Warning: Sipping cups of chocolate with your kiddos is a joy trigger!
At Almeda, we have fond memories of drinking hot chocolate throughout childhood. Hot chocolate can be a rich, delicious treat and is often associated with happiness. The happy effects of seeing kids’ enjoyment of this treat lasts even longer when, as adults, we learn the potential benefits of hot chocolate prepared with healthy ingredients. (Adults can enjoy a cup, too...)
Whether you grew up drinking the highly processed stuff or higher-quality fare, we know you’ll love preparing Almeda’s Kasvi-infused Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe.
The origins of hot chocolate
Chocolate is derived from the cacao tree. The latin name for the cacao tree is Theobroma cacao, literally meaning, “cacao, food of the gods.” Not kidding.
Chocolate drinks originated in the pre-Columbian societies of Mesoamerica--ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures. Hot chocolate is thought to have originated approximately 3,000 years ago by the Maya. Cocoa drinks--known as xocōlātl--had become an essential part of Aztec culture by 1400 A.D.
Cacao beans were so valuable they were used as currency.
A treasured global phenomenon
Today hot chocolate is prepared many ways around the world, with variations that may be thick or thin, sweet or bitter. It’s enjoyed in specific ways in certain countries:
- Belgium - using both bitter or semisweet chocolate
- Colombia - fusing chocolate and cheese
- France - creamy Le Chocolat Chaud
- Hungary - Hungarian paprika, white pepper, and ground cloves
- India - Chai with spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom
- Italy - Cioccolata calda
- Mexico - Champurrado, prepared with chunky chocolate atole and masa harina
- Nigeria - Chocolate “tea”
- The Philippines - Tsokolate
- Spain - thick (almost pudding-like)
- Switzerland -
- The Philippines - Tsokolate
Potential health benefits of chocolate drinks
Cocoa contains flavonols, which contain health benefits. Consumption of flavonols may:
- reduce levels of cholesterol.
- lower blood pressure.
- lower blood sugar.
- reduce inflammation.
- lower risk of heart attacks.
- lower risk of strokes.
Dark chocolate’s health benefits may support cardiovascular, bone, dental, and brain health. Organic dark chocolate serves as an antioxidant and may, when consumed in moderation, offer some anti-cancer benefits as well as diabetes protection.
Ideally, you want to avoid milk chocolate or white chocolate, which tend to be higher in fat, dairy and sugar than dark chocolate.
Adding a nutritional supplement (like Kasvi) is one way to increase the health benefits of your next cup of hot chocolate. Kasvi contains a variety of superfoods and adaptogens that can further boost your next cup of hot chocolate’s health benefits.
Almeda’s Kasvi Hot Chocolate Recipe
8 oz nut milk
1 ½ Tbsp Kasvi or Kasvi Cacao
1 tsp agave
Drinking chocolate or your favorite hot chocolate mix (to taste)
Toppings of choice (see below)
- Mix Kasvi with 2-3 Tbsp of hot water.
- Add the agave.
- Warm up the nut milk.
- Blend the Kasvi concentrate you prepared in steps 1 and 2 with the warm nut milk and with your drinking chocolate or hot chocolate mix.
Topping options: enjoy “as is” or get creative
Classic American-made hot chocolate can, unfortunately, bring to mind sugar-laden toppings. To help kids break out of the sugar habit, try sampling from this list of alternative toppings. You can even set up a topping bar with a few choices from this list to let kids explore flavors from around the pantry, and around the world. (Just be careful not to serve small pieces to your littlest ones.)
Sprinkle or steep to taste some mint leaves, cinnamon, whipped coconut cream, dark chocolate shavings, or nut butters. With older kids, experiment with star anise (so beautiful!), cloves, shredded coconut, hazelnuts, vanilla beans, candied ginger, orange peel zest, and more.
Keep it as simple or adventurous as you would like! Tag us with photos of your next Kasvi Hot Chocolate blend! We’d love to see your creations. Enjoy this simple, timeless treasure -- made even healthier for the next generation.