Healthy Hot Chocolate (Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free)

November 13, 2019

It's that time of year. The weather is starting to get colder and who doesn't want to just cozy up under a warm blanket and have some hot chocolate. I love hot chocolate. It's definitely comfort food. Or drink. Or, you know what I mean. It's comforting. 

 

When I was younger, I remember opening up a packet and pouring the contents of my 'hot chocolate' into a cup with some hot water. That was it. Easy peasy. But, let's take a look at what you get from a popular processed hot chocolate brand.

  • sugar

  • corn syrup

  • modified whey

  • cocoa (processed with alkali)

  • hydrogenated coconut oil

  • nonfat milk

  • salt

  • dipotassium phosphate

  • mono & diglycerides

  • natural flavor

 

Too Much of a (not) Good Thing

 

I would say that it's probably common knowledge now that processed sugar is not good for us. This particular brand uses corn syrup in addition to sugar. The reason for this is financial. It's just plain cheaper to use corn syrup because of the corn subsidies. And, if you're worried about GMOs (and I am) then you're getting a good dose of those, as well, in both the sugar and the corn syrup.

 

Cocoa processed with alkali simply means that it's dutch processed which reduces acidity. This makes the cocoa less bitter. The hydrogenated coconut oil is of concern as it can lead to an increase risk of stroke. 

 

The dipotassium phosphate is generally ok and is included as an emulsifier. The mono & diglycerides are also emulsifiers often added to processed foods but can contain trans fats. These trans fats, however, are just below the amount required to declare it 'trans fat free' when, in fact, it isn't. Trans fats are never good to include in your diet as they raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol. If you want to maintain heart health, it's best to avoid these types of ingredients. 

 

Better Version

 

I LOVE this version of hot chocolate. It's dairy-free so is a good option for those with dairy allergy issues. It's refined-sugar free, as well. It contains just THREE ingredients. Not TEN. Just three. That's it. It's super easy and it's delicious. 

 

Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe

 

  • 2 cups or 473mL of cashew milk (you can use another non-dairy milk, but I prefer the creaminess of cashew milk)

  • 3 TBS or 29mL of maple syrup

  • 2 TBS or 28 grams of organic cocoa powder

 

Add all of the ingredients to a sauce pan, stir with a whisk, and turn to medium heat. When it starts to heat to a boil turn down to simmer for a few minutes. Serves 2 people. Or just one if that person is particularly craving hot chocolate. 

 

I hope you enjoy it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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