GET YOUR CHOCS OFF
Speed your recovery from winter runs with an indulgent yet nutritious treat
Capsaicin, the ‘hot’ substance in chilli is a natural painkiller. It also clears mucus from the airways.
A study1 found 40g of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced oxygen consumption in endurance exercise, boosting performance.
This winter warmer was devised by Jens Knoop, a hot chocolate connoisseur with a café in Rye, East Sussex, that’s devoted to the drink. ‘Dark chocolate has many health benefits,’ says Knoop. ‘It’s rich in antioxidants and minerals and it contains theobromine, which boosts alertness and mood.’ He recommends using full-fat milk, as ‘it seems to carry the flavours better and adds extra smoothness to high-cocoa-percentage chocolates.’ Recent research found that consumption of full-fat dairy products was associated with an eight per cent lower risk of being overweight, too. ‘Try combining a fragrant ingredient with a non-fragrant one – like chilli with cinnamon – for a balanced flavour,’ says Knoop. Vanilla is used to give sweetness without adding sugar.
INGREDIENTS 300ml whole milk (ideally frothed) 85g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa or higher) ½ tsp Madagascan vanilla paste (try Little Pod natural vanilla paste, £9.49, healthy supplies.co.uk) or the seeds from a vanilla pod 1 pinch chilli powder ¼ tsp cinnamon Zest of 1/8 orange 1/8 tsp sea salt (optional)
METHOD Turn the chocolate into shavings using a grater. Place in a jug and mix with the vanilla paste or seeds, chilli cinnamon, orange zest and salt, if using. Add 300ml of hot (not boiling) frothed milk and stir until dissolved. Serve with a sprinkle of orange zest or cinnamon for extra aroma.