Healthy Indulgence

Chocolate isn’t just for Valentine’s Day. I consider February a chocolate month. And December and April and well, maybe the whole year?

I definitely consider winter time – hot chocolate time.

Here is my recipe for a very healthy hot chocolate drink:

Healthy Hot Chocolate – for one person
1 cup of almond milk or cashew milk (no carrageenan please!)
2-3 tsp of cacao powder (I like Navitas Naturals brand)
1 tbsp of maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 small stick of cinnamon (or sprinkle of cinnamon)
Pinch of sea salt

Add all ingredients to a small pot. Use a whisk and stir over medium heat until really hot. Avoid bringing to a boil. All ingredients can be adjusted. Remove cinnamon stick. Need an additional kick? Add a small sprinkle of cayenne to the blend. Serve!

Remember cacao is a superfood. It has antioxidant power. Protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, sulfur, flavonoids, many photochemical and essential fatty acids are also present. The blend of all these elements create healthy benefits throughout the body, such as lowered LDL cholesterol, improved heart function, and reduced cancer risk, to name only a few.

Studies show that chocolate (good quality dark) affects your emotions and mood by raising serotonin levels, which explains why chocolate is often craved when gloominess sets in. This is a winter time beverage to the rescue!

Guilt? Throw it away. Indulge. This concoction is good for you.

Cozy up with your favorite mug. Winter won’t last forever. Cheers!

*Photos of signs from my favorite local chocolate shop, Matthew’s Chocolates, in Hillsborough, NC. Stop by!


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