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Anti-inflammatory Mayan Spice Hot Chocolate

Chocolate and coffee are directly connected to my Colombian heritage. People assume that my favourite beverage is a cup of espresso a few times a day, are they ever so wrong? Although I grew up in a coffee grower town called Amaga; my fondest memory was waking up every morning to the aromatic scent of my grandma's spiced hot chocolate. Far from the highly processed sugary hot chocolate widely available in North America. I am talking about authentic hot dark chocolate made in water lightly infused with cane sugar, chocolate bean powder, cinnamon, and cloves.

According to, Mayans were the most predominant indigenous societies in Central America, in the pre-Columbian Americas. The word cacao comes from the Mayan ancient word kakaw. Early colonial documents showed that indigenous communities used cocoa flowers to treat fatigue. A growing number of studies are showing the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity of cocoa flavanols, particularly epicatechin, catechin and procyanidins.

Cocoa helps modulate intestinal microbiota leading to the growth of beneficial bacteria that activates anti-inflammatory pathways. It's a dietary source of magnesium, copper, potassium, and non-hem iron. This Mayan delicacy is not just about chocolate but also other anti-inflammatory ingredients such as cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves, and nutmeg. As Fall leaves will soon start blanketing our streets and the weather changes to play games with our energy levels, I invite you to snuggle up to the aroma of this Mayan-inspired spice hot chocolate!

Mayan-Inspired Spice Hot Chocolate

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

*1-2 Servings


2 cups plant-based beverage

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably organic

1 tablespoon dark chocolate chunks

1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 cloves or 1/4 teaspoon cloves powder

2 pinches cayenne pepper or add to taste


  • Saucepan

  • Frother or whisk

  • Measuring spoons


  • In a small saucepan, pour your favourite plant-based beverage (i.e. almond, cashew, hemp). Whisk in cocoa powder, dark chocolate & maple syrup.

  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.

  • Continue whisking until all ingredients have melted. Add in the spices. Mix well.

  • Keep stirring till the beverage is fragrant, you may also use a frother to mix.

  • Pour into a mug. Sprinkle cinnamon and cayenne pepper if desired.

Extra tips:

✔ Use lactose-free milk, goat milk or regular cow's milk if tolerated.

✔ No time to prepare your homemade spice chocolate? Try El Camino chilli & spice hot chocolate made with organic ingredients.

✔ Serve immediately or chill for two hours for a refreshing beverage.

Have you applied to the Let's Get Real Anti-inflammatory Nutrition & Lifestyle Program? I would love to hear from you. Let's thrive together!


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