6 PM ET livestream on nourishing families
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News & Events for Health Empowerment // December 12, 2023



You can still have a rich and indulgent hot chocolate experience using plant-based ingredients! And carob is a versatile and nutritious alternative, with a unique taste that can add depth to your hot drink. Adjust the sweetness by adding more or fewer dates according to your taste preference. Add your favorite toppings or spices for an extra flavor boost.


Hot Chocolate or Hot Carob
Makes 2-3 servings
Courtesy of Karina Pearse, PPMNY Network Events Manager


    • 2 c unsweetened soymilk (or other plant milk)
    • 3 T raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder, or unsweetened carob powder
    • 4 Medjool dates, pitted (to sweeten and thicken)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract


    1. Soak dates in warm water for about 10-15 minutes to soften. Once softened, remove the pits.
    2. In a blender, combine the plant milk, your choice of cacao/cocoa/carob powder, dates, and vanilla extract. Blend on high speed until the dates are fully blended into the liquid.
    3. Pour the blended mixture into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it reaches your desired temperature. Stir occasionally to prevent any sticking. If the mixture thickens too much, add another tablespoon or two of plant milk.
    4. Serve once heated. Garnish with a dash of ground cinnamon, ginger, or cayenne, if desired.

Note: While some high-speed blenders can handle hot liquids, many can’t, so we recommend blending cold and then heating!


Why choose cocoa or carob?


Naturally rich in antioxidants, cocoa particularly has flavonoids and carob contains polyphenols, which contribute to overall health and well-being.


Cocoa contains compounds that can trigger the release of endorphins, which are known as "feel-good" hormones, potentially providing a mood boost.


Cocoa powder is a good source of essential minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc.


Carob has a naturally sweet flavor, which means you may need less additional sweeteners in your recipe.


Unlike cocoa, carob is caffeine-free, making it a suitable option for those looking to reduce their caffeine intake.


Carob is a good source of fiber, which can contribute to digestive health.


Looking for more ways to enjoy healthy sweets alternatives? Check out our 2022 holiday dessert recipe collection from last year's Holiday Dessert Potluck.



Don’t miss our free livestream event at 6 PM ET today, presented with the 92nd Street Y, featuring Brenda Davis, RD, and Reshma Shah, MD, MPH, authors of Nourish: The Definitive Plant-Based Nutrition Guide for Families. Guardians of growing children are increasingly interested in plant-based diets for health, environmental, and ethical reasons, but wonder whether plant-based nutrition is safe. Dig deeper into the benefits of plant-based nutrition for children, and learn how to experience more joy and less stress at the dinner table!





 Sometimes the best gifts are those we give ourselves! If you’re looking for prepared meals, meal planning support, cooking classes, and comfy gear, consider these companies which share some of their proceeds with us at Plant Powered Metro New York:

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Whole Harvest
Build your bundle of fresh, whole food, plant-based, oil-free and gluten-free meals. Get $30 off your first order with code PPMNY.
Grab some PPMNY gear!


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Forks Over Knives Cooking Course Forks Over Knives Meal Planner
14-day free trial.


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Rouxbe Plant Based Pro Certification Rouxbe Culinary Rx Course





If you’re looking for extra guidance and motivation to reach your health goals in 2024, look no further! In mid-January, our 21-Day Plant Powered Jumpstart returns to support you on your journey to whole food, plant-based nutrition. 

This virtual health empowerment program offers insightful nutrition education and cooking demos, plus peer support and cheerleading to get comfortable with plant-based nutrition in your home.



 Register by Monday, January 15

Here’s the full schedule — and all sessions are conducted live!

Orientation Session:
Thursday, January 18, 7:00 - 9:00 PM ET

Educational Sessions:
Sunday afternoons, January 21 - February 11 at 3:00 PM ET
and Thursday, February 15 at 7:00 PM ET

Mentorship Meetings:
Thursday afternoons or evenings from January 25 to February 8, in small groups

👉 Choose the price that fits your budget:
Standard rate of $150, sponsor rate of $250, and discounted spots for just $50. 



We’re getting ready for our 2nd annual Health Freedom Walk, celebrating the work and life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, through a plant-powered restaurant crawl at locations around the New York metro area! Each participating restaurant will serve up a plant-powered dish, specially curated for our group. We can’t wait for this extraordinary culinary adventure with a touch of rich history!


Monday, January 15
4:00 - 6:00 PM
Harlem, Bronx, Brooklyn, Westchester, and Princeton locations planned
More details will be posted soon on our website!

Interested in being part of the planning team?
Want to plan a walk by you?

Rebecca Johnson, PPMNY Partnerships Manager





Launching his new book How Not to Age, Dr. Michael Greger presented just a sample of his tremendous research findings at two public events hosted back-to-back by SUNY Downstate University and the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan last week. The founder of NutritionFacts.org captured our attention with his science and humor, signing books and answering tons of audience questions! PPMNY staff, volunteers, advisors, and friends also enjoyed special meals with Dr. Greger. 



On Sunday, we met in East Harlem for the return of our seasonal dessert competition, this year hosted by Lakeview Apartments, one of our educational partners. We tasted some deliciously sweet recipes like apple spiced cake, key lime pie, and date balls. Congrats to Jo Ann Lawson who won the People’s Choice Award for her blueberry pie; to Valerie Varela-Lopez the Most Creative Presentation Award; and to Shebibah Ali-Birdsong and Daa'iyah Ali for the Best Flavor Harmony Award!




Breaking Barriers: Understanding Insulin Resistance
Thursday, December 14, 2:30 PM ET – Live on YouTube
Presented by Love.Life Telehealth
FREE – Watch on YouTube

Dive into the complexities of insulin resistance and its impact on diabetes management. Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, an expert in the field of diabetes and nutrition, brings his extensive knowledge and unique insights to this critical topic. Hosted by Chris Miller, MD, this webinar is ideal for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of insulin resistance, whether you're living with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or simply interested in preventive health.



Thank you to everyone who has donated toward our fundraising campaign over the past month. We have about $15,000 left to raise to reach our $100,000 goal! Help us get to the finish line by making a gift, matched dollar-for-dollar through December 31st!




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