As I mentioned earlier this week, my little girl is coughing again, and again I am attempting to expand my holistic medicine cabinet to find remedies to ease her symptoms. (There are only so many times a 20-month-old will agree to taking elderberry syrup before balking – and unfortunately, I think we have reached that limit). So I’ve been thinking, what about a nice Mexican hot chocolate as a cold remedy? I know, it sounds crazy. And I haven’t actually tried it yet. But hear me out for a second: it MIGHT work because a) the heat of the drink will create a nice warm feeling in her chest and tummy, b) the chocolate (cacao) will have an antitussive effect because it suppresses vagus nerve activity, and c) the added spices will be a great immune system stimulant.
There are just two issues, however. One is that most hot chocolate mixes contain milk or dairy, which contain a protein that is strongly associated with chronic ear infections and nasal congestion. As my little girl is already a fountain of phlegm, as it were, I really don’t want to overburden her already overloaded system. The second issue is the sweetener. Sugar tends to feed the bugs during a cold, so I am going to have to use some kind of substitute. I did a little on-line research, and this is the recipe I think I will follow, with a few modifications for lazy holistic Moms like myself.
The recipe calls for:
- 2 1/3 cups of soymilk. I think I am going to use almond milk instead, ’cause I kind of like the taste. You can also make your own almond milk if you’re really enterprising (I did this…but kind of stopped doing it due to time constraints….and laziness).
- 3 tablespoons of vegan cocoa. I think I’m going to use the unsweetened cacao powder on my shelf.
- 4 tablespoons of organic vegan sugar. Yikes! This is a lot of sugar. This recipe says I can substitute 2 packets of Splenda for sugar. So maybe I can give this a whirl.
- Spices. I’ve seen these vary for a Mexican hot chocolate calls from a dash of cinnamon to a pinch of chili powder to either cloves or nutmeg, but I’m going to substitute these out for just 1/8 of a teaspoon of cayenne powder, because I want the immune-stimulating effects of the cayenne and the extra “kick.”
Well, what do you guys think? Do you think this could work? Any other ideas for how to make a delicious, non-dairy, non-sugar Mexican hot chocolate?