Healthy Hot Chocolate?! A Perfect Winter Warmer!

Healthy Hot Chocolate Drink in a mug

It’s freezing!  The beginning of this week was painfully cold – inside and outside the house. You wouldn’t think Jozi could be this chilly!  Definitely the time of year (if in the Southern hemisphere) to whip up a few warming drinks.  There is nothing better than a brimming mug of deliciousness to warm the cockles. And another upside to this cold snap …. I can annoy my kids with my perma-cold hands … such fun!

But winter warmers tend to have a bad rep!  They are often loaded with sugar, caffeine, fat and calories.  A definite guilty-pleasure.  This seems very unfair, especially when you have to wear a winter jacket inside to keep warm.  So I have been on the hunt for healthier winter drinks, because sometimes a girl needs to warm up and coffee is not always the answer (I can’t believe I said that)!

Healthy Hot Chocolate

Believe it or not, this hot chocolate recipe is healthy (unless you add a handful of marshmallows!).  It’s packed full of goodness, quick and easy to whip up and hits the sweet spot on those cold, winter afternoons.  I can be found clutching a mug of this most afternoons at the moment.

The recipe (taken from Anna Jones’, A Modern Way to Eat) uses unsweetened almond milk as the ‘milk’ base, but it can be made with other milks, including dairy.  There are pros and cons to all milks.  I like unsweetened almond milk because it’s low in calories, free from saturated fats and cholesterol, naturally lactose free and a good source of vitamins A & D. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 500 ml milk of your choice (almond is my fave)
  • 1 (good quality) chamomile teabag
  • 2 tablespoons cacao (raw cacao is best)
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (add to taste)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons honey

 Method

  1. Put milk into a small saucepan and add the chamomile teabag.  Heat gently (if using nut milk, warm it gently, don’t blitz it).
  2. Once warmed through, turn off the heat and allow the teabag to steep for a few minutes.
  3. Squeeze and remove the teabag, and then add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Give it a good whisk with an egg whisk and pour into your favourite mug.
  5. Enjoy!

You can play about with the quantities to get the right balance.  I use a bit less honey and a bit more cinnamon.  But if hot chocolate is not your thing, try this recipe for Turmeric Latte.

Watch this space for more healthy winter warmers.

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