As the weather starts to cool down and the cozy clothing gets unpacked, I start to seek out more warm beverages to enjoy. My personal favorites are coffee, tea and even hot chocolate, especially with peppermint and whipped cream!
Of course, your local coffee shops come out with all of the standard seasonal beverages, but those aren’t always the best option. Sure, enjoy them from time to time without guilt or bias but what if you want to warm your belly more regularly without the guilt or questionable ingredients?
Whether it’s an adult or child, everyone loves to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate from time to time. We tend to pick up the pace of that enjoyment as we approach the holiday season, but because I am who I am, we don’t drink the packets found in the supermarket.
Instead, I have a wonderful solution in the form of a recipe that I am going to share with you today.
This recipe not only warms the tummy but also delights the taste buds. Not to mention, it is packed with health benefits.
How many people can say that about their packaged hot chocolate? This recipe is the perfect place to start with transforming your favorites. It is easy to take tiny steps toward health than big leaps, and this will definitely get one step closer!
So, the next time you think “hot chocolate”, I hope this recipe comes to mind. 😊
Chocolate Is Healthy?
When you think about chocolate, you probably immediately start thinking about a chocolate bar or other candy. I would like to assume that if you are reading this then you already understand that sugar is not the healthiest ingredient and should be avoided as much as possible for health.
With that said, then you are probably confused by idea of hot chocolate ever being healthy or health promoting. If that is you then be prepared to learn something new!
If you have ever baked in your life…from scratch, then you no doubt have used cocoa powder for things. But what about cacao? They sound the same but are different and especially when it comes to their nutrient profiles.
Cacao is the purest form of chocolate. It is pretty much raw and not processed like cocoa powder. Cacao is thought to be the highest form of antioxidants and magnesium you can get in a food.
Cacao is fruit tree and in the pods out comes cacao beans. From those beans, you can get cacao butter, cacao nibs (just the beans chopped up), cacao paste, and of course cacao powder. Cacao powder is packed with fiber, monounsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals, etc.
As you can see, in comparison to cocoa powder, cacao is more nutritious due to it being straight from the plant and unprocessed (not heated). Cocoa powder is still nutritious non-the less, it is just less so, due to loss of nutrients from being heated (processed).
If you do choose to buy cocoa powder instead of cacao (maybe due to availability), just make sure you are buying it pure and not mixed with added ingredients like sugar or artificial flavorings. Either option is still going to be WAY healthier than the prepackaged hot cocoa packets, so kudos to you!
How This Hot Chocolate Is Healthier?
Besides the fact that a prepackaged hot chocolate won’t have a high-quality cocoa or even cacao powder contained within, it is also loaded with sugar (first ingredient therefore the highest of all contents). But there are many more ingredients to be concerned with other than sugar.
It also has questionable ingredients such as artificial flavor, carrageenan (see my blog on whipped cream to learn more HERE), hydrogenated coconut oil (bad word ‘hydrogenated’-run!), calcium carbonate (not a calcium your body wants to consume aka ground up shells), dipotassium phosphate (often used as a fertilizer, food additive or buffering agent), mono- and diglycerides (hold hydrogenated fat together) etc. Things that the recipe below has zero off!
Besides the obvious, my recipe also contains cinnamon which is great for weight loss because it helps to lower blood sugar levels. And peppermint essential oil is great for not only boosting energy but also soothes digestive issues and reduces hunger cravings.
With all that said, I am sure you are sold on how and why this recipe is better, but don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- 1 tsp cacao (high quality)
- 1 cup milk or milk alternative (coconut milk, almond milk etc.)
- 1 tsp raw honey or sweetener of choice (1/4 tsp stevia)
- 2 drops of peppermint essential oil (or extract)
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon (or other spice of choice and taste)
- Add cacao, cinnamon, honey, peppermint, to a mug with a splash of water and stir into a “paste”
- Warm up your milk or dairy alternative (stove or microwave) to temperature you desire
- One warmed, add to mug of “paste” and stir until combined
- Top with homemade whipped cream (click HERE for my recipe), dusting of more cinnamon and enjoy!
*Notes: be sure you are using a food grade essential oil and not perfume or fragrance. You can use 1/8 tsp of “spice” if you like less, but play with it and customize recipe to your own tastes. *
I hope that you take the time to transform your family’s hot chocolate this fall and winter. If you do, then tag me on social media and let me see your creation! You can top it with whipped cream which is my favorite, but don’t let that stop you from being inspired and making this your own.
If you love this recipe and the others I share, be sure to spread the love and share them with your friends. It is out of love that I create these healthier versions for you. Not only to help further your weight loss goals but to also help you create a better life, by creating better health.
I know my family’s health is my top priority, and I would love to encourage and inspire you to make it yours also. Every week I come out with a recipe but if you are excited to try more now, then sign up below for my 7-Day Simple Weight Loss Challenge.
Delivered right to your inbox upon sign up, you will get the challenge with a full 7-day meal plan, grocery list, recipes and more! It is a great way to start eating healthier and losing weight without any guessing.
Have a great week and until next time…
With Nourishing Love,