Cardamom Hot Cocoa: A Snuggly Spiced Chocolate Beverage

Cardamom Hot Cocoa
Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN
Total Time 5 min
Prep 2 min, Cook 3 min
Yield 1 cup (180 calories)

Cocoa powder is a low calorie, low fat way to stir a hint of chocolatey flavor into a cozy winter beverage. We kick this not-too-sweet hot cocoa up a notch by adding a pinch of ground cardamom. Cardamom is a strong spice, so you only need to use a small amount to start tasting its sweet yet spicy flavor.

Cardamom is one of the spices used in an Indian chai, and it can be added to baked goods, beverages, and even savory foods. We love using maple syrup because it is a liquid sweetener that incorporates easily into beverages like hot cocoa. Maple syrup also contains a small amount of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

Preparation

  1. In saucepan, warm the milk over medium low heat.
  2. Whisk in the cocoa powder, maple syrup, and cardamom.
  3. Pour into a mug and serve.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Can't have dairy? This recipe works with any alternative milk, from soy to almond milk, hemp to coconut milk.

Want an even richer flavor? Whisk in one tablespoon of bittersweet or dark chocolate chips to deepen the flavors and turn your hot cocoa into hot chocolate.

One tablespoon of chocolate chips will add about 50 calories and 6 grams of sugar.

Or, instead of the chocolate chips, simply add a dollop of whipped cream or whipped coconut cream on top of your cocoa. To make whipped coconut cream, place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. Scoop out the hardened top part (save the coconut water to add to smoothies!) and beat the coconut cream with a mixer until soft peaks form. Whipped cream or coconut cream both add an additional 60 calories and 3 grams of fat.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Smelling spices like cardamom can have a calming effect, which may help you relax and allow you to slow down and savor your drink. Too often we rush through our days eating and drinking on-the-go, in front of the television, or with a number of other distractions. Try to focus in on the moment and practice mindful eating a few times a week (more if you can).

By slowing down and thinking about what we consume, we can cue into our natural hunger signals instead of eating according to a clock or eating because we feel sad, mad, hungry, bored, lonely, or even happy. Take a deep breath, chew or sip at a leisurely pace, and enjoy your food and drink.

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