Healthy Hot Chocolate
Here at Sun Basket, we’ve built our business on the belief that healthy food is delicious and delicious food is good for you. A case in point Sun Basket Test Kitchen chef Paul Conte’s version of hot chocolate. It’s equally luxurious and nutritious thanks to a handful of Sun Basket dietitian-approved ingredients. Skip the pink peppercorns if you have a severe tree nut allergy—they’re in the same family as cashews. Here’s a breakdown of what’s in your mug:
Coconut milk—Creamy and dead-on delicious, this dairy-free milk may improve heart health, aid digestion, and help manage blood sugar levels.
Dark chocolate—This antioxidant powerhouse can relieve stress and stimulate cognitive function. It can also help improve heart health, overall cholesterol profile, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
Dutch-process cocoa—A source of calcium and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron, cocoa qualifies as a magic powder. Dutch-process cocoa, which has less acidity than natural cocoa, will give your drink a more chocolatey flavor and a deeper color.
Pink peppercorns—Unrelated to black peppercorns, these lightly peppery berries are actually in the same family as cashews, so skip them if you’re allergic to tree nuts. They may reduce inflammation, blood pressure, and the effects of depression.
Saffron—Researchers believe that saffron may have antidepressant effects comparable to Prozac. There’s also evidence that it may help stabilize blood levels and protect against cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and even insomnia.
Healthy Hot Chocolate
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (between 60 and 70 percent cacao)
¼ teaspoon pink peppercorns, optional
1 tablespoon cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
4 cups unsweetened coconut milk beverage
5 tablespoons turbinado sugar, or ¼ cup organic cane sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon saffron
Whisk, mortar and pestle or rolling pin optional, 2 small bowls, medium bowl, medium sauce pot
1 Prep the chocolate and peppercorns
Finely chop the chocolate.
If using the pink peppercorns, with mortar and pestle, a rolling pin, or the bottom of a bowl, lightly crush the peppercorns.
2 Make the hot chocolate
In a medium sauce pot, bring ¾ cup water to a simmer. Whisk in the cocoa powder until there are no lumps. Add the coconut milk and saffron and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the dark chocolate and sugar. Return to a low simmer and cook, whisking frequently, until the chocolate has melted, the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture is hot, 4 to 5 minutes. While the milk comes to a boil, if desired, make the whipped cream (see Chef’s Tip, below).
Remove from the heat, whisk in the vanilla, and season to taste with salt.
Transfer the hot chocolate to individual mugs, garnish with whipped cream, if desired (see Chef’s Tip), and the peppercorns, and serve.
Chef’s Tip: To make the whipped cream for garnishing the hot chocolate, in a large bowl with a whisk or electric hand mixer, or in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on high speed, beat ¾ cup heavy cream until soft peaks form. Or, for a fully vegan hot chocolate, try whipping up a batch of our Coconut Meringue Topping.
Nutrition per serving: Calories: 220, Protein: 3g, Total Fat: 14g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 0g, Added Sugar (turbinado raw sugar): 11g, Sodium: 80mg
Bonus recipe—ingredients not included in box.