My love for the holidays/winter is synonymous with my love for hot chocolate.
Legitimately, it is one of my favorite things about this season, as a warm, creamy, cozy cup of hot chocolate always brightens my spirits, even on the dreariest and darkest of winter days.
What doesn’t work for me and hot chocolate? Artificial sweeteners, too much sugar, dairy or additives that can have a negative impact on my gut, digestion, mood and blood sugar balance (all things directly tied to hormone balance).
So what’s a hot chocolate loving gal who also wants to feel her best do? Implement some simple swaps, aka follow the Hormone-Balancing Hot Chocolate Formula.
Yes, after countless hot chocolate recipe making/testing, I’ve developed a tried and true formula to help your hot chocolate taste as creamy and dreamy as it gets, while still sneaking in nutrients and implementing simple swaps to keep your blood sugar stable and hormones happy.
Snag that formula + my favorite hot chocolate recipe as of late below.
HORMONE-BALANCING HOT CHOCOLATE FORMULA
+ Use Cacao + Dark Chocolate As A Base
Not only does cacao and dark chocolate (typically made from cacao) have a rich, earthy taste, but they’re both loaded with magnesium, a powerhouse nutrient that works to reduce stress in the body and keep hormones running smoothly. My absolute favorite brand of dark chocolate is HU Kitchen, use my code “Lauren” to save 15% off your purchase from their site!
+ Add in A Healthy Fat
Critical for a creamy, indulgent taste and texture, as well as keeping blood sugar balanced, a healthy fat like coconut oil or nut butter helps trigger the release of CCK, aka your satiation hormone. Healthy fats are also crucial for hormones to do their jobs effectively, positively impacting everything from ovulation, fertility and your menstrual cycle to brain function and mood.
+ Use Cinnamon + Spices
I love adding in cinnamon, which works to regulate blood sugar, while spices like cardamom, cayenne, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves are rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants that do everything from boost metabolism to optimize digestion. They’re also a great way to add a lot of flavor, with zero extra added sugar.
+ Try A Superfood Boost
An easy way to give your hormones a bit of a boost is to sneak in superfood powders and adaptogens, which help create homeostasis and balance in the body. I especially love adding in powder blends such as collagen (works to boost gut health), adaptogens like maca (fertility-boosting), aswhagandha (stress-reducing) or reishi (calming and relaxing), beet root powder (supports liver function + detoxification) or CBD oil (anti-inflammatory and can alleviate anxiety + reduce pain), which tend to dissolve right in. I personally love the conscious, sustainably + organically sourced Soul Addict Hemp Elixir — if you’re interested in trying use code sa_lauren20 to save 20% off your first purchase!
+ Add A Clean Nut Milk (Or Make Your Own)
Crucial for an optimal hormone-healthy hot chocolate, as many store bought nut milks contain shelf-stabilizing emulsifiers and added sugar that can mess with your gut and hormone health. If you have time, try making your own, which tastes delicious and minimizes processed additives. If not, make sure to read those ingredient labels and look for a few of my favorite clean brands like Malk, Three Trees or New Barn.
+ Opt For A Natural, Less Processed Sweetener
I love using pitted, chopped dates or a small amount of maple syrup in my hot chocolate as a way to add a sweet taste, while avoiding over-processed sugars or artificial sweeteners, which can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and intestinal tract. No matter which option you choose, it’s important to remember sugar is still sugar, and a little goes a long way. When you have such other high quality ingredients, I think you’ll find you don’t need as much anyway!
So there you have it, your own Hormone-Balancing Hot Chocolate Formula you can use any time a craving strikes. Feel free to get creative with any of the ingredients (i.e. swapping adaptogens, trying a different non-dairy milk, switching up your nut butters, etc.) Or if you need a recipe to help get you started, try one of my all time faves, Creamy Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate below!