This is my favorite hot chocolate recipe for a variety of reasons—namely, because it has chocolate in it.
But beyond the chocolatey goodness lies two of the most beneficial spices—ginger and cinnamon!
Ginger touts loads of health benefits, from improved digestion to better circulation, and Ayurvedic medicine suggest that it will improve your sex life! Yeah ginger!
Cinnamon is also great for circulation, and is proven to regulate your blood sugar, reduce LDL cholesterol levels, and contains calcium, iron, and manganese. So it’s pretty cool. Also, it can be used as a natural insect repellant, if you’re having issues with that.
The following is my current favorite way to enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate on a negative 15 degree Chicago day:
- 2-3 tbsp of raw cocoa or, if you have the extra cash to spend on it, raw cacao powder
(If you’re confused about which to use or the difference between cocoa and cacao, the primary difference between cocoa and cacao is that cocoa is roasted, while cacao is raw. Cacao has higher antioxidant properties, but cocoa still has a higher score on the ORAC scale than blueberries, so the next time there’s a choice between blueberries and hot chocolate…)
- 1 tbsp of organic honey
(If you’re vegan, then agave nectar will do, but I’m not nuts about it nutritionally, and honey has a ton of awesome medicinal benefits).
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger root (or powdered ginger)
- ¾ cup of unsweetened almond milk (or soy, if you want to add in some extra protein! Cashew milk would probably be delicious as well, but I haven’t yet had the opportunity (or patience) to try and make it).
First, wash and peel the ginger root, then finely chop it until you have the desired amount (usually about a teaspoon, otherwise, it has the tendency to overpower the entire cup of cocoa).
Next, sift the cocoa (or cacao) and the cinnamon together with the ginger in a cup using a fork (getting real fancy here) while you heat the almond milk on the stovetop.
Add the heated milk to the mixture, and stir with said fork until you have smooth and rich hot chocolate!
Then, sweeten with honey!
Congratulations! You now have delicious, all-natural, refined sugar-free, and vegan hot chocolate to keep you warm!
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Assistant Editor: Karissa Kneelad/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Jeffrey Davis at flickr