I am super excited to share this rich and exceptionally smooth healthy hot chocolate recipe with you! I think it just might be the best hot chocolate I have ever had. This is my grown up hot chocolate. It’s not sickly sweet like some out there and does not have all the added sugar. It’s extremely good for you because it’s made with raw ground cacao (raw chocolate) which is a powerhouse of antioxidants. You can find ground raw cacao at your local health food store or buy it online.
- 1-1/2 cups soy or almond milk
- 1 Tablespoon Raw Cacoa
- 2 Teaspoons raw honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of coarse sea salt
- Begin by warming the milk in a small to medium sized saucepan over medium to medium high heat.
- When it starts steaming but before it boils whisk in the raw cacoa, honey, vanilla and sea salt. whisk until smooth, poor into a large mug and enjoy!
Why Unprocessed (raw cacoa) Chocolate is Good for You
Antioxidants: Raw Cacao is loaded with antioxidants and I mean LOADED! It has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea. Health benefits of these antioxidants include:
Promote cardiovascular health – Improve circulation, helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.Help dilate bloods vessels, reduce blood clotting.
Protect from environmental and metabolic toxins – Helps repair and resist damage caused by free radicals, and may reduce risk of certain cancers.
Neurotransmitters: By increasing the levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brains, cacao promotes positive outlook, facilitates rejuvenation and simply helps us feel good. Nice!
Serotonin – Cacao raises the level of serotonin in the brain; thus acts as an anti-depressant, helps reduce PMS symptoms, and promotes a sense of well-being.
Endorphins – Cacao stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the “runner’s high” a jogger feels after running several miles.
Phenylethylamine – Found in chocolate, phenylethylamine is also created within the brain and released when we are in love. Acts as mild mood elevator and anti-depressant, and helps increase focus and alertness.
Anandamide – Anandamide is known as the “bliss chemical” because it is released by the brain when we are feeling great. It Promotes relaxation, and helps us feel good longer.
Essential Minerals: Cacao beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.
Magnesium – Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency, present in 80% of Americans, is linked with PMT, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and joint problems.
Sulfur – Cacao is high in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails and hair, promotes beautiful skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas functioning.
Essential fats: There is a misconception that chocolate is fattening. In truth, the fats in cocoa butter are healthy fats. Cacao contains oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, also found in olive oil, that may raise good cholesterol. Also, substances found in cacao are known to help reduce appetite.
To fully benefit from chocolate’s wide array of nutrients, you should eat chocolate that is as close to its natural state as possible. Whole cacao beans, ground cocoa and nibs are best. You lose many if not all of the health benefits when you eat commercially produced chocolate.