Nourishing Hot Cocoa.

IMG_20150226_140205  We’ve been getting a lot of snow lately – not as much as an awesome friend of mine though – which means the little one has been asking to go sledding a lot. The perfect thing to warm up after sledding is hot cocoa, but I’m not a big fan of sugar especially if it’s in something our family consumes on a regular basis. I found a few recipes online for paleo hot chocolate and I tried them out, sometimes with a few tweaks. Here is my favorite:

For one cup of hot chocolate:
6 oz. milk (dairy, almond, coconut. I don’t recommend soy)
2 Tbs cocoa powder (less if using a smaller cup)
1/2 Tbs arrowroot powder (optional)
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
Stevia to taste

  1. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of the milk into a saucepan.
  2. Mix the gelatin into the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk and set aside so the gelatin can dissolve while the milk is heating.
  3. Heat the milk over medium heat until it just begins to steam. Once there is a bit of steam rising from the milk add the cocoa powder and the arrowroot.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture for a minute or so.
  5. Pour over the gelatin mixture and add stevia to taste.

I must confess that I don’t measure the gelatin, I just pour it over the top of the milk until I think there’s enough. Be careful not to add too much, it will change the flavor of your drink.

I don’t usually sweeten mine at all. Instead, I toss in a few homemade marshmallows and let them melt a bit before stirring it up.

This is delicious. The arrowroot gives it a nice creamy texture so you can leave it out if you’re making this with half-and-half or cream (which I have done before – it’s amazing!). If you’re using a non-dairy milk option I’d recommend not leaving out the arrowroot. You might be able to substitute for some other kind of starch like potato, tapioca, or non-GMO corn, but I haven’t tried that myself, so I’m not sure how that would turn out.

The gelatin is for an extra pick-me-up and it gives the hot chocolate a very pleasant fullness, much like the starch but smoother. Gelatin is a wonderful healing nutrient (can I call it that?) that I’ve also taken to adding into my hot tea. It helps me keep my energy levels up and it’s great to supplement in the winter to give you a bit of a bug-fighting boost. I also ramp up our consumption of bone broth in the winter for the same reason.

Next week I’ll write about the marshmallow recipe I use. It’s so easy that I’ve decided to make it a winter tradition to make marshmallows the first time it snows.

I hope you all are keeping warm!

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