Thursday, December 20, 2018

Healthy Herbal Hot Chocolate

I've been on a natural/veggie/herbal/healthy kick lately. I love learning about herbs, plants, and foods and their health benefits. It is also winter AND Christmas time, so I decided to marry everything together. I came up with an herbal hot chocolate homemade gift. (Which goes along with my last post about having minimalist holidays.) You can also just make this hot chocolate for your own enjoyment.

In addition to the normal hot chocolate ingredients like cocoa, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom, I added maca root, ashwangandha, tumeric curcumin, and moringa. These can all be found in health food stores, Whole Foods, or online. I'll give a brief run down of the herbal benefits here, but there is so much more information online if you want to know more.
(*It should be noted that these herbs and this hot chocolate should not be consumed by pregnant or breastfeeding women.)

Maca Root - If you search this online you will quickly find that maca is used for increasing libido. While there is some scientific evidence behind this, there are so many other benefits to this plant. Like all the vitamins it contains including vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Maca also helps to enhance your mood and decrease anxiety. On top of all that, it is an antioxidant.

Ashwagandha - This plant from India has a wealth of health benefits. Studies have shown that it is beneficial for fighting certain cancers, Alzheimers, and anxiety. It can also help with arthritis, insomnia, diabetes, memory, stress, and more. I put it in the hot chocolate mix because it promotes calmness, and reduces stress and anxiety.

Tumeric Curcumin - There are so many incredible health benefits that come from this Indian spice. I'll keep it brief. Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It has been shown to help with heart disease, Alzheimers, and increase memory. It may prevent and treat some cancers. Studies show that it can be just as good as prozac when used to treat depression. This spice is an all encompassing benefit to the body.

Moringa - This is another plant high in antioxidants. It is also very nutritious containing protein, vitamin C, B6, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, and vitamin A. It can help with blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and inflammation.

Herbal Hot Chocolate
This will fill one 500 mL ball jar.

-3/4 cup cocoa powder
-1/2 - 3/4 cup coconut sugar 
-1/2 teaspoon (heaping) cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon (heaping) ginger
-1/2 teaspoon (heaping) cardamom
-1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
-1 Tablespoon maca
-1 Tablespoon tumeric curcumin
-1 Tablespoon ashwagandha
-1 Tablespoon moringa

Sift all ingredients and mix well together. Then fill the ball jar and label. 
To make: add one tablespoon to warm milk of your choice (I like it with almond milk), or to hot water. Enjoy and be healthy!

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