There is a significant difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. People always use these terms correspondingly but the difference is in their nutritional properties. Hot cocoa is made of raw cocoa powder, it is pressed chocolate and removes the fat of cocoa butter. Hot chocolate is made of chocolate bars melted or ground in the form of powder. Hot chocolate is often high in sugar and fat content and low in cocoa. Cocoa can be beneficial for you if you reduce fat and sugar.
Hot cocoa has been popular from long time and there is a good reason behind it. It is one of the effective antioxidant beverages and also it is naturally tasty. According to archaeologists the Olmecs, the oldest American civilization were the first users of cocoa during 1500-400 BC. Mayans continued using the drinks made with beans. The drink made from water, spices and roasted cocoa beans was called Chocolatl and was consumed openly by the people of privileged class. They mainly consumed cocoa but the beans were valued as a currency as well.
Actually the people from ancient times drank the unsweetened form of hot cocoa. The recipe of hot cocoa was a mixture of wine, peppers, water and cocoa beans. The Spaniards started heating the mixture by adding sugar. They added milk and created a sweet drink to be consumed after dinner in England.
People are finding the strong nutritional benefits of the cocoa bean these days. According to a recent research, the flavonoids in chocolate are stronger than vitamins like ascorbic acid in safeguarding rotating lipids from oxidation. And researchers found that people who eat chocolate and sweets every month live longer than people who eat too much.
Now that we know that cocoa is good for our health, how do we ensure we are getting good health benefits from the cocoa chocolate? Get pure cocoa powder first. You can check whether it is pure or not by its bitter taste and dark brown color. Next, mix this powder with hot water and milk or milk substitutes. Add natural sweetener like turbine sugar or honey, stir it and your hot cocoa is ready to drink.