Like layers, warm sweaters, mittens and simmering stews, a warm mug of hot chocolate is a cozy treat in the dark, cold winter months! Cacao is warming and stimulates energy while also elevating mood. This vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free treat is delicious and comforting in the cold winter months!
In small quantities, cacao can be a healthy treat for most people. The cacao tree is an evergreen which is native to the tropical regions of South America. Cacao beans are antioxidant-rich superfoods which boost energy, focus and alertness. Many of these antioxidants are flavenoids like anthocyanidin which prevent free radical damage and boost collagen production for healthy skin, hair and nails. Cacao also promotes mood-boosting neurotransmitters like endorphins and serotonin.
The maximum nutritional benefits are gleaned from cacao in its raw form. Since it is stimulating, it is best consumed in the morning, and those who are sensitive to caffeine should use caution. Ayurvedically, chocolate aggravates Pitta and Vata and can be difficult to digest when consumed in too strong quantities. The ginger in this recipe helps kindle agni to improve digestion of the cacao while the cardamom and cinnamon help to balance the stimulating effects.
Cozy Vegan Hot Cacao
vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free
2 Tbps raw organic cacao
5 drops raw liquid stevia or ½ Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp organic vanilla extract
2/3 cup filtered homemade hemp, almond or coconut milk or water
½ tsp Organic Ceylon cinnamon
1/8 tsp cardamom
1 inch grated fresh ginger
Combine all ingredients and stir or whisk well. Bring to a gently simmer on the stovetop stirring until hot and completely mixed. Serve warm.