Recipes

Mexican Hot Chocolate | Mood-Boosting Foods

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness this October, we’ve taken a look at some of the best mood-boosting foods out there to create delicious meals that can help to nourish both your mind and body.

Related article: 5 easy ways to eat yourself happy — top mood foods for mental health

Dark chocolate has so many proven health benefits, from improving cardiovascular health to having a positive effect on your mood.1 Studies have found that it can really help to lower stress levels2 — and if that’s not a good enough reason to submit to those chocolate cravings, we don’t know what is.

Mexican hot chocolate is the perfect winter drink to get you that fix of rich dark chocolate along with a little kick of heat that’ll warm you from the inside out. It’s traditionally made with milk, cinnamon, dark chocolate, a little sugar or vanilla to sweeten, and then a pinch of chilli powder or cayenne pepper.

The result is an incredibly rich, smooth drink that we guarantee will fire you up for the rest of the day.

So, can you handle the heat?

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 450ml milk
  • 120g 70% dark chocolate
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder

Method

1) First, heat the milk in a pan over a medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks and let soak for a minute.

2) Then add the dark chocolate, brown sugar and chilli powder. Whisk continuously until everything has melted and combined together.

3) Pour into two mugs and enjoy straight away! For extra heat, some brave people like a crack of black pepper as well, or if you prefer things a little sweeter try a drop of vanilla essence.

References


  1. Haritha, K., Kalyani, L., & Rao, A. L. (2014). Health benefits of dark chocolate. Journal of advanced drug delivery1(4), 184-94.
  2. Martin, F. P. J., Rezzi, S., Peré-Trepat, E., Kamlage, B., Collino, S., Leibold, E., … & Kochhar, S. (2009). Metabolic effects of dark chocolate consumption on energy, gut microbiota, and stress-related metabolism in free-living subjectsJournal of proteome research8(12), 5568-5579.

 

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Lauren Dawes

Lauren Dawes

Writer and expert

Lauren is an English Literature graduate originally from the South. She’s always loved swimming, has discovered the power of weight training over the past few years, and has lots of room for improvement in her weekly hot yoga class. On the weekends she’s usually cooking or eating some kind of brunch, and she enjoys trying out new recipes with her housemates – especially since shaking off student habits, like mainly surviving off pasta. Above all, she’s a firm believer in keeping a balance between the gym and gin. Find out more about Lauren’s experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauren-dawes-b4416aaa/


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