My niece, Laina, sent me an email telling me that storm “Nemo” has her trapped in her Boston apartment. I feel for her. Although I was born, raised and currently live in California, I did a 1-year psychotherapy internship in Burlington, Vermont – so I know winter storms. You don’t want to do anything but curl up by a fire with a cup of hot chocolate.
Or, if you’re a chocoholic like me, you don’t need the excuse of a winter storm to drink cocoa. Despite the fact that I went walking barefoot on the beach this morning, I’m having a cup right now. It’s sweet, rich and frothy as if it were made by my favorite barista at Kean Coffee. Yum! And it’s an indulgence I feel good about because it’s healthy.
Yes, healthy. This may sound like an oxymoron, but hear me out. Chocolate, in its pure form, is good for you. Science Daily has documented at least 66 studies that show that it promotes heart health. Of course, you negate these bennies when you make it with full fat milk and loads of sugar. So, don’t go there! The way I make it is 100% organic, vegan, wholesome, sugar-free and ultra skinny at only 190 calories.
It’s funny to me that Laina inspired me to share my I Can’t Believe It’s Healthy Hot Chocolate recipe because she’ll probably never make it. When I did lunch with her on my last Boston trip I told her about my plant-based diet and she thought I’d turned into a wacky health nut. Oh, who am I kidding? If I met anyone who ate the way I do before I started eating this way last year, I would have thought they were crazy too.
Maybe I am crazy, but so what. As long as I can indulge in chocolate – I’m good!
I Can’t Believe It’s Healthy Hot Chocolate
Ingredients for 1 serving
- 2 teaspoons of unsweetened organic cocoa powder
- 11/2 cups almond milk (I use 365 Organic Almond Milk)
- 2 (or up to 4 if you like things sweet) pitted jumbo Medjool dates
- ½ teaspoon pure organic vanilla extract
- A sprinkle of cinnamon
Put all ingredients in a high powered blender (like a Vitamix) and blend on high for 45 seconds. If you’re using a Vitamix, it will heat the cocoa while it’s blending, so just pour it into a mug and enjoy. If you like very hot drinks, however; heat your cocoa in a pot on the stove for another minute or so.
If you don’t have a Vitamix
I’ve tried this recipe in a regular blender, and it doesn’t turn out well because the dates only blend into tiny chunks instead of turning to liquid. If you still want to try the recipe, I recommend that you soak the dates in water for half an hour before making your cocoa.
Image courtesy of Skinnyms.