Last week, I was taking a beach walk with my father in law and Bubs and he said when we got back, “Gee, I would really love a hot chocolate!” So I made him one with the hemp milk and some of the ingredients in this recipe.
At his home he sure does drink a lot of dairy, so I wanted to give his belly a little break :). And then I was thinking of how many of us are probably craving hot chocolate right now in the cold weather- and this recipe was born! Check out my brand new Hot Chocolate Protein Smoothie Booster Recipe.
I added some black pepper to this recipe- which has traditionally been added into hot cacao preparations for centuries, as I learned on a local trip to Nicaragua. It makes for a super interesting, pepper flavor combo!
With naturally rich antioxidant compounds found in the cacao (which will boost your immunity and your energy), to the extra boosting power from the vegan protein powder, not only will you be satisfying your hot chocolate craving, but the protein powder will give you long sustaining energy and keep you full for hours.
Because I love chocolate so much, I frequently have to remind myself that it should be used as an occasional treat. Why? This is because cacao contains caffeine and has theobromine, even when labeled as “raw” (so avoid making this a staple in your everyday diet).
Can we use cocoa powder (since it’s cheaper), rather than cacao powder? While both powders start from the same place—the Theobroma cacao tree—how it’s processed is what makes the difference. I suggest staying away from cocoa, since it is processed and often contains added sugar or other sweeteners.
Cacao is the raw form of the cacao bean, which is less processed—having more powerful antioxidant effects and health benefits. For instance, 100 grams of raw cacao powder has an ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of 95,500, then dropping to 62,100 for cacao nibs, and 26,000 for cocoa powder. Pretty cool, huh?!
You may choose to purchase cacao at any health food store, or find some great online sites where you can buy it raw, organic and in bulk (which is my preference).
Vegan Protein Powder Beauty Tip
A nice protein shake in the afternoon is a great way to get easily digestible protein, which helps to keep you full and nourished in the afternoon.
Smoothies are a real life saver, as the blending makes them “pre-digested”, so you’re able to get in all that nutrition and not worry that you’re not chewing enough (we don’t all have time to sit down for an extra half hour+ and chew each and every day!!).