When the leaves begin to fall, in most areas of the country the temperature falls too. Some people with naturally hotter constitutions thrive in the cooler weather, but others who are sensitive to the cold (like me) begin to crave warming comfort foods this time of year. Foods like warm stews, soups, and hot teas are some of my favorites, but my absolute favorite way to warm up on a chilly day is with a steaming mug of hot chocolate.
When I was a kid, there was often a warm cup of hot chocolate waiting for me when I’d come home after playing outside in colder weather. When I was in high school, my mom owned a beautiful espresso bar and which sold the very best hot chocolate. So hot chocolate is a longtime favorite of mine, and Chef Joe and the kids like it too.
But hot chocolate has a downside…
A couple of them, actually. Most hot chocolate mixes on the market are extremely high in sugar and also contain a lot of milk. These two substances are part of the Skin Trigger Trifecta (to find out the third, check out my book, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself) responsible for exacerbating conditions like acne, eczema, rosacea, candidiasis, and more.
A I learned more and more about health and nutrition, I began to redo common comfort recipes with healthier ingredients that don’t aggravate skin conditions–and I don’t like depriving myself (and I don’t encourage my clients to deprive themselves) of an occasional sweet treat so I knew that some of my recipe redos had to be for desserts and other sweeter indulgences.
The Holistically Haute Hot Chocolate is the answer!
This recipe, Holistically Haute Hot Chocolate is still sweet, very creamy and chocolatey, but contains no sugar or milk and is rich with antioxidants. What?! Check it out:
Ingredients for one 8 oz mug:
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 or 2 tablespoons (depends on how strong you like your hot chocolate) of pure, raw cacao (NOT cocoa…you want cacao) powder
- A few drops of liquid stevia extract (stevia extract is an all-natural, 0 calorie sweetener extracted from the stevia plant that does not contain any sugar, affect blood sugar levels, or feed candida)
- Heat the almond milk on the stove over a medium flame until it is steaming, but not boiling.
- Add your desired amount of cacao powder and whisk it in well until it is dissolved. Add 2 to 3 drops of stevia extract and mix well.
- Taste it–add more cacao and stevia if you want it more chocolatey or sweeter. Remember that stevia is much sweeter than sugar, so I suggest only adding more one drop at a time until you reach your desired level of sweetness.