I hate to say it, but over the years I’ve had to get creative and, honestly, sometimes downright sneaky when it comes to getting my family to choose to eat good things. I’ve learned that what they don’t know won’t kill them and, in this case, will actually make them stronger. Here are some of the sweet treats that are the biggest hits from my home to yours. You can feel good about introducing them to your family this Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!
Vegan Hot Chocolate
Creamy. Easy. Cashew-y?!?
My daughter hates nuts! If she sees even a crumbled sliver of one in something she is eating, she will turn up her nose and say she doesn’t like it. She has been asking for this sweet treat nearly every day and I don’t mind giving it to her. Yes, it has sugar – in the form of maple syrup, but I figure she’d get way more in something packaged and labelled “healthy” or “natural”. She gets about 7 grams of protein, healthy fat and minerals. Plus, it is so creamy and good!
- 1/4 heaping cup cashews (raw, unsalted)
- 1 cup (8 oz) hot water (I take it heated from the Keurig or a tea kettle)
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened, non-alkaline cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
- optional: pinch of salt
- Put all ingredients into a Vitamix or blender. Begin on low and move quickly to high (venting slightly, if your machine doesn’t already).
- Blend until smooth (no sign of nuts).
- Pour into mug and top with coconut whip or Tru-whip (non-vegan), if desired.
*vegan, gluten-free, paleo, no refined sugars
Original recipe from Yummy Mummy Kitchen.
SOME OF THE BENEFITS:
- VEGAN – Some studies, like the China Experiment, show that limiting meat products helps to stifle tumor growth.
- NO REFINED SUGAR – Maple syrup has a lower GI than white sugar and contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also contains zinc and manganese for heart health and an immune system boost.
- REDUCE INFLAMMATION – Cocoa powder contains flavonoids that act as antioxidants and maple syrup contains polyphenols (antioxidants). These are both shown to reduce inflammation in the body.
- PROMOTE WEIGHT LOSS – The good unsaturated fats found in cashews when eaten in moderation and as a replacement for animal fats are linked to a healthier weight and cardiovascular system.
- MAGNESIUM – Cashews, cocoa powder, and maple syrup are sources of magnesium. This mineral has many health benefits, including aiding with calcium absorption and bone health.
- MORE MINERALS AND TRACE ELEMENTS – Cashews are a good source of copper, as well as zinc, other minerals, and trace elements (found in cocoa powder, too), that promote healthy nerves, blood, and immune system.
More Healthy Chocolate Dessert Ideas:
Good Choice Chocolate Chip Cookies – Protein and nutrients from chickpeas and crushed walnuts.
Almond Butter Quinoa Blondies – Quinoa is a complete protein and gluten-free for those with sensitivities. These blondies also contain almond butter for added health benefits. I use Earth Balance, instead of butter, and coconut sugar, instead of brown to increase the health benefits and lower the glycemic index of these treats.
Vegan Chocolate Mousse Tart with Raspberries – Lots of extra nutrients with coconut milk and no refined sugars.