Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Good For You" Hot Cocoa.

I recently posted about this on my Instagram account, and it was one of my most popular posts, so I thought I'd better share the recipe!

Hot cocoa or hot chocolate has been one of my favorite things ever since I was little. Unfortunately what I had when I was younger was the very processed, very sugary, completely fake Swiss Miss from a package, mixed with hot water. It tasted good at the time, but it was definitely not good for me!

Hot cocoa does not have to be hard to make to be tasty, and it doesn't have to be loaded with fat and sugar either! My version is light, satisfying, and won't cause any blood sugar spikes, as it has virtually ZERO sugar. Cocoa is also rich in flavanoids and good fats. You could have this every day!

"Good For You" Hot Cocoa.
    makes one serving (mine is a large 16 oz mug)

    2 tsp - 1.5 Tbsp*  unsweetened cocoa powder
    pinch or two of real salt, to taste!
    1 cup  unsweetened organic almond milk (I like to add a touch of stevia, vanilla and real salt right to the carton to make it taste better); you can also use whatever other milk suits your fancy; I also recommend coconut milk, raw goat milk, and raw cows milk
    1 tsp  vanilla extract
    1/2 to 1 dropper  Stevia clear liquid (adjust to desired level of sweetness) 
    8-16 oz boiling water (depending on the size of the mug and how rich / thick you want it)

To make your hot cocoa:
  1)  Boil water.
  2)  In a small saucepan, heat up almond milk gently on the stove. Stir frequently!
  3)  In a dry mug, add cocoa powder and sea salt.
  4)  When water is boiled, let it settle, then pour about 1/4 cup into mug with cocoa powder.
  5)  Use a small whisk, or spoon, and stir vigorously, to incorporate all cocoa powder, and to be sure there are no lumps.
  6)  Slowly pour in hot almond milk. Stir, stir, stir!
  7)  Add vanilla and stevia. Stir. Taste. Top it off with some more hot water. Adjust if needed. You can't add more chocolate at this point, however, otherwise it will clump!
  8)  Enjoy your piping hot delicious chocolate beverage :) This does make enough for two people to have a cup, so if you're so inclined to share.. then share away! :)

*The reason there is a range on the cocoa powder is because sometimes I want it slightly less chocolatey (yes, that is possible) or sometimes even more chocolatey! There is room to vary it for taste. I usually stick around 1 Tbsp cocoa powder, though. You can use whatever type of cocoa powder you have on hand, just as long as it's unsweetened. I've made this with raw cacao powder, Ghirardelli cocoa powder, and Trader joes cocoa powder; all yield a good result, just with different flavors of chocolate!

This hot cocoa will really warm you up.  What a perfect recipe for winter!  For even greater warming effect, add a dash of warming spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger!