Hot chocolate is something that I always turn to when I feel like a warm cup of something delicious. But these days, hot chocolate mixes are full of sugar and other ingredients that I don’t like and the same goes for hot chocolates from most cafes. So I figured (as it usually is) making my own was the best way to go.
This mix came about from an idea for an easy gift that was as creative as it was easy to make. I’ve seen a lot of other do-it-yourself type mixes for hot chocolate, but most of them came with white sugar, marshmallows, and other processed ingredients. So to avoid all that, I went with ingredients I knew were good, and good for me!
The star of this hot chocolate recipe is the cacao, both powder and butter. Cacao has many health benefits that get lost in commercial chocolate bars. But in this homemade mix, their on full display!
Cacao contains the substance phenethylamine, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain that acts as a natural antidepressant and mood elevator. It also has the power to boost endorphins in the body, which are the same opiates that give you that ‘high’ you feel after exercise, laughing, or having sex. It also boosts serotonin, which antidepressants target to raise overall happiness levels.
Cacao contains approximately 43.6mg of flavonoids per gram. Flavonoids are part of a large group of powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols. Cacao is one of the highest polyphenol-containing foods. Hot cocoa has also been known to have more antioxidants per cup than a serving of red wine or tea! But it’s important to avoid the commercial cocoa powders, as their antioxidants are removed because of their bitter taste.
What You’ll Need
Here’s the list of what you’ll need to make this hot chocolate at home, or as a gift to give away during the holidays!
As A Gift:
- 3 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 ounce cacao butter, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 one cup mason jar
If you’re making this at home, you’ll also need 2 cups of water and 1 cup of coconut milk.
To make your own personalized gifts, you can layer each of the dry ingredients inside the mason jar. I start with the cacao powder, then the coconut sugar, cacao butter, and top it off with the ground nutmeg. Seal it up, wrap the cinnamon stick around it with a ribbon and attach a note on how to prepare your gift.
If you’re making it at home, start by simmering 2 cups of water and 1 cup of coconut milk in a saucepan. Once it’s warmed through, add all the ingredients in and whisk until smooth. This amount makes about 3 cups or two big mugfulls!
Try this recipe out the next time you’re in the mood for a cup of something delicious. Enjoy!