Salted Red Velvet Hot Cacao
Something amazing happens when you add beet crystals to hot cocoa. Examining the nutrient profile of this recipe, it would suggest that beet crystals and chocolate are a natural duo.
Beet crystals lend a beautiful dark red hue to this hot cocoa. I’m using one of my favourite brands, Flora. Their process uses no heat, solvents or chemicals to obtain. You can get excited about all of the antioxidants and minerals inside. Beets are a good source of manganese, potassium and copper. Something unique to red beets is a pigment called betalin, which supports the second phase of detoxification. You might recall that phase one involves the loosening and neutralizing of toxins within the body. Phase two, however, involves the excretion of toxins from the body, which is just as important - if not more - as phase one.
The unique nutrient profile of beets lends itself well to a drink most often served with an active winter day. Beets contain electrolytes, which need to be replenished after exercise, the precursor to nitric oxide, aiding in circulation and cardiovascular function, and antioxidants, the antidote to oxidative damage post-exercise.
And we haven’t even touched on the taste yet. This is by far my favourite hot chocolate I’ve ever consumed. It’s so delicious, and I can only say that so many times until you discover it for yourself! Solely sweetened by dates, a powerhouse of nutrition and fibre which prolongs glucose release into the bloodstream, this recipe is the perfect addition to your winter.
Beets are a unique source of nitrates, which is a precursor to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is excellent for blood pressure, circulation and endurance activities because it expands blood vessels and increases the circulation of blood. Athletes, those with high blood pressure or arteriosclerosis can really benefit from adding beet crystals and beets to their diet.
Betaine is a nutrient found in significant quantities in beets. It plays a role in liver detoxification, fat metabolism, and has been shown to reduce levels of C reactive protein and homocysteine levels, which contribute to chronic inflammation. Because this recipe includes a fat, chocolate, the betaine in beets plays a helpful role in processing those fats as we digest them.
Beets are loaded with this. I can’t talk about this vitamin enough! Vitamin C has many roles in the body. Among them is immune function, wound healing and collagen formation. Vitamin C also significantly helps with the uptake of iron, and because 100% cocoa contains high amounts of iron, the two make a perfect pair in this recipe!
Salted Red Velvet Hot Cocoa
Plant based, gluten free, antioxidant rich
2 cups milk of choice (I used cashew milk)
40 g 100% cocoa (or about 4 pieces 100% chocolate)*
2 tsp Flora Beet Crystals
3 or 4 soft medjool dates, pitted, depending on how sweet you like*
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt (to taste)
In a saucepan over medium heat, add milk and chocolate. Stir until chocolate has melted, then add beet crystals and vanilla. Once this mixture is hot, transfer to a heat safe blender and add dates. Blend until smooth, taste and add sea salt.
For this recipe we’re using 100% cocoa, or cocoa paste, which is chocolate. It makes the consistency of the hot cocoa thick and creamy, similar to a drinking chocolate. If you’d prefer a lighter hot cocoa, substitute with 4 tsp cacao powder.
If your dates aren’t very soft, you can choose to soak them for a few hours prior so they’ll blend well. This is totally optional.