Guilt Free Hot Chocolate

The Perfect Treat To Take Into Work!

Hi everyone,

Here’s a guilt-free hot chocolate recipe which is made from wholesome ingredients, and is perfect to have before, during or after your shift.  The only thing worth mentioning is that it does contain cacao which has traces of caffeine, so best not to have it close to bedtime, as it may interfere with your sleep.

This hot chocolate recipe is such a great alternative to the highly refined and processed ‘hot chocolate powders’ that we see on supermarket shelves, one of which being Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate which contains the following:

Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Starch (Maize or Tapioca), Mineral Salt (501), Flavour and Cocoa Solids.

Note that Mineral Salt (501) is actually potassium carbonate which, in large amounts, can cause abdominal pain and diarrhoea.  Not great for shift workers who are already prone to gastrointestinal complaints!

On the other hand, raw cacao powder contains flavonoids, a naturally occurring antioxidant found in plant-based foods which have shown to be cardio-protective.  It does this by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol); suppressing the formation of platelets, which are small blood cells which can clump together and form blood clots; along with helping to regulate the degree of constriction of small blood vessels, which can lead to high blood pressure.

So don’t ever feel guilty about having chocolate.  On the contrary, historical evidence shows that just like I mentioned above, chocolate has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal benefits.

It just comes down to the quality of the chocolate, along with the quantity.

Guilt Free Hot Chocolate Recipe


1 1/2 cups of almond milk

1 Tablespoon of nut butter (almond, macadamia or cashew)

1 Organic Medjool date

1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 Teaspoon organic vanilla essence-extract


Throw everything into a food processor until smooth, then transfer to a saucepan and warm until heated through.  Drink straight away, or pop into a pre-heated thermos for the perfect hot chocolate treat at work.

Trust me, you’ll be the envy of all your chocolate-addicted shift working colleagues when you sit down to drink this.

After all, life’s too short not to have chocolate isn’t it?!

Audra x



Galleano ,M, Oteiza, P & Fraga, C 2009, ‘Cocoa, chocolate and cardiovascular disease’, Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, vol. 54, no. 6, pp. 483-490.


Chai and Almond Butter Smoothie: A Winter Smoothie To Help Warm You Up!

It’s another wet, chilly day here in Brisbane so after walking out of the airport and into the somewhat “fresh air” after my early shift, I felt like I needed a little something to help warm me up.

This Chai and Almond Butter Smoothie (which I’ve adapted from Nutritionist Lola Berry’s 20/20 Diet Cookbook) is caffeine free, full of antioxidants, super nourishing and contains spices which help to stimulate the circulatory system and warm us up.


1 frozen banana
4 medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons almond butter
1/2 teaspoon chai spice mix
500 ml (2 cups) almond milk
1 teaspoon chopped almonds, to serve


Pop the banana, dates, almond butter, spices and almond milk into a blender and whizz till smooth. Pour into glasses and served topped with a pinch of chai spice and a sprinkle of chopped almonds.

Tip: If you can’t find any chai mix, you can make your own. This is Lola’s recipe …


2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons crushed cardamom seeds
3 tablespoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons ground ginger


Combine the spices in a sealable glass jar and store in the pantry to use as required.

Now that I’m all fuelled up, I’m off to a hot yoga class to help warm myself up even more!