QUICK BITES: Hotter Chocolate

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Whether you are a mini marshmallow guy or homemade whipped cream gal, you love this drink because it soothes, warming our bodies and filling us with fuzzy feelings.

Naturally, hot cocoa is a feel-good drink; it’s a drinkable endorphin release.

Filled with stimulants such as caffeine and tryptophan—which releases serotonin to the brain—drinkable cocoa was first used as a vitality elixir for the Olmec and Mayan people in Southern Mexico. So rich and revitalizing, the Aztecs saw the cocoa as a valuable commodity. Drinkable cocoa was passed to Spain via our friendly conquistadors, then to Europe before making its way back to America.

However, it has changed quite a bit through all this travel. Prepackaged or instant options often stifle cocoa’s natural health benefits with all its additives. Mexican Hot Chocolate recipes, a throwback to hot cocoa glory days, can be found in popular cookbooks and on your favorite social sites like Pinterest. And don’t think for a second that because it’s better for you that it’s lackluster. Ingredients are pure cocoa power, minimal sugar, cream, and even chili powder is often added. This historically spicier version is winter’s hot trend. Caliente!


PHOTO: Shutterstock.com

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