Ok team, I've got a warming, sweet-tooth satisfying, anti-inflammatory and deeeelicious recipe for you today.....SUPERFOOD HOT CHOCOLATE! This is a recipe I make often in the winter, either as a mid-morning pick-me-up or an after-lunch treat. It's chock full of superfood nutrients and is home run for satisfying sugar cravings.
Let's have a look at the ingredients to see why this hot choccie is worthy of superfood status....
Raw cacao powder is unroasted so it contains up to twice the amount of antioxidants of traditional cocoa powder which is made from roasted beans. The antioxidants found in cacao are highly stable and easily available to human metabolism. Cacao is also a great dietary source of the mineral magnesium which is crucial for a healthy functioning heart and brain, as well as energy production. Cacao is a wonderful mood elevator as it is high in several neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, etc) which are our “feel good” chemicals. Note that cacao powder has a slight stimulating effect so if you're sensitive to caffeine, it would be prudent not to have cacao in the evenings.
Maca is the energizing and revitalizing superfood of the Incas and a well-known adaptogen. It contains high amounts of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, all the essential amino acids and nearly 60 phytochemicals. Maca is revered for its overall effect on the endocrine system as it serves to regulate hormones, normalize menstrual cycles, stimulate fertility and treat menopausal symptoms. It can be used for enhancing libido, increasing energy, stamina and endurance and supporting the immune system. Maca is non-toxic, has no dangerous side effects and no withdrawl symptoms so you can eat as much as you like. Careful, though, as it has quite an earthy taste that can overpower if used with a heavy hand.
A sweet-tasting flavor-enhancer, cinnamon has numerous medicinal and health properties. It boosts immunity, oxygenates the blood, cleanses and detoxifies the body and helps regulate blood sugar levels. This is another great one if you are trying to quit sugar! Cinnamon and chocolate go beautifully together!
Ginger naturally detoxes the body by increasing circulation and detoxifying the liver. It is super anti-inflammatory and has been shown to help with pain relief. Ginger is also a great stomach soother for nausea, morning sickness, and motion sickness.
Turmeric is certainly a “super spice” and has been used in Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine for centuries for its healing powers. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help with everything from pain relief to managing chronic disease. There are multiple studies showing curcumin’s effectiveness in inhibiting tumor cell growth and suppressing enzymes that activate carcinogens.
Cayenne's spicy kick and healing properties come from the active compound called capsaicin found in plants in the chili pepper family. Capsaicin is a well-studied natural pain reliever, especially joint pain and headaches. It also regulates blood flow and increases circulation making it the perfect spice to add to winter meals and drinks! Cayenne is a wonderful digest aid as it stimulates enzyme production and gets those gastric juices flowing. It's been shown to increase metabolism to help you burn more calories.
READY TO TURN UP THE HEAT WITH THIS SCRUMMY HOT CHOCOLATE?? Recipe below!
Superfood Hot Chocolate
Makes 1 mug
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 5-6 drops of stevia, or 1 teaspoon rice malt syrup or maple syrup
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 cup coconut milk, warmed
- 1/2 cup boiling water
Add cacao powder, maca (if using) and spices to a mug. Fill halfway with boiling water, add sweetener, and stir until all the powder is dissolved. Pour in warmed coconut milk and stir. Get cozy and enjoy!