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Vanilla Almond Hot Cacao: Try this post-workout in the cold

 

by Nicole Lana Lee

Cacao is food for the soul. In the winter, a great cup of homemade hot cacao (chocolate) is probably very comforting and heartwarming, especially when you’ve exercised the whole day, be it skiing and snowboarding in the snow, or kiteboarding and surfing in the freezing cold water. Other than our Tropical Luv’in Coconut Mint Mocha, you’d love the below if you love the sultry flavor of almond and vanilla.

Ca-ca-o (not co-coa) contains polyphenols and has more antioxidants than blueberries, green tea or red wine. Cacao can also protect your cardiovascular system, lower blood pressure, and improve blood flow to muscles . To absorb as much flavanoids as possible, try to opt for dark and non-Dutch alkalized cacao.

 

shutterstock_158318558

 

I’ve included vanilla powder in the recipe.  Vanilla spices this drink up and contains vanilloids which can fight cancer and reduce inflammation. I have also included a bit of coffee in the recipe (this is optional) because I find that the taste of organic coffee fits very well with almond milk and the vanilla powder. You don’t have to put a lot of coffee; just ¼ teaspoon will do the trick.

 

orchid with vanilla

 

The caffeine in cacao and coffee allows oxygen to easily flow through your muscles. This drink is also a great pre-workout drink because the caffeine can give you an energy boost. Of course, this hot chocolate is especially soothing after a chilly day in the ocean or snow!

Since a lot of hot chocolate offered in restaurants and coffee shop are full of sugar and dairy, you may probably want to treat them as an occasional “treat” if at all when you have little options. Otherwise, if you have the time and can make your own hot chocolate, I’d recommend you do so. Rather than using artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup that shops used in their flavored drinks, the ingredients below are all natural.

The best part is…if you follow the recipe below, you’ll feel great after.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

c. 1 cup of almond milk

c. ¼ teaspoon of vanilla powder

c. ¼ teaspoon of instant organic coffee (optional)

c. 1/2 tablespoon of cacao powder

Pinch of Stevia or ½ teaspoon of coconut sap sugar depending on your taste buds

Directions:

  1. Heat up almond milk.
  2. Stir in vanilla powder, cacao powder and organic coffee (optional).
  3. Add in a pinch of stevia or coconut sap sugar depending on your taste buds.