Not Your Swiss Miss’s Hot Chocolate

A few years back I wrote a post on the health benefits of hot chocolate that I run once a year for two reasons: #1) It’s good for you and #2) It’s DELICIOUS!

Health Benefits of Homemade Hot Chocolate

This is definitely not a Swiss Miss mug of warmth. This is one of the best homemade hot chocolate recipes I have tried: Mama’s love elixir. The tummy-warmer. I’m talking the kind that you heat on the stove and uses milk, vanilla, a teeny bit of sugar, and pure unsweetened cocoa powder. Oh, yeah. I see you nodding in agreement.

Doesn’t hurt that the mug warms your hands, as you apply a whipped cream mustache!

Yet, while you like it, or love it, do you also think it’s more of a treat than a healthy alternative to other things you may be drinking? You do? Let’s see if I can’t change your mind.

First, let’s look at what happens once you ingest that yummy powder:

HOW COCOA IS DIGESTED

Cocoa contains so-called antioxidant polyphenol compounds, such as catechin and epicatechin, and a small amount of dietary fibre.

Both components are poorly digested and absorbed into the body, but are readily processed by the friendly bacteria in the colon.

In our study we found that the fibre is fermented and the large polyphenolic polymers are metabolised to smaller molecules, which are more easily absorbed,’ said Dr John Finley, who led the Louisiana research team.

These smaller polymers exhibit anti-inflammatory activity. When these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke.

OMT likey!

You’re familiar with the Perimenopause Can Suck It series, but check this out for those on the other end:

Studies of cocoa are mixed, however, in terms of the potential benefits for different age groups and for persons with and without existing chronic disease. For example, postmenopausal women with high cholesterol seem to obtain significant cardiovascular benefits from the consumption of cocoa.

Good to know.

Ten Reasons Homemade Hot Chocolate is Good For You

10: It’s got a punch of fiber. One tbsp has 1.8 grams of fiber! When I make my hot cocoa, I typically use two tbsps., so 3.4 grams in my cup deliciousness!

9: Flavonoids. What what?! Flavonoids are mind-blowing compounds and cocoa has two amazing flavonoids: epicatechin and catechin. The first one, epicatechin, relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. The second, catechin, acts as an antioxidant and reduces inflammation in the body. It’s the reason your doc tells you to eat dark chocolate, except that unsweetened cocoa powder has over twice the flavonoids per milligrams as dark chocolate.

8: A cup of hot chocolate improves brain function. Remember our friend, epicatechin, from #9? Turns out it improves various aspects of cognition in animals and humans.

7: Elevates your mood. It’s a long known fact that chocolate lifts your spirits and makes us happy.

6: Lowers the risk for certain diseases. It just keeps getting better, doesn’t it! Studies have shown that cocoa powder can lower the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and decrease the risk of stroke.

5: Possibly improves kidney function. Know anyone with diabetes? Or reduced kidney function? A study was done that suggests for the first time an increase of renal medullary oxygenation after intake of dark chocolate. Further studies are being conducted, but this is HUGE people

4: Satiates your desire for a sweet snack. Eh, you say. Why would this be important? Well, what if you’re on a restricted diet and you neeeeed something sweet? Having hot chocolate instead of a piece of cake, may be enough to stave off a candy bar binge. Not to mention gaining all the benefits mentioned above.

3: Unsweetened cocoa power is low in calories. 1 tbsp. = 10 calories.

2: Hot chocolate health’s benefits are better than red wine or tea. This is great news if you’re like me and find most red wines bitter. No? You like red wine? Cocoa still beats it. Cornell University researchers found that the powerful antioxidants in hot chocolate was almost twice that of red wine, two to three times stronger than green tea and four to five times stronger than black tea.

1: Whipped cream. Do I need to elaborate?

Dang. Homemade Hot Chocolate for everyone!

Here’s how I make mine:

OMT’s Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

2 cups milk
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
2-4 tsp. sugar – to taste
1 tsp. vanilla – optional
Whipped cream – optional.

Instructions

In a sauce pan over medium heat, whisk together milk, cocoa, and sugar to taste.
Heat through, while continuing to stir or whisk to prevent scorching.
Turn off heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour into cup.
Top with whipped cream.

Perfection in a cup!

One more thing.  If you’d like the benefits of cocoa powder, but not the hot chocolate calories, add a tablespoon to your coffee.  I do it frequently, then feel smug and happy while enjoy my morning fix of caffeine!

You could also add to your oatmeal, smoothies or fried eggs.  NOT THE EGGS!  I was totally kidding.  Unless…

Just make sure when you buy cocoa, it doesn’t have any added sugar.  I’m also supposing that buying this product organic is probably a plus (although I will have to finish using my GIANT Hershey’s tub first).

Happy Hot Chocolating (is that even a word?), Y’all!

Please Share on Your Favorite Social Media! ~ OMT thanks you! ~
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Comments

  1. Ok. I am convinced. I will do both. Make homemade hot chocolate AND add it to my morning coffee. The morning coffee being much easier.

  2. You’re making me hungry for a healthy mug of hot chocolate right now!

  3. Oh darn, now I’m going to make myself a cup! 😉

  4. I had no idea that hot chocolate is good for people.
    You are now my favorite person ever.
    Don’t tell the other people I tell that to.

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