It’s morning, but there’s little light, the rain and clouds hiding the bright early sun, so even though the clock says 7:30, it feels like we should crawl back under the sheets, where at least we’ll be cozy and warm and protected from the dark, dreary day that awaits us.


After weeks of three-digit temperatures—not just here but in Chicago and Wisconsin and maybe where you are, too—Nashville has finally received what all the farmers have been praying for: days and days of gray skies and wet grass and the blessing of rain that turns acres of dry, brown land back into green.


The last couple days, I’ve worn long sleeves again (who would’ve thought!) and worked on my computer from beneath a big, wool blanket.


I’ve stared out at the wet world, watching the raindrops stick to the windows, hearing cars splash puddles as they drive by, feeling the drips on my cheeks and my arms when I escape to the mailbox in the middle of the day.


And I’ve given thanks for God’s life-giving sky, for how much better it waters the earth than our hoses and irrigation systems and sprinklers.

I’ve felt, again, how seemingly powerless I am, even compared to something as simple as the weather, which can change farmers’ livelihoods and affect prices at my grocery store and alter what’s in my weekly CSA in a way I could never do. I’ve looked at my neighbor’s flowers—the ones she’s been trying to save with her faithful watering and weeding and steady hours outside; the ones that have become such a desert, wilted and parched and sad—and seen how days of downpour can change them, can bring them back to life.

And then, from the comfort of my little house where I’m watching this happen, I’ve cradled cups of drinking chocolate, sipped while we work in the dim light of our dining room, sweet and rich and strong.


The idea for this drink is simple: combine kefir (or yogurt) with a heap of raw cacao, a banana and a little honey; then, blend until smooth.


What results is a thick and creamy drinking chocolate that sticks to the sides of your mug the same way that it clings to your teeth and your tongue, dark and frothy, luxurious and decadent.


It’s a real pick-me-up—just like for us these days, are afternoons of rain.

Kefir Drinking Chocolate
Serves two

Although we did have this for breakfast yesterday morning, it also makes a nice dessert.

2 cups kefir (or whole-milk yogurt)
3/4 cup raw cacao
1 ripe banana
2 teaspoons honey

Combine ingredients in a blender until smooth; adjust to taste—the more cacao you add, the darker and rich it will be. Enjoy!

Disclosure: We received a bag of raw cacao powder, along with some other products, from Navitas Naturals

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Kathryn

    There is something so magical about summer rain isn’t there? Especially when the ground is in dire need of it. Gorgeous pictures of a gorgeous sounding drink.

  2. Jacqui

    I am jealous of your dark, cool, rainy days. I love the mood of this post, and the photos are perfect. What kinds of plants are those? Murdo and I just bought a couple of big, hardy house plants last night, but I’d like some small, delicate ones like yours, also. Oh, and your Houzz feature inspired me to get an aloe plant for our kitchen! :) Let’s see how long these last … Have a great weekend, friend!

    1. Shannalee

      I love that you asked about the plants, almost as much as I love that you just bought some big, hardy ones last night! The ones we have in the living room are apple mint (a farmers market find that is now in two pots and going strong!) and thyme (love it!). We also bought a couple succulents at Home Depot that are going strong… I do well with plants that need little attention. : )

  3. Carrie | acookgrowsinbrooklyn

    Shanna, you made a dark, chilly, rainy day sound so appealing that I’m kind of annoyed that I’m staring at a sunny, hot day. That’s sayin’ something!

  4. la domestique

    Oooh I love chocolate and this looks like the perfect thing for my afternoon snack! After weeks of forrest fires and drought here in Colorado we enjoyed a few days of pouring rain, and it felt so good.

  5. wendy

    oh wow that looks DELICIOUS! your photos are beautiful. makes me want to sit inside with a movie and pot some herbs for myself :) i just started my own blog and would LOVE if you checked it out!

  6. Hailee

    I always love your stories, and it makes me remember each of the blessing we receive each day and how I’m so grateful to have everything in life, including wet, dreary days to snuggle up on your couch and drink chocolate!

  7. Erin

    The rain has been SO lovely lately. We have really needed it, and then cooler temperatures were a great plus.

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  9. MaryAnn

    Oh how I have wished & prayed for a day like you are describing…even just an afternoon or evening…but the Lord is in control & He hasn’t planned that for Indiana. I kind of love days like that where you can be cozy inside & not feel guilty for wasting a day outside :-)
    This chocolate sounds yummy…

    1. Shannalee

      He is, indeed, MaryAnn, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous, sun to the just and unjust. I know He hears your prayers (and those of so many in the Midwest!).

  10. Ashley

    I have something similar to this (sans the honey) everyday. I usually don’t use as much chocolate as you do, but I’ll have to try it.

    1. Shannalee

      Good taste, Ashley! : )

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  12. Laxmi

    Greetings from Germany :) I love this post and will be trying this recipe out. You described the weather we’re having today and will be having for the rest of the week and most days in the next 9 months to come.

    1. Shannalee

      Laxmi, Ha! Sounds so wonderfully September (and many of the months that come after it). Hope you enjoy this hot comfort! : )

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