This Vanilla Cardamom Hot Cocoa is my favorite cozy winter drink. We’re just a few days away from Christmas, and at this time of year I don’t think anything says cold winter day better than this savory cup.
You’ll also be happy to know that I created this recipe with not only flavor in mind, but with ingredients that are especially good for our bodies this time of year. Delicious and nourishing? Sign me up!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
The flavor of cardamom is slightly sweet, and the perfect compliment to the chocolate. Also, cardamom is particularly good for us to have in the Winter time. Do you know why?
Cardamom has several health benefits: it’s an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, helps with digestion, and is antibacterial. I add just a bit of ginger as well, for flavor, and also because ginger is also loaded with health benefits, too. In Chinese medicine, both cardamom and ginger are considered detoxifying and great for kidney health.
But I think overall, you’re going to love this recipe because it’s the perfect way to slow down and enjoy the season.
Why kidney health?
In Chinese Medicine different seasons are associated with different parts of the body, and winter is the time to care for and nurture your kidneys. And it makes sense! Our adrenals sit right on top of our kidneys, and this area gets zapped by stress, overwhelm, and all that other fun stuff that comes with the holiday season.
The idea is, in winter, it’s time to replenish our energy, slow down, and rest. There are certain foods and ingredients that can help us do just that – including cardamom and ginger. I made this hot cocoa recipe with that in mind. (I used this same approach when I created my Creamy Golden Milk recipe, so you can give that a try, too.)
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this Vanilla Cardamom Hot Cocoa:
- liquids: non-dairy milk (I used cashew, but any will do), vanilla extract, honey
- powders/spices: cacao powder, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon
- optional ingredients: vanilla tea bag (or chai flavor), coconut whipped cream + chocolate shavings
How to Make this Vanilla Cardamom Hot Cocoa
To make this hot cocoa you’ll start by pouring the milk in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Then, you add in the ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, cacao powder, and vanilla extract, and whisk until combined.
Once the milk mixture has simmered for 5 minutes, turn off the heat, and if using, add in the teabag. Allow it to steep for 5 minutes, then remove it toss it out. If you aren’t using a tea bag, you can add in a shot of espresso, or just leave this step out.
Next, add the honey, and whisk until combined. I add in the honey at the very end once the heat is off because you never want to cook honey; doing so takes away it’s healthful properties.
Now, pour it in your favorite mug! You can add a nice helping of coconut whip cream (recipe below), then add some chocolate shavings and a cinnamon stick. Or just go ahead and dive in without the fancy garnishes – it’s great either way. Savor this one!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use other milks in place of cashew milk?
Yes, absolutely. Coconut milk, almond milk, or regular milk will work just as well. We like to make our own cashew milk in the almond cow, it’s so good!
Do I need to add the coconut whip cream?
No, but I recommend doing it 😉
Can I use different spices if I don’t like ginger or cardamom?
Yes. You can substitute the spices here with about 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, if you like.
If you enjoy a nice warm mug of something delicious, try my Pumpkin Spice Latte (also dairy-free) or my Creamy Golden Milk. And if you like healthy winter drinks but prefer something cold, try my Soothing Winter Green Smoothie. Finally, if you made this recipe, please rate it and let me know how you liked it in the comments!