With winter on its way, one of the best things to do is curl and cozy up on the couch with a mug of your favorite hot chocolate concoction. But, besides warming you up and getting you through the cold weather, hot chocolate also boasts of health benefits. Here are only a few of those:
- It’s a great antioxidant. In fact, according to researchers at Cornell University, besides being twice as good as red wine, thrice better than green tea, and five times stronger than black tea, hot cocoa also teems with cancer-preventing compounds.
- It’s good for the heart. Hot cocoa contains flavonols that make it easier for the heart to function healthily. Not only that, it also makes the arteries a lot healthier. Cocoa also helps reduce the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease.
- A cup of hot cocoa has 611 milligrams of gallic acid, a phenolic compound commonly used for treating internal hemorrhages, diabetes, and kidney diseases.
But before treating hot cocoa as water, be reminded that not all hot chocolate drinks are alike. Although with the same benefits, some are filled with a lot of saturated fats in each serving. It’s still the best bet to stick to a hot dark cocoa.
So as the weather keeps getting colder, here are healthy hot chocolate recipes you can try to warm up and get you through the winter weather:
Cinnamon Hot Chocolate
For a surprisingly rich and nutritious cup of hot chocolate, try out Little Sugar Snaps’ healthy cinnamon hot chocolate recipe made with simple, wholesome ingredients.
According to Health Line, cinnamon is way more than just a highly delicious and aromatic spice. It’s packed with numerous health and medicinal benefits as well.
Ingredients (4 servings): 2 ½ cups milk, ¼ cup soft dates, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract, 1 ½ tsp. maple syrup (optional), and 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
Healthy Hot & Spicy Cocoa
If you’re looking for a healthy hot cocoa drink with a unique kick, you’re sure to find your perfect match in Kale and Chocolate’s healthy hot and spicy cocoa recipe.
You’re sure to feel warmed up on the inside as each cup is filled with a big dose of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory spices.
Ingredients (1 serving): 1 cup of almond milk, 1 ½ tbsp. cacao powder, ¼ tsp. vanilla extract (optional), ¼ tsp. cinnamon, maple syrup, and a pinch each of cayenne pepper, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and sea salt
Ginger Spiced Hot Cocoa
For a thick and rich hot cocoa recipe with a twist, Karissa’s ginger hot chocolate recipe is a must try. It’s so decadent and rich; you won’t even know it’s healthy.
Cacao, as compared to cocoa, contains more nutrients because it’s raw and less processed. Ginger, on the other hand, provides a warming effect. *perfect combo*
Ingredients (2 servings): 3 cups of either almond or flax milk, 3 tbsps. cacao powder, ¼ tsp. ground ginger, 1-2 tbsps. maple syrup, and coconut whipped cream and ginger for garnish
5-Minute Vegan Hot Cocoa
If you’re a vegan looking for a hot chocolate recipe that suits your diet that’s also easy to prepare, give Minimalist Baker’s 5-minute vegan hot cocoa recipe a try.
Because almond milk is basically made from ground almonds, it is unsweetened and lower in calories, unlike other milk. It’s also free from cholesterol and lactose.
Ingredients (1 serving): 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 ½ tbsp. dairy-free semisweet chocolate, 1 tbsp. raw sugar, and coconut whipped cream
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
For a festive yet dairy-free and gluten-free hot chocolate recipe that smells like the holidays, try making Wholefully’s healthy peppermint hot chocolate at home.
When consumed in moderation (once or twice per week), coconut milk can benefit your health and fight different infections.
Ingredients (4 servings): 1 ¾ cups full fat coconut milk, 1 ¾ cups lite coconut milk, 1/3 cup maple syrup, 4 ounces dark chocolate, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, ½ tsp. peppermint extract, a pinch of sea salt, and candy canes for garnish
Try out the above hot chocolate recipes and cozy up healthily through the winter weather! ❆