Full of antioxidants and made creamy from raw cashews, this Dairy Free Hot Chocolate is the perfect sweet treat for any occasion.
I rarely talk about weight on this blog. In fact, I'm not sure I ever have! That's for a few reasons really. The main one being that I think there is so much more to life than what we weigh. Sadly, I think numerous people are at a healthy weight, but because of social media (including blogs) they often feel like they need to change their body to fit a certain mold. Even I, a girl who's always been skinny and fairly in shape, have felt that way. Another big reason I don't talk about weight is because I'm not a registered dietician or doctor. Everybody's body is different and requires different amounts of energy (calories) throughout the day and I am in no place to tell people how often or how much to eat.
The reason I want to talk about weight today, however, is because the other day I had a realization regarding weight based off of my own personal experience. Slowly, over the past two years or so I've gained a few pounds. I don't think it's noticeable to the outside eye, not even my husband (although he's not super observant when it comes to things like weight and clothes). But we all know that we can notice difference in our own bodies, even if the changes happen slowly.
I'm actually happy with the few pounds I've gained. A lot of people thought I was anorexic beforehand, but the extra few pounds I've put on have calmed those fears. But I was trying to think through what I started doing differently to cause my body to change. And you know what?
I started eating healthier!
I think a lot of people associate healthier eating with weight loss, but I'm here to say that, at least in my experience, eating healthier cause me to gain a few pounds. I always thought I was eating healthy, but when I made the switch over to a plant-based diet, I learned so much about processed foods. I've talked about this before, but before I went vegan, I used to eat so many low-fat, low-calorie processed foods that claimed they were healthy. We're talking low-calorie breads, fat-free yogurts, Special-K cereal, pretzels, turkey deli meat, 60 calorie hot chocolate packets, reduced calorie crackers and almond milk, etc. While these foods aren't inherently bad, they aren't full of as much nutrition as their whole food counterparts.
So, when I did start paying closer attention to the foods I was eating, I made a lot of swaps in my diet. I started eating whole grain breads with just ⅘ ingredients. I switched out my pretzels for green smoothies. I fell in love with oatmeal and peanut butter for breakfast instead of my sugary cereals. I started making my own crackers using whole grains and healthy oils. I even started making my own milk at home. By eating more whole foods and less processed foods, I subtly upped my caloric in-take...for the better! Those extra calories contain a lot more nutrients. A green smoothie full of fresh fruit, spinach and homemade almond milk will be more calorically dense than a handful of pretzels. A hearty bowl of oatmeal with natural peanut butter on top and dried fruit will be more filling than a bowl of cereal with low-fat milk. Soft, fluffy homemade bread cut extra thick will be more dense than the airy, 40-calories-a-slice store-bought bread.
And...homemade Dairy Free Hot Chocolate made extra creamy with raw cashews will definitely have more calories than a 60 calorie pack of hot cocoa. BUT it will be full of healthy fats and antioxidants from raw cacao powder. So because of that, I'll take the higher calorie treat any day. My body will thank me for it in the long run.
I'm not sure if any of you can relate to my experience, but I found it interesting that eating healthier caused me to put on a few pounds. I'm so happy for the extra weight too, because I know it's because I've been fueling my body with whole, natural, plant-based foods!
I really hope that you aren't scared away by this whole food, plant-based Dairy Free Hot Chocolate. It's so creamy, frothy and the perfect treat this cold, winter season. If you give it a try, I'd love to hear about it! Leave a comment below or take a picture of your creation and tag #theconscientiouseater on Instagram!
Dairy Free Hot Chocolate
- Place all of the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth and heated through. Taste and add more cacao or maple syrup if desired.
- If you don't have a high speed blender, start by blending the ingredients until smooth and then transfer the liquid to a sauce pan and warm over medium heat.