It was just a week of bitter cold but for me I seemed to be chilly both indoors and out. My niece bought a package of instant cocoa and it reminded me. I love cocoa (real cocoa – not instant). I hadn’t had it in 20 years or more. Why? Brainwashing – its fattening.

Funny thing is that I didn’t have a weight problem during the time I was drinking cocoa. Hmmm…

Back then, I had no understanding that calories don’t make something fattening. I also had no concept about the value and quality of ingredients.

When I think about cocoa now – I think – what a perfect little gut health beverage.

It’s only three ingredients – milk, cocoa and sweetener of choice. Put it in a pot, bring to a boil and pour into a cup. Why would anyone need to buy instant?

So why is it a good gut health beverage?

  1. Milk contains two prebiotics – lactose and GOS which can feed our residential bacteria plus beneficial short chain fatty acids and antioxidants. You can use other milks but none are as good for the gut as organic, full-fat cow’s milk. Maybe possibly goat but it tastes goat-y. Sheep’s milk, if you can get it, might work well. Coconut milk would be the next best choice but it must contain fat. Almond milk would be the third best choice.
  2. Cocoa is also prebiotic and high in antioxidants and phytonutrients which are good for the gut.
  3. And finally, the sweetener of choice – honey, maple syrup, coconut sweetener – even organic sugar or evaporated cane juice contain nutrients that support good gut bacteria.

It got me thinking. If this alone is good for the gut – what else could I add to make cocoa even more beneficial.

And the 7 days of cocoa was born.

The only rule – whatever is added cannot make it taste yucky. It still has to be a treat.

Day 1

I’m starting with the basic cocoa but to make it more of a treat – some strawberry sorbet or ice cream. Strawberries are also prebiotic.

1 cup milk of choice – I use organic, full-fat milk but you could also use coconut milk – the kind that contains fat is best for the gut.
1 tbsp raw cocoa powder (or cocoa of choice)
1 1/2 tbsp sweetener of choice – organic sugar, sucanat, honey, maple syrup, coconut sweetener

Strawberry Sorbet: You can buy this at a health food store or specialty store. I have included instructions below if you want to make your own. You can also use strawberry ice cream. 

Place in the ingredients into a small pot. Place on the stove on medium-high heat. Stir with a whisk and bring to boil. Be careful as it can boil over. Pour into a mug. Add a small scoop of strawberry sorbet.

To make the sorbet: You need an ice cream machine for this. Thaw two cups of frozen organic strawberries. Puree to liquid in a food processor. Sweetened to taste with sweetener of choice. Optional: Add 1/4 cup cream or coconut milk and mix. Churn in the ice cream machine, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Once it is thick and fluffy, transfer to a container suitable for the freezer. Place a lid on top and freeze. Serve as desired

Tip: Cusinart makes an inexpensive ice cream machine that is simple to use. Just freeze the cannister ahead of time and place it in the machine when it’s time to churn the mixture.

Other Days for the 7 Days of Cocoa

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7