If you promised to give up all things decadent and fattening, you’re probably mourning the loss of hot chocolate. As the weather turns colder, there are few desserts quite as satisfying and warming as a quality cocoa treat. Things like peppermint tea are nice, but chocolate is just, well, chocolate. It’s hard for other snacks to quite measure up.
The problem is that there are aspects to traditional hot chocolate that don’t exactly scream “healthy.” There are concerns that excess sugar can contribute to high blood sugar. At the same time, the high fat content in some variations of hot chocolate can be problematic for someone looking to watch their figure.
Well, if you’ve been missing your hot chocolate fix there’s good news: Healthy hot chocolate recipes are indeed a reality. Let’s take a look at just a few of many.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
As the saying goes, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!” The Mexican hot chocolate recipe is based on one of the oldest variations of hot cocoa known to mankind. It’s known more for its spiciness than its sweetness, which can be a good thing. Studies show that eating hot foods like peppers can burn calories.
Give your tastebuds a workout with the Mexican hot chocolate recipe found here.
Five Minute Vegan Hot Cocoa
Want something fast, simple and absolutely guilt free? Then you want to try out this quick-and-easy recipe for vegan hot cocoa. It combines unsweetened vanilla or almond milk, raw sugar or stevia, unsweetened cocoa powder and your choice of dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate.
Whichever variation you choose, at most you’ll be using four ingredients. Subbing stevia for sugar and using unsweetened ingredients will give you a healthy, sugar-free version of hot cocoa with all the taste and none of the “I shouldn’t have had this, it’s totally bad for me!”
Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe
One look at this healthy homemade hot chocolate recipe, and you’ll wonder if it could possibly be good for you. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly fine.
This hot chocolate recipe calls for ingredients like coconut sugar, which is said to help manage your blood sugar levels. If you find that you need a substitute for cocoa, this recipe calls for carob powder. Carob is said to be a sweet, low-fat stand-in for chocolate.
Healthy Hot Chocolate
Here is a recipe by way of Mind Body Green, which boasts a healthy hot chocolate drink.
The recipe calls for raw cocoa, most specifically chocolate that is made up of at least 70 to 80 percent cocoa. The lower the sugar the better.
This recipe includes two tablespoons of hemp hearts. Don’t be fooled by the supposed bad rep that hemp plants have earned. It’s actually a very safe and healthy food that you should add to your diet if at all possible.
Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate
Not only is pumpkin a popular fall flavor, it’s an ingredient that will give you vitamins A, C and E, as well as minerals like iron and potassium.
These fun and easy recipes demonstrate that just because you’re aiming for healthy foods, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the good stuff. No one should have to say goodbye to chocolate in any form.
On those chilly fall and winter nights, you can curl up with a delicious and healthy hot cup of hot chocolate and leave behind any of the associated guilt.
Photo: Scott Barlow