was founded by a Panamanian sister who works with indigenous communities here in Bocas del Toro and ensures that they are paid a fair wage. I will be bringing some cacao to Europe and look forward to sharing it with some of you in ceremony.
Spices are known for their health benefits and I Love my Cacao spicy so I use:
-cayenne pepper or aji chombo (any chilli works) – Cacao was traditionally drank with chilli so I do recommend trying it with but it is best to add it gradually and taste it as you go because once it’s in you can’t take it out hehe!
I prefer using ‘whole’ spices but powdered spices also work.
A handful of oats gives it a creamy texture. I got this tip from a friend who is a wonderful chef.
But the most powerful secret ingredient is intention. It is important to mindfully prepare your cacao with intent.
Sweetener (some may frown at seeing this word in a Cacao recipe)
Traditionally, Cacao was prepared without sweetener, and that is how I drink it myself and how I served it in the first ceremonies I led. Being my stubborn self, I wanted to do it the ancestral way or not at all. However, I started to notice that some mugs would be left half full, meaning that the bitterness of the cacao was getting in the way of some people experiencing the magic and the benefits of this medicinal wonder. I asked myself if my need to do it ‘the right way’ was not a little ego lead and if it wouldn’t be better to offer people the choice to sweeten their cacao. I still encourage everyone to try it without sweetened but I also keep a little bowl with honey or agave on the side to meet the needs of the different pallets in the ceremony.
First, I like to create the space I will be working in. Saging myself, the space, the cacao and any tools I will be using to prepare the cacao. This is to cleanse the energy before starting the preparation process. Then I will either hum/chant or put some soft music, I have a playlist you are welcome to check out on Spotify called Ceremony
I put some water to boil, measuring the water with the amount of cups I want to serve.
I peel and cut the ginger in cubes (I have not put quantities next to the spices because I don’t measure them so use your intuition and make mental notes so you know what to add more or less of for the next time you make it)
I grate the cacao and put it aside.
Once the water is boiling I place the spices in the pot and leave it to simmer so the spices release their fragrance in the water. I have noticed that the longer I can leave the spices to simmer the more fragrant the cacao is so it’s worth starting your preparations at least an hour before you want to serve the cacao.
Using another pot, I place the grated cacao in and start adding the fragrant water, little by little. Stirring continuously to make sure the cacao is dissolving and that it doesn’t burn. Only if you can use a strainer I recommend adding in a handful (very approx ha!) of oats and leaving the cacao in the pot to sit with the fire off.
Finally, I like to pass the cacao through a strainer to keep all the flavours without all the bits if you used fresh spices and oats. You can then heat up the cacao one last time to serve it piping hot.
Et Voila! You have a delicious ancestral medicinal elixir.
Remember to use all your senses to consume the cacao.
Thank you for reading and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about how to prepare Cacao for yourself or for a ceremony.