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Top 10 Reasons To Love Homemade Hot Chocolate

Ooooowhee, Oh, Mrs Tucker! loves her some delicious homemade hot chocolate. 

hot chocolate in a mug

Today, I’m gonna give you the top 10 reasons for you to love homemade (not Swiss Miss) hot chocolate.

Think of this post as your bonafide permission slip to drink more…MORE!…hot chocolate.

The biggest reason, surprisingly, is there are antioxidant health benefits to this chocolate-lover’s dream (we’ll get to that below).

Pair with a slice of Scottish Shortbread (or dark chocolate shortbread – yum!) and it’s a dream day of snack heaven.

Once you make homemade hot chocolate you’ll just never want anything else.

Since it’s that time of year when we’re generally freezing our fingers and toes and sanity off, I thought it would be good to revisit the healthy goodness that is homemade hot chocolate.

It’s nice to know something we love loves us right back, right? 

Right-O!

As I made me a creamy cup, it got me to wondering if there was any new info I could offer you guys in relationship to cocoa powder being a swell thing to add to your diet. 

Turns out I found some interesting facts to share about the benefits of cocoa powder.

First of all, what the heck am I talking about? 

Hot chocolate, my loves.  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.

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.

Enough jibber-jabber! Let’s get to the delicious top 10 reasons you should be drinking more hot cocoa!

Hot Chocolate in a mug with whipped cream

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 tbsp, 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.

WHAT?!

This is great news if you’re like me and find most red wines bitter. No? You like red wine? Cocoa still beats it.

It even beats tea!

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?

hot chocolate in mug with whipped cream

How do you make hot chocolate?

Easy peasy!

Follow this creamy hot chocolate recipe and you’ll soon be feeling smug about yer drink choices!

OMT’s Hot Chocolate

(if you’d like a printable recipe, scroll to bottom of page)

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.

BONUS DELICIOUSNESS:

Some of you may be thinking, because of diet or time, that you can’t imagine drinking homemade hot chocolate every day (I’m in your camp!).

There’s gotta be an easier way to get the goodness of cocoa in your diet.

THERE IS!

This is how I incorporate cocoa’s amazing nutrients into my diet:

I add a tablespoon to my morning cup O’Joe. (1 tablespoon to 2 measured cups of coffee).

Cocoa Antioxidants for Your Coffee
Add whatever sweetener you use, a splash of cream and BAMMO! delicious coffee with a punch of antioxidants.

Since I discovered the goodness of cocoa (years now), I still drink my first cup of coffee with cocoa, hedging my health benefit bets.

Hot chocolate for ever’one!

Happy whipped cream mustaches, y’all!

hot chocolate in a mug with whipped cream

hot chocolate in a mug with whipped cream

OMT's Hot Chocolate

Yield: 2 servings

The ONLY hot chocolate I'll drink has to be homemade. This is my favorite recipe.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a sauce pan over medium heat, whisk together milk, cocoa, and sugar to taste.
  2. Heat through, while continuing to stir or whisk to prevent scorching.
  3. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla.
  4. Pour into cup.
  5. Top with whipped cream.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 232Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 128mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 10g
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Teresa

Monday 27th of February 2017

I had no idea hot chocolate was so amazingly good for us! And I'm thrilled to hear it because now I don't have to feel guilty for indulging. Thank you so much for sharing this info and your delicious recipe!

Patti Tucker

Tuesday 28th of February 2017

No more guilt...more like: MORE ENJOYING!!