- Hannah Aylward
Superfood Hot Chocolate Recipe
by Hannah Aylward
My friends, it is officially National Cocoa Day! Could there be a better day?
To celebrate, I figured I would share the best hot chocolate recipe … ever. It looks a little something like this: cozy, warming, delicious, dairy-free, sugar-free and full of health benefits.
I like to say, there is always a way to enjoy your favorite indulgences while still prioritizing your health. This recipe is no exception. It is a comforting blend of warming flavors and smooth texture that mimics those qualities you would expect from only the best hot chocolate. However, this recipe is sans dairy and sugar, so it won’t weigh you down or leave your blood sugar levels crashing soon after your last sip. Instead, it can satisfy your sweet tooth craving, boost your mood, and make you feel like you were just given a hug.
The best part is that it is so easy to make. You can throw it together whenever the craving hits. Morning, afternoon, or night — it totally works. It also uses some simple staples you likely have stocked in your pantry. And with these cooler months, this becomes a serious must-have.
Raw cacao is an incredible superfood and is what we will be using in today’s recipe. Now I know that it is technically #NationalCocoaDay, but here’s the deal, cocoa is just a processed and heated version of cacao. All chocolate, including cocoa, originally comes from the natural cacao tree. So we are going to use the raw version, cacao, and get all of those delicious health benefits.
Let’s quickly review some of cacao’s incredible health benefits:
1. Major Antioxidants
Raw cacao powder contains more than 300 different chemical compounds and nearly 20 times more antioxidants than blueberries (that are known for their heavy antioxidant power). That is a lot of antioxidants! Antioxidants help fight free radicals, which are unstable molecules that cause illness and aging.
2. Highest Plant-Based Source of Iron
Cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron known to man with a whopping 7.3mg per 100g. Note the iron in cacao is non-heme, so to get the maximum benefits you will want to combine it with some vitamin C. Add some of the Peruvian superfood, maca, into the recipe below, and you should be good to go.
3. Rich in Magnesium
Raw cacao is one of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium which about 70 percent of Americans are deficient in. Magnesium has hundreds of functions in the human body. It helps to support glutathione production, relax muscles, improve brain function, and it also assists in metabolizing glucose.
4. More Calcium Than Milk
Raw organic cacao actually has more calcium than cow’s milk at 160mg per 100g vs only 125mg per 100ml in milk. It is the perfect (and delicious) dairy-free way to fulfill your calcium needs.
5. Natural Mood Elevator + Brain Booster
Raw cacao aids in mood regulation and promotes focus by influencing neurotransmitter function. The cacao bean contains phenylethylamine (also known as PEA), an adrenal-related chemical that is naturally produced when we get excited and improves mood and focus. So yes, chocolate really does make you feel better! Recent studies show that regular consumption of cacao can help boost cognitive function, improve metabolism, and control blood pressure in elderly patients.
So here is the most delicious and easy way to both cure those chocolate cravings and benefit from all that cacao has to offer.
Superfood Hot Cacao Recipe
1 1/2 cups unsweetened nut milk (almond, coconut, and hemp work great)
1 heaping tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon organic coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan salt
Add all of the ingredients into a small pot and gently heat until warm. Then, transfer into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. (This helps give it a nice foam on top but is optional.) Take a moment for yourself to sit quietly, take a deep breath, and enjoy every sip.
If you try this recipe, we want to see your pics! Comment below and connect with us on Instagram by tagging @YogaToday and @HannahAylwardHHC with #HANfam
*We recommend that you do not rely solely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product. You should consult your health care professional before making any changes to your regular health care routine.
Hannah Aylward is a Certified Health Coach, nutrition consultant, fitness instructor, healthy living expert, and founder of HAN. She helps both men and women around the world lose weight, heal skin disturbances, balance hormones, heal gut imbalances and feel at home in their bodies through healthy eating, movement, mindfulness and positive self-talk. Her goal is to help others “learn the tools that they need to live the lives they deserve”. Get to know her by visiting her website and following her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.