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Cocoa Loco: Our 5 Favorite Add-Ins for Hot Chocolate

12/05/2016 07:38PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Ahh, there’s nothing like a steaming mug of hot cocoa after a day or skiing, snowshoeing — or shoveling the snow—  in Vermont.

Whether you’re stirring up a mug of Swiss Miss or a big pot of Lake Champlain chocolate mixed with milk, simply holding the cup in your hands can be therapeutic. But why not kick it up a notch by adding in flavors that have some health benefits, too?

Almond extract: This sweet treat is also full of protein and other minerals, and is rich enough to use for skin and nail care.

Chili powder: This spicy kick can soothe stomachaches and may also improve the way we regulate insulin in order to prevent the onset of diabetes.

Cinnamon: This popular flavor can lower blood sugar, boost brain function and reduce the risk of heart disease, among other benefits.

Ginger: This root can root out nausea, prevent motion sickness and reduce inflammation; it can also help prevent the common cold. 

Nutmeg: This holiday-time spice can soothe indigestion, strengthen the brain, reduce insomnia and help detox the liver and kidneys, too.

Peppermint: This candy-cane flavor can give you an instant energy kick, boost your brain power and soothe indigestion from holiday excess. 

Vanilla: This baking staple is a natural antioxidant and can increase mental performance while also serving as an antidepressant during the dark winter month.