Sunday, October 11, 2020

Boosted Hot Cocoa Mix with @nakednutrition

This Boosted Hot Cocoa Mix is rich, sweet and full of nutrition thanks to Naked Nutrition's Collagen Peptides powder and Naked Rice Protein. A jar makes a great gift for a loved one, or yourself!

I am by far a Summer person. Give me 30C weather, sun and balmy breezes all day and I am a happy camper. Once the weather gets cold, it seems like my whole body revolts and retreats into the confines of sweaters, coats (yes, even inside), blankets, hats and scarves. In addition, the cold weather often causes my rheumatoid arthritis (and associated Raynaud's phenomenon) to flare, making walking, typing, and cooking difficult (to say the least). Not only does the cold weather wreak havoc on my joints, but my whole family gets brittle nails and cracking skin once the cold sets in. Couple that with the ever-constant hand washing and sanitizer in the age of 2020 and it's a recipe for disaster! 

Thankfully I didn't take years of nutrition training for nothing - I knew that along with the medications, balms, strengthening polishes and lotions we needed to begin healing from the inside out. A few of my friends have been using various collagen "booster" products for a while now, and kept lauding their benefits. However, their products were full of things like sugar, coconut, dairy, or other additives - stuff my body can't tolerate. On top of that, the little packets they tote around are expensive and subject to somewhat iffy marketing practices. I personally prefer using products that are not only affordable, but as bare-bones as possible so that I know exactly what I'm getting. While it may sound a little extreme, I am not willing to make sacrifices when it comes to getting my health on track.
 
It's this mentality that aligns me with Naked Nutrition's supplements - they are up front about their ingredients and nutritional content, the source of their ingredients and (best of all) they are affordable, with simple packaging and fast delivery! I had the chance to try their Naked Rice protein powder earlier this year and my picky tastebuds fell in love with it, not to mention it's versatility in decadent cookies, croissants and gingersnaps. When the great folks at the company offered me the chance to try out their collagen powder, I was very interested, since I had done a bunch of research on it's benefits for arthritis and skin health and was willing to try anything to help! 

Naked Collagen impressed me right off the bat with it's nutritional profile and transparency. Each tablespoon has 9g of protein and 46% of daily calcium (if you've been reading my blog for a while you know I also have osteoporosis, so this is a biggie for me too) with only 35 calories. The collagen is sourced from grass fed beef hide and is free of dairy, soy, gluten, carbohydrates, colours, flavours or sweeteners, making it suitable for almost everyone (save vegetarians and vegans). The powder is fine and easy to scoop, making measuring easy and mess-free. I started adding a scoop to my oatmeal and was pleased with how well it mixed - leading to whisking it into soup for a little extra oomph. The collagen mixes completely with no clumping (note: for the oatmeal I mixed it with the oats first then mixed it all into the water on the stovetop, and for the soup I used a mini-whisk) and adds a slightly noticeable "body" to the liquid - not thick, per se, but richer, like a bone broth that's been simmered for hours has. 

Bolstered by that success, I decided to make hot cocoa with the Naked Collagen and Naked Rice as a little congratulatory gift to myself after finishing a term paper (they never seem to end!). Sitting down with the crossword and a big mug of it was the perfect end to my night, and I took that inspiration to create a few jars of it for holiday gifting and storing in my own pantry!
 
Boosted Hot Cocoa Mix
Makes 3 cups, 24 servings
1 cup raw sugar, finely crushed
2 tbsp instant espresso powder (optional)
1 tsp fine sea salt
  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and funnel into three half-pint jars.
To make Boosted Hot Cocoa:
  1. Whisk 2 tbsp of the cocoa mix into 1 cup warm milk of choice (this is really good with cashew milk). Serve immediately.
*Note: you can also add vanilla, peppermint extract or orange zest to mix up the flavours! If planning on making this with water (e.g. for camping) I would suggest adding 1/2 cup milk / soy milk / coconut milk powder to the dry mix for a bit of creaminess, using 2 1/2 - 3 tbsp of mix per serving.