Chocolate. This word for many conjures up images of indulgence and decadence; and although this may be very true, it also conjures up images of vitality and wellness. Cacao, the raw material in chocolate has long been used by the Ancient Mayans to maintain vitality; referred to in ancient texts as “the gift of the gods” and used in sacrificial rituals.
Today, we’ve shelved the sacrificial rituals and begun to use cacao because of its incredibly high amount of antioxidants, polyphenols, good fats and minerals. With the dawn of heart health month, cacao is also on the tip of everyone’s lips because it boasts a healthy amount of flavanoids, which may help protect against cardiovascular disease.
Before you run to your nearest convenience store, not all chocolate is created equal. Raw chocolate, considered a highly nutritious super food, contains a high concentration of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to enhance physical and mental vitality. These nutrients are beta carotene, zinc and magnesium; and the raw bean contains more antioxidants than that of blueberries, red wine and green tea! Yes, chocolate is great.
When purchasing cacao, where possible purchase raw and check the label to ensure that the only ingredient is cacao powder; and for grocery store brands, look for 70% or more of cacao- sorry but milk chocolate doesn’t make the cut.
This raw hot chocolate recipe is absolutely divine; and could even be considered a meal. By pulverizing the almonds and adding them to the mix, it not only creates a luscious and velvety sipper but also a heart loving libation. The healthy fats in almonds reduce the risk of heart disease and the presence of magnesium drastically reduced the likelihood of having a heart attack.
So from my kitchen to yours, a toast to a healthy heart!
Spiced Raw Hot Chocolate
1 cup almond milk
2 tbsp chopped almonds
¾ tsp coconut sugar
1 ½ tsp cacao powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup water
In a blender combine ¼ cup almond milk and almonds; and blend until the almonds are complete pulverized, about 3 minutes. Combine the almond milk and almond mixture in a pot with the coconut sugar, cacao powder, cinnamon, water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir and serve immediately.