I have fond memories of chilly childhood winter afternoons spent with my dad and little sister at the ice rink in downtown DC at the National Gallery of Art – we would stumble around, attempting to achieve some grace on scuffed white ice skates, waiting for the real reason we put up with the activity at all: hot chocolate. The snack-bar next to the rink had hot chocolate and it was our absolute favorite treat – mostly because it felt so well deserved after half an hour of numb fingers and toes. To cool it off (why do they always serve it scalding-hot?), my dad would pour it back and forth between two mugs, letting the sweet steam fill the air.
Here in the office, we have a few varieties of hot chocolate mixes in our tea-station that we indulge in as soon as the weather turns crisp, but each one is mostly processed sugar. What we hope will be a soothing sweet-tooth-satisfaction turns into a sugar high and an inevitable crash. We knew there had to be a better way to get that fix without the sugar content.
Well, thank goodness for The Detoxinista! Our friend Megan (The Detoxinista herself) is so skilled at nailing the perfect flavor with healthier ingredient choices, so we thought we’d give her hot cocoa recipe a try.
She posts the recipe here. I made it at home on a chilly fall morning, and it hit the spot.
The only variation I made was that I used raw cacao instead of cocoa powder. I stood in the grocery store for a while, eyeing the different chocolate powder options, and finally went with cacao because it was labeled a “superfood” so hey, why not. Turns out that cacao and cocoa are different things: raw cacao comes from cold-pressed cocoa beans, while cocoa powder comes from beans that have been roasted, which inevitably breaks down some of the enzymes and nutrients that makes raw cacao so nutritious. They taste just about the same – like bitter, unsweetened chocolate!
Here’s how to make this recipe – borrowed from The Detoxinista.
1 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons cocoa powder (I used raw cacao!)
1 Tablespoon Grade B maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan over high heat. Yep, it’s that easy.
This took about 3 minutes to prepare and a delicious 20 minutes to enjoy. The sea salt provides a nice dimension to the drink, and I felt that the sweetness of maple syrup complemented the cacao beautifully. Here’s the best benefit: I felt super energized by this drink. Dare I say it could be a coffee alternative?!
Here’s to cozy cold-weather mornings! xx
Author: Tata Harper Team
The team at Tata Harper Skincare is passionate about promoting a modern, health-conscious natural beauty lifestyle that’s committed to safety, honesty and sustainability.