This is how to make a killer hot chocolate that’s actually good for you.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so I figured we could all use some chocolate, right??

I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth anymore but I always have a bar of dark chocolate in my fridge. I even travel with it. Because when you want ‘something’, a bit of dark chocolate really satisfies. Not in the, “so good I need to eat the whole bar” kind of way. The, “so good, those two squares are all I need” kind of way.

Chocolate makes you feel good, for a few reasons. The first is probably because we have learned to associate chocolate with happiness. Our brains are powerful…and if we turn to chocolate when we need a mood boost or feel like indulging, that food-mood connection becomes part of our edible operating system. However, there is also a bit of intriguing science behind our love affair with chocolate. Cacao – the raw form of chocolate – contains a ton of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties (inflammation is just as bad for the brain as it is your gut or your skin) and active compounds like theobromine and anandamide that send our nervous systems some seriously good vibes. Pure cocoa also has some of those same benefits but the ‘dutching’ process diminishes them somewhat.

I created this hot cocoa recipe as the antidote to velvet-boxed, cheap chocolate candy and because we are still in the throws of winter here in Vancouver. I’m calling it a “superfood” hot cocoa because I believe that cocoa is an everyday superfood – but it also contains cinnamon to help keep blood sugars on an even keel and some healthy fats too. To up the ante, you could easily boost it with your fave adaptogen or whatever goodie is keeping you going these days.

Superfood Hot Cocoa

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free
Serves one lucky ducky

Gently heat one cup of your favourite plant-based milk (or regular ol’ milk if that’s your thing).
Add milk to blender with:

1 tbsp raw cacao or pure baking cocoa
1 tbsp almond butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp honey, maple or one to two soaked dates (1 tsp = hard core healthy, 2 tsp = tasty 😉
1/4 tsp vanilla extract or powder

Optional: 1 tsp of your favourite adaptogen 

Blend until frothy…but always take care blending hot liquids! Best to put a towel over the blender and secure top with your hand while blending.

Dollop with a scoop of coconut whip and sprinkle with chocolate shavings or cacao nibs if you like.

PS…how to make coconut whip: Chill a can of full fat coconut milk, along with a metal bowl and the beaters in the fridge. Scoop out just the thick cream top and whip like whipping cream. Genius.

Photo Credit: Melissa Quantz

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