We’re reducing the amount of processed foods in our diet and needed a hot chocolate drink alternative. While we tried going cold turkey, we ended up craving all kinds of rubbish that we shouldn’t be having. The solution was this homemade hot cocoa recipe.
Many homemade recipes still contain a lot of sugar (if you’re after a sugar hit then you might like this one), but I’ve adjusted my recipe to get the sugar levels as low as possible. Seriously, a prior attempt was so low in sugar that The Big J deemed it undrinkable. Fail! And did you know that cocoa comes with a lot of health benefits?
HOMEMADE HOT COCOA RECIPE – HEALTH BENEFITS
CACAO/COCOA – raw cocoa powder is full of antioxidants, fibre, iron and magnesium. It may be beneficial in lowering high blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, as well as reducing the risk of blood clots. Cocoa does contain caffeine and should also be avoided by anyone who is prone to kidney stones.
CINNAMON – studies have shown that cinnamon may reduce LDL cholesterol levels, the risk of cardiovascular disease and can be useful in the fight against Alzheimer’s and depression. Check out Cinnamon Vogue’s site for a list of further health benefits.
ALLSPICE – is useful in reducing high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Allspice contains a number of vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A, C, calcium, iron and magnesium.
GINGER – an anti-inflammatory digestive aid used to fight nausea and clear sinuses. Also used as an antioxidant to lower cholesterol and improve blood circulation. Ginger is widely used in cooking for flavour and wide array of health benefits.
CAYENNE PEPPER – reduces the formation of blood clots, is anti-fungal and promotes heart health. Global Healing Centre has a great article about the many benefits associated with cayenne pepper.
ORGANIC COCONUT SUGAR – the packet claims coconut sugar is sustainable (producing an average 50% to 75% more sugar per acre than cane sugar), mineral rich (twice the iron, four times the magnesium and over ten times the zinc compared to regular cane sugar) and low GI (GI rating 35). A quick google search shows that coconut sugar, like coconut flour, water and oil, is rapidly gaining popularity but is still too new for conclusive studies regarding sustainability and health benefits. I do love the caramel undertones it adds to my homemade hot cocoa recipe mix.
- 2 cups cocoa
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- pinch hot cayenne pepper
Mix all ingredients together. Store in an air-tight container.
Feel free to adjust the spice levels to your preference. I added a bit more ginger and cayenne to our mix.
Add 1 desert spoon of the homemade hot cocoa recipe mix to boiling water and give it a good stir to combine. Add a dash of milk – we’re currently using an oat/almond milk which is creamier and less likely to split compared to regular oat milk.
While this homemade hot cocoa recipe will never be as addictive as your store-bought mixes, I love the fact that I know precisely what is in it. Being able to choose spices that not only taste great, but have wonderful health benefits is a bonus.
When packaged up in a cute mason jar, this homemade hot cocoa recipe makes an inexpensive, thoughtful gift too!