Drink of the Gods: Aztec Hot Cocoa
Chocolate has a rich history around the world, but most famously is it’s association with the Aztec civilization and it’s ruler, Montezuma. Montezuma kept a huge storehouse of cacao, which was paid by defeated tribes. It is reported that he drank in excess of 50 goblets of chocolate a day. The drink was used to fuel his warriors in battle and keep them marching all day without much other sustenance.
When Cortés met Montezuma, he despised the chili chocolate liquid so cherished by the Aztecs, but he still sent some back to King of Spain. Soon thereafter the drink spread throughout Europe as a luxury and a drink of the elites. Unfortunately, the Europeans quickly added milk and sugar while stopping the practice of adding chili powder and the rest, as they say, is history.
Well here is an opportunity to bring back a variation of Montazuma’s delicacy, with a keto spin. While the original Aztec version is keto friendly, it can also be very bitter and lacks healthy fats.
The original (as we believe) recipe appears to be simply water, cocoa powder, and a little red chili. It was quite bitter even with using a different variation of cocoa that is believed to be less bitter than today’s chocolate (but harder to grow in large quantity – hence why it no longer exists). My keto variation of this hot cocoa is perfect without sweetener and delivers that satisfying chocolate creaminess perfect for cool fall days and cold winter weather.
In addition to the history, chocolate also packs a powerful health punch.
- According to a study conducted at Cornell University, the antioxidant concentration in hot cocoa is almost twice as strong as red wine. Cocoa’s concentration was two to three times stronger than that of green tea and four to five times stronger than that of black tea.
- Hot cocoa can improve blood flow, help lower your blood pressure and improve heart health.
- According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, drinking hot chocolate can help you think better too. The flavonoids increase the blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
- Consuming cocoa has shown antidepressant-like effects on certain physiological processes. Studies have shown that cocoa flavonols help to enhance mood, combat depression, and promote improved cognitive activities during persistent mental exertion. The presence of the neurochemical phenylethylamine in it also helps in enhancing feelings of contentment and promoting aphrodisiac effects.Cocoa is rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, copper and manganese. It is also a good source of selenium, potassium, and zinc.
- And MOST importantly – Another study states that regular consumption of cocoa products have been shown to encourage better bowel function by a reduction in time to have bowel movements, increase the frequency of bowel movements, and make a softer consistency of stool without inducing any other side effects like gastrointestinal discomfort or abdominal pain.
There are many many more benefits that a quick google search can turn up for you.
Now onto the recipe!
- Blender – I used THIS immersion blender for the job.
- Measuring Cup
- Measuring Spoons
- Cutting Board – Mine was just your standard cutting board but THIS one is on the purchase list!
- You can use your stove top to heat the water or an Electric Kettle like I did.
- 500 ml boiling hot water
- 5 tbsp of KBKeto Coconut Milk Special Mix
- Can substitute with unsweetened Almond or Coconut Milk.
- 2 inch piece raw cacoa butter
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Sprinkling of Red Chili Powder
- Add boiling water to a blender.
- Then add in your cacao butter.
- The hot water will melt the butter. Give it a minute or so to mostly melt before adding the remaining ingredients.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients to the hot mix EXCEPT for the KBKeto Coconut Milk Special Mix.
- Blend on high until thoroughly mixed.
- Add the KBKeto Coconut Milk Special Mix.
- If you have been storing this in the fridge (which you should be) you will need to warm this up a little. A quick 30 seconds in the microwave will make it mix better and ensure it doesnt overcool the hot cocoa.
- Blend and enjoy