Good News: Your Hot Cocoa Is Healthy—If Made Correctly

Nothing beats a steaming cup of hot cocoa for warming up on a cold winter day. Yet if your go-to recipe is essentially milk and sugar, it’s time to upgrade.
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Nothing beats a steaming cup of hot cocoa for warming up on a cold winter day. Yet if your go-to recipe is essentially milk and sugar, it’s time to upgrade.
hot chocolate, cocoa

Nothing beats a steaming cup of hot cocoa for warming up on a cold winter day. Yet if your go-to recipe is essentially milk and sugar, it’s time to upgrade, says Joy Dubost, PhD, RD, a registered dietitian and food scientist.

“If prepared properly, hot cocoa can be filled with antioxidants and nutrients, including fiber and iron,” she says, not to mention even richer flavor. Start by skipping those store-bought hot-chocolate packs, and make your own cup of cocoa using real cocoa powder. “Generally speaking, the higher the cacao content and less processed the cocoa, the greater the antioxidants,” says Dubost. To amp up your hot cocoa even more, heat up 1 cup of milk, then whisk in 1 tablespoon cocoa powder plus any of the following:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender or chamomile (strain before serving)

See also Eat Clean with these Gluten-Free Treats + Desserts for Fall