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Monday Makeover: Hot Cocoa

I know, I seem to be stuck in a rut with chocolate makeovers, but in my defense, I think there’s pretty good inspiration for this one. You may or may not know, I was originally from New York, but moved to Florida  about 20 years ago, where I stayed until this past summer when my family moved to North Carolina. So this is the first winter in about 20 years for my husband and me, and the first winter ever for the kids. Yesterday brought our first SNOOOOWWW!!!! As soon as they woke up, both kids went straight to the window, and exclaimed “WOW!” Right away, we started piling on layers, and bundling up to run outside and begin some joyful snow play – sledding, snowball fights, snow angels, or just rolling around in the snow. Eventually, it began to occur to us (or at least to me) that we hadn’t even eaten breakfast yet. So we headed in to dry off, warm up, and get some food in our bellies.  After heading in from playing in the snow, it’s a right of passage to have hot cocoa.

When it comes to hot cocoa, I choose to pass on the store bought mixes, and instead make my own. Here’s why I choose to make over hot cocoa rather than indulge in store bought mixes. These are the ingredients of a popular store bought hot cocoa mix:

Sugar (processed white sugar is problematic to health), (100% glucose is problematic to health, and can cause allergy and inflammation), Vegetable Oil (Partially Hydrogenated Coconut or Palm Kernel and Hydrogenated Soybean) (hydrogenated oil is problematic to health), Dairy Product Solids (from Milk) (can cause allergy and inflammation), Cocoa Processed with Alkali (processing reduces the natural flavenols of cocoa), Calcium Carbonate (not suitable for all people), and Less than 2% of Salt (processed salt strips the naturally occurring beneficial elements), Cellulose Gum (not digestible by the body), Sodium Caseinate (casein can cause allergy and inflammation), Dipotassium Phosphate (safety of this is controversial – I’ll err on the side of caution), Sodium Citrate (generally safe in small doses), Guar Gum (generally safe in small doses), Skim Milk (can cause allergy and inflammation), Sodium Aluminosilicate (contains aluminum which has been linked to Alzheimers disease), Mono- and Diglycerides (eek – very problematic to health), Artificial Flavors (really? I have yet to figure out why we process foods and strip out all the natural flavors, to in turn add artificial flavors. We will definitely be laughed at in the future), Sucralose (main ingredient of splenda, an artificial sweetener thats health risks are controversial. Yet another note to ponder is why add artificial sweetener when there’s already sugar and corn syrup solids?)

I have underlined the ingredients that can be problematic for your health. Note that only two ingredients aren’t underlined, and they offer absolutely no nutritional value.

Here are the ingredients for another popular hot cocoa mix:

Sugar (processed white sugar is problematic to health), Corn Syrup (problematic to health, and can cause allergy and inflammation), Modified Whey (can cause allergy and inflammation), Cocoa (Processed with Alkali) (processing reduces the natural flavenols of cocoa), Partially Hydrogenated Coconut Oil (hydrogenated oil is problematic to health), Nonfat Dry Milk (may cause allergy and inflammation), Less than 2% of: Salt (processed salt strips the naturally occurring beneficial elements), Dipotassium Phosphate (safety of this is controversial), Carrageenan (causes inflammation), Artificial Flavor (don’t get me started on this again ;-P), Mono- and Diglycerides (very problematic to health).

While this one looked like it would fare better with less ingredients, it turned out that every single one of them are problematic, and there is once again absolutely no nutritional value.

This inspired me to begin making my own hot cocoa a long time ago, but I have to admit, many attempts did not provide the rich, chocolatey cup of deliciousness I was craving, and I even found myself giving up on it – until now. Like I said, coming in from the snow almost requires a cup of hot cocoa, so I went back to the drawing board. This time I approached the recipe in the same fashion used when making turmeric milk and it was awesome! The entire family gave it an enthusiastic two thumbs up (even the picky ones). Without further ado, here’s my makeover for hot cocoa.

 

What you’ll need:

Unsweetened cocoa powder

Almond or coconut milk

Coconut oil

Raw Honey

 

  1. I started out with making a cocoa paste: Take ½ cup cocoa powder and ½ cup water in a small saucepan on medium low heat, and stir until it becomes a thick paste. Once complete, you can store the extra paste in the fridge for later cups of cocoa.
  2. Use 1 Tbsp cocoa paste to 1 cup non-dairy milk (more or less depending on your taste preference), and warm in a saucepan on medium low heat. I don’t let the mix get scalding hot; firstly, to enjoy right away, and secondly, to not cook out the health benefits of the raw honey
  3. Once the cocoa mix is warmed, you can add the honey and be done, but I like to take one extra step to make a frothy cup of cocoa. Instead of adding the honey to the cocoa mix, put 1 Tbsp coconut oil and 1 Tbsp honey in a blender or bullet, add the cocoa mix and blend for 30 seconds

You now have a wonderful cup of rich, frothy chocolate deliciousness. Enjoy!

 

If you are ready to start making over your life, come join me in The Have It All Method 9 week intensive to reset * rejuvenate * and receive in your personal and professional life so you can make the shift from doing it all to HAVING IT ALL! Learn more here.

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Monday Makeover – CHOCOLATE!

Adopting a healthy lifestyle does not mean saying good-bye to the things you love forever. It’s a continuous shift; a shift away from the things that are not serving you, and towards that which allows you to shine.

Today’s shift is one of my favorite things in the whole world – CHOCOLATE!

When buying chocolate, you want to be on the lookout for 70% cocoa or more to receive the health benefits of this wonderful substance. However, some people choose not to partake in store bought chocolate since it contains sugar, and an additive called soy lecithin. Soy lecithin has been under some controversy, as are many soy products (with the exception of fermented). There is a diplomatic article on the topic here. We won’t even get started on the topic of sugar, or it may take over this whole post (I am happy to go into it for you though, just contact me).

So if you want to reduce your exposure to sugar or soy products, or are having a chocolate craving with no sign of chocolate in the house – NOOOOOOOO, then try out this yummy recipe.

2 Tbsp coconut oil

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 Tbsp raw honey

Blend all the ingredients together (I use a Nutri-Bullet). You can choose how you want to shape them – you can re-purpose those silicone baby food containers, drop by spoonful on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper, or pipe them out (my daughter piped them into beautiful poop emoji’s)

Refrigerate or freeze until solid, and enjoy!

** A note on piping–  Work in small batches in the pastry bag because your hands on the bag will warm up the mix and liquefy the coconut oil.

poop-emoji-chocolates
Poop emoji Chocolates – Yum!

 

 

If you are ready to get some clarity on adopting a healthy lifestyle, check out The Have It All Method (TM)  the bootcamp for your mindset, body, and soul to shift from doing it all to HAVING it all!