Hot Cocoa That's Actually Great For You

Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose. Likely from this spicy hot drink! 

If you’re feeling more naughty this year, add more cayenne pepper or, if you prefer a nicer version, just add a bit. 

Cayenne reduces inflammation, strengthens the immune system, relieves pain and can even increase appetite and aid digestion if you’ve been to one too many crazy holiday party this year. 

If you’re feeling like the Grinch, the cacao will also put you in the holiday spirit. It’s one of Mother Nature’s best natural mood enhancers thanks to its antioxidants, theobromine, phenylethylamine, vitamins and minerals. Phenylethy-what? Think: hot cocoa that’s actually good for you! 

(Yes, true story. Even if you don’t believe in Santa Claus, believe this.)

Spicy Cayenne Pepper Hot Cocoa
  • ¼ cup of hazelnuts (preferably soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup of coconut water (I’m loving the Harmless Harvest brand right now)
  • ½ cup of filtered water
  • 1 Medjool date
  • 2 teaspoons of Mesquite powder
  • 1 tablespoon of Cacao powder
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • A pinch of Cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla powder
Mix nut or seed of choice with the coconut water and filtered water in a high-speed blender (such as the current love of my life, the Vitamix). 

Strain through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, or just use as is if you like it very thick. 

Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the coconut oil, if using) and blend until smooth. 

Add to a small pot and simmer under a low heat on the stove until warm. 

Add coconut oil if using and stir until smooth. Pour into a mug and sip slowly, letting it infuse your entire body with hot liquid love. Enjoy this moment of quiet, calm and happiness.   

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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To learn more about plant-based nutrition, check out our video course The Ultimate Guide To Plant-Based Nutrition.
About the Author
Rebecca Leffler is an American journalist / writer / optimist who recently traded the red carpets of Paris for the green carpet in NYC. The former France Correspondent of The Hollywood Reporter and French TV personality has written a cookbook / healthy lifestyle guide that will be released in France in February. Rebecca is also behind GREEN CHIC By Lafleur, a concept launched at the Cannes Film Festival that brings together "green" brands from the film, fashion, food and art worlds. The GREEN CHIC lifestyle is all about finding beauty inside and out and proves that living green can also be très chic. You can follow Rebecca's green adventures adventures at her blog Lafleurparisny.com, on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram  
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