Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Healthy Hot Chocolate

Healthy Hot Chocolate

Coming into the winter months, you really start to remember how comforting it is to relieve the cold weather with a nice warm cup of hot chocolate. Unfortunately most of the store bought or cafe bought hot chocolates are filled with a range of unhealthy ingredients, with the most common offender being sugar.

The great thing is that hot chocolate also always features cocoa, which most of us already know has extremely healthy properties such as being high in antioxidants as well as improving heart heath and concentration through improved blood flow through the heart and also to the brain. When it comes to antioxidant concentration, a study conducted at Cornell University found the antioxidant concentration in hot cocoa is almost almost twice as strong as red wine. There are many other health benefits to be recieved through the consumption of cocoa which can be found here, here and (a slightly more scientific article) here.

So, when the weather turns chilly, instead of having your daily dose of antioxidants in the form of red wine, turn to one of the recipes below.

For a super simple, satisfying and light Hot Mocha, try my;

Almond Milk Hot Mocha
Single Serving

1-2 tsp organic instant coffee (as desired)
1 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 tsp Organic Honey
100ml unsweetened almond milk
Boiling water

Place coffee, cocoa and honey in a mug and add boiling water to fill the mug to halfway and stir. This will help to melt the honey (and also remove it from your spoon).
Once the mixture has dissolved, fill the rest of the mug with almond milk and heat in the microwave until desired temperature is reached.

This is my morning treat almost every morning at work lately! I have one coffee per day hence why I used a little more than a tsp and am ok with it. This is super quick and easy and makes my mornings at work much more enjoyable.

To transform this into an evening treat, I recommend leaving out the coffee and adding a little extra cocoa.

Decadent Coconut Hot Chocolate
Single Serving

1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbs coconut cream
1 fresh medjool date, pitted
1tbs cocoa powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Pour mixture into a mug then heat in the microwave until desired temperature is reached.

To make enough hot chocolates for multiple people, I would recommend multiplying the ingredients by the number of people, blending as above then heating in a saucepan over low-medium heat on the stove.
Separate when warm into separate mugs.

This thick and creamy mixture is rich and smooth and is heavier than the Almond Milk Hot Mocha (above). I would have to say, as an evening treat, it doesnt get much better than this.

Happy Winter!! x

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