Spiked hot chocolate, anyone?
With the colder season expected to come along (hello Fall, still waiting on you to get chillier) nearly everything pumpkin spice related or some apple- cinnamon bullshit will fill all the menus everywhere, and give excitement to all our Starbucks-loving brethren in their Uggs.
But the humble hot chocolate seems to get lost in the sea of all these trendy treats, and as Julie Thompson writes down in her Huffpost piece, even a good old classic needs something new in it sometimes to make it exciting again.
Whether it’s red wine, whiskey, or a splash of kahlua, a shot or two mixed into a warm cup of cocoa might just be the thing you need if like us, you’re not too keen on all the tea, fall-themed unicorn frappe whatever, or pumpkin-spice everything.
And just to put your hot chocolate loving heart at ease, a cup of some nice, hot, dark chocolate (if you ease up on the cream and sugar) has a myriad of health benefits because cocoa contains antioxidants which help prevent cancer, heart disease, age-related macular degeneration and aging in general because they fight free radicals in the body.
According to a study conducted at Cornell University, the antioxidant concentration in hot cocoa is almost twice as strong as red wine, and the fact it’s called hot chocolate matters too, apparently. When it’s heated up, the more antioxidants are released from the cacao.
Meanwhile, the American Association for the Advancement of Science notes drinking hot chocolate can help you think better too. The flavonoids increase the blood flow and oxygen to the brain, while also preventing platelets in your blood from mingling together and forming clots, and help your body process nitric oxide; which is why hot cocoa can improve blood flow, help lower your blood pressure and improve heart health.
Sounds good! I mean, we’re not doctors, but if you can group dark chocolate and red wine together with the same benefits, hey man, we’re sold. Best to have it maybe as a decadent treat every now and then, yknow?
Remember though, a lot of these amazing-sounding benefits are more prevalent in hot chocolate that you make from scratch, and not from the pre-mixed packaged ones that usually list cocoa as an ingredient like an afterthought, on top of the sugars and syrups that make it so sweet. Check out a few healthy, make-from- scratch hot chocolate recipes all over the web.