Hot chocolate is a go-to comfort food this time of year, but what happens when you can’t have dairy or chocolate? Back when I first realized I was lactose intolerant, dairy was the only food on my “things I have to avoid” list. So I’d make hot chocolate with almond or soy milk and then load it up with cocoa powder and white sugar until it pretty much tasted the same. I knew it still wasn’t healthy but I felt better about my indulgence knowing I wasn’t drinking anything that was actively, immediately bad for me. Like, “curl up on the floor with intense abdominal pain kinda wanting to die” bad. And then I found out I had autoimmune disease and started the autoimmune protocol and suddenly I couldn’t have chocolate or sugar or almonds or soy, either. So carob was the most amazing discovery. People with chocolate allergies have been using it for ages with all kinds of cool recipes. Combine it with everyone’s favorite AIP-friendly milk substitute, a bit of honey to taste, and voila! You have a pretty darn good chocolate-free hot chocolate. And if you want to make it even more interesting, add a pinch of mace and ginger or few drops of peppermint, orange, or lavender essential oil for flavor. These days, I even top mine with AIP-friendly marshmallows from Sweet Apricity. Yum!
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