January is the perfect month for hot chocolate! It’s so nice to come in from the cold and relax with a nice warm cup of hot chocolate by the fire. We just got 6 inches of snow in New England, so I was out enjoying it and doing some cross country skiing. When I was done, I was thinking how nice it’s going to be to go inside and make a cup of delicious healthy hot chocolate!
This hot chocolate is a lot better than the instant packets for hot chocolate. The instant hot chocolate, that you buy in the store, typically contains artificial flavors, carrageenan, artificial sweeteners, and it also may contain corn syrup. I checked the label of one major brand and it contained the artificial sweeteners, sucralose and acesulfame potassium, which may be carcinogenic.
What’s Wrong with Artificial Sweeteners in Instant Cocoa?
According to Dr. Mercola, artificial sweeteners can “wreak havoc on your body”. He cited one recent study that found individuals consuming sucralose, experienced adverse health effects, specifically: a 50% reduction of good bacteria in the intestines, increased intestinal pH level, and an increase in intestinal p-glycoprotein, which affects some medications. Another study which is pending, linked the consumption of sucralose to leukemia in mice. Due to the health concerns regarding sucralose, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) changed the safety rating of this ingredient from “safe” to “caution”. The other common sweetener, acesulfame potassium contains methylene chloride, a known carcinogen. This has been linked to causing headaches, nausea, and detrimental effects on the liver and kidneys (1). For these reasons, we should try to avoid artificial sweeteners as much as we can.
How to Make Healthy Hot Chocolate
For this recipe, I used organic raw honey as a natural sweetener. Raw honey has numerous health benefits such as, antiviral and antibacterial properties. It also aids in boosting the immune system! You can make this recipe using 100% organic ingredients. To make this healthy hot chocolate, you can use raw cacao or cocoa powder. I used raw cacao because it has more health benefits, is not as processed and contains a higher amount of antioxidants. For the milk, I used almond milk, but any kind should work just fine, such as coconut milk or raw milk.
How Does this Healthy Hot Chocolate Taste?
This is the most delicious hot chocolate…so yummy! I tend to make my hot chocolate not super chocolaty, but you can add more cacao/cocoa powder to your taste.
- 1 cup milk (almond, coconut, raw, or any kind)
- 3/4 tablespoon raw cacao powder or cocoa powder (see it here)
- 1 tablespoon organic raw honey (see it here)
1. Pour the milk into a sauce pan and heat on low to medium heat. You want to heat it, but don’t let it boil.
2. Once the milk is heated, add the honey and raw cacao to the pan.
3. Stir until it is thoroughly mixed and then remove from heat.
4. Pour into mug and enjoy!