I’ve always loved the bitter taste of dark chocolate and cocoa, even as a relatively young child so I’ve been drinking cocoa for years. I’d read a few times about the health benefits of flavonoids in cocoa but wasn’t aware of how good it can be at helping with cravings and positive brain chemistry.

When I first became aware of Metabolic Effect I kept reading about the ‘ME Cocoa Drink’ and was excited to see that this was just a sugar free version of the good old cocoa your grandparents might have made for you years ago!

In case you need a reminder it’s really easy to make. At the most basic level all you need is an unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Green and Black’s) and some boiling water. If this is too bitter for you then you can sweeten with your choice of natural sweetener. You can also add lots of different flavours so pop back each day this week and I’ll add a new idea every day.

1. Start by placing about 1 tbsp of cocoa powder in your favourite mug

2. Add a small amount of boiling water

3. And use a fork or small whisk the cocoa and hot after to form a smooth aste so you don’t end up with any lumps

4. Gradually stir in the rest of the hot water

Enjoy!

Option 1: Peppermint

This is a great option for a natural chocolate mint drink. Start by putting 2-3 drops of natural peppermint extract in the bottom of your mug before you put in the cocoa powder. Continue with steps 1-4 as above. Enjoy!

Option 2: Chocolate Orange

If you love chocolate orange you’re in for a treat! Simply start by using a really fine grater (I use a microplane one) to grate the zest of 1/2 an orange into the bottom of your mug before you put in the cocoa. Continue with steps 1-4 as above. I don’t notice the bits but if you don’t like the idea of them then make the cocoa in a pan. Allow the cocoa to sit for a few mins with the orange zest in and then strain with a tea strainer. Enjoy!

Option 3: Chocolate Ginger

Spices are natures preventative medicine so I try to find ways to include spices everyday. I love ginger, as is warming and comforting and it goes so well with cocoa. Start by using a really fine grater (I use a microplane one) to grate ginger in the bottom of you mug before you add the cocoa powder. I add about 1/2cm of a root of ginger in total but this is quite strong so you might want to start with less. You can also use dried powdered ginger but I personally think fresh gives a better flavour and is more warming. Continue with steps 1-4 as above. I don’t notice the bits but if you don’t like the idea of them then make the cocoa in a pan. Allow the cocoa to sit for a few mins with the ginger in and then strain with a tea strainer. Enjoy!

Top tip: I keep my ginger root in the freezer to keep it fresh and grate straight from frozen.

Option 4: Chilli Chocolate

Chilli chocolate has become more popular in recent years and this is a great option if you enjoy it. Start by putting a pinch of chilli powder in the bottom of your mug before you put in the cocoa powder, you can also add an equal amount of cinnamon which goes well with chilli. Continue with steps 1-4 as above. Enjoy!

Option 5: Mocha

Some coffee shops make a mocha with chocolate syrup which probably isn’t too good for you and also tastes more of sugar than chocolate. This is. Delicious alternative. If you have a coffee machine make 1/2 a cup of cocoa following steps 1-4 as above only filling the cup 1/2 way with boiling water. Top with a shot of espresso from your coffee machine. If you don’t then add 1 tsp or 1 sachet of instant coffee to the bottom of the mug before adding the cocoa powder and then follow steps 1-4. Enjoy!

Option 6: Chocolate Coconut

Creamy with a hint of coconut, perfect! At step 2 simply add cold coconut milk rather than boiling water to the cocoa powder and whisk well. You can always finish the cocoa with extra coconut milk if you like. Enjoy!

Option 7: Chai Cocoa

This doesn’t have tea in it despite the name, but I love the flavours of Indian chai and think they go great with cocoa. I tend to make my own spice mix but you can use ready ground spices. You need between 1/8 and 1/4 tsp depending on how much you like spices. Continue with steps 1-4 above. Choose warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, black pepper. I’d make roughly half the mix cinnamon and then a small pinch of the other spices as they’re stronger. You can buy mixes of spices in the supermarket as well but just read the packets to make sure they’re not savoury. Enjoy!

Cocoa 1 Cocoa 2

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