Superfoods: Hot Cocoa
The cold and windy season is right around the corner and the comforting thought of warm hot chocolate while cuddling in a blanket near your fireplace may come to mind. Unfortunately, however, the majority of store-bought hot chocolate powders come along with a load of sugar, partially hydrogenated oils, additives and dairy swarming with hormones.
Nonetheless, you can still drink a cup of hot cocoa without worrying about the detrimental ingredients within. In fact, not only is my hot cocoa recipe below free off unnatural hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, and additives- but it contains a myriad of minerals, vitamins, protein, and healthy fats. It’s satisfying and won’t cause your blood sugar to spike subsequently. Moreover, for a season with high stress levels, gloomy days, low energy and weakened immunity, this hot cocoa recipe will revitalize your physical and mental health, remarkably.
Maca root powder is an extraordinary superfood, condensed with incredible health benefits. It has been used for thousands of years for its remarkable medicinal properties. While there are numerous brands of maca root, Healthworks Organics raw maca root powder is one I highly recommend, as it ensures an organic certification, carries sustainable standards, is free of excipients and filters and tastes incredible. Maca root is high in protein, potassium, copper, fiber, iron, manganese, B vitamins, calcium and more than 20 amino acids. In fact, maca root contains more calcium than milk. Maca root is linked to balancing your hormones, reducing your stress, increasing your immunity, improving sexual function and providing you with enhanced energy levels.
Particularly in the winter season, perhaps you find your stress levels increase and the gloomy weather only makes it more difficult to boost your mood and vitality. Spending time outdoors under the sun reduces anxiety, lifts your mood and grants your body relief. With cold and cloudy days ahead, you may find yourself feeling more and more tense.
While many overlook the harm stress does on the body, if prolonged, it could truly be detrimental down the road. When your body is dealing with stress, it immediately goes into “flight-or-fight” mode- thus your digestive system, reproductive system and many other systems cease from functioning properly. Furthermore, your adrenal glands pump out hormones to combat the high levels of cortisol and adrenaline. If your stress becomes chronic, it could lead to various health conditions like: indigestion, headaches, adrenal fatigue, weariness, heart conditions, brain fog, mood swings and insomnia. For that, taking means to reduce your stress is essential and indubitably your diet plays a huge role. Due to the unique antioxidants in the cocoa powder, the incredible benefits in the maca root and the tryptophan amino acid in the milk, this hot cup of cocoa will reduce: your anxiety, enhance your sleep and warm your heart as well.
Although you cannot taste the maca root richly in this cocoa recipe, due to the overpowering taste of the raw cocoa powder, the benefits will do your body wonders. The organic raw honey adds more than just sweetness to the cocoa. It will boost your immunity for the season you perhaps need it most. Raw honey also contains enzymes, vitamins, phytonutrients and many remarkable healing effects for your body. The organic whole milk will grant you satiety, reduce your anxiety and if you suffer from insomnia, this cup of superfood cocoa will surely aid you better than counting sheep ever did. Feel free to use a homemade nut milk as the base and add more raw honey depending on the level of sweetness you desire.
- 4 cups organic whole milk (you can use a homemade nut milk)
- 2 tablespoons organic maca root powder
- 3-4 tablespoons organic raw honey (or organic Grade B maple syrup, or date paste)
- 1/3 cup organic raw cocoa powder (raw carob powder works great too)
- Optional: Teaspoon of cinnamon (garnish)
- Place the milk in a deep pot and allow to heat on medium-high for about 7 minutes, or until bubbles form around the edge.
- Add the cocoa powder, maca powder, and honey. Stir well. Remove from the stovetop, as the heat will destroy the myriad of benefits in these three health-optimizing foods.
- Pour into serving mugs; garnish with a dash of cinnamon.
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, SUNNAH SUPERFOODS, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.