Hot chocolate and Christmas — they just go together so well!
This weekend our family broke out Christmas decorations, donned Christmas jammies, put up our tree, drove to enjoy the first Christmas lights of the season, and sipped hot chocolate. Yes, you heard me right.
There’s something magical about warming your hands around a large mug of hot chocolate, especially when sitting by the fireplace and a Christmas tree. So we definitely didn’t miss out!
You might be wondering how in the world a treat like this could be enjoyed with such a restricted diet. Well, just because you choose to eliminate certain ingredients doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to enjoy some of the same seasonal treats you have in the past.
And if you’re looking for reasons to justify that occasional mug of hot chocolate, look no further! Many independent studies have shown that hot chocolate contains more antioxidants than wine and tea. If you wonder what that means for you, it means that it will help reduce the risk of heart disease. And the best part is that when the chocolate is warmed, it makes it even more rich with those antioxidants. I like to hear that!
This time, instead of reaching for last year’s leftover Swiss Miss packets or our favored Trader Joe’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate, I reached for the cacao powder and a few other ingredients. I had not made my own hot chocolate for the family before, so this was definitely an experiment. And I was sweetly surprised!
So this week as Christmas decorations abound and you sit by the fire, make a cup of hot chocolate and raise your mug to your heart and your gut health. This recipe is both Paleo and AIP — so it’s good for you!
Serves 4 – 6
- 6 cups coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 5 tablespoons cacao powder (or 8 tablespoons carob powder)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- a pinch of cinnamon
- Add all ingredients to a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Whisk ingredients together and after cacao powder is incorporated, decrease heat to low. Cook for 5–10 minutes. Make sure you stir occasionally to prevent it from burning.
- Turn the heat to low and serve immediately.
- Transfer leftovers to a glass container or jar, cover, and refrigerate.
NOTE: Add a small amount of peppermint extract to make it peppermint hot chocolate.