Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Saturday, December 3, 2011

(Healthy) Hot Chocolate!

It's that time of year again... It's getting colder outside. Christmas is in the air. The kids go playing outside and then come in freezing (well, not quite freezing here just yet, but we've had some fairly cold days!) and want something warm to drink. Something like hot chocolate, of course!

If you love hot chocolate but maybe don't love all the sugar that goes into it, then read on! If you're happy with your sugar-laden hot cocoa, I still encourage you to try this because it tastes just as good, if not better. No kidding! Hot chocolate does not need to be unhealthy, and this way..it's not!

Healthy Hot Chocolate

Milk (cow, nut, etc - whatever your preference)
Cacao (recommended over cocoa)
Maple Syrup

We recently started using cacao in place of cocoa. It's less refined and healthier for you (it's good for you!). When you mix it in as you would other chocolate, it tastes the same. You might find you like it better, though. Ryan bought some not long ago, and after making our first hot chocolates with that instead of cocoa, he said he was disappointed. Why? Because he liked it much better. (Disappointed because, yes, it does cost a bit more then lower quality cocoa. And now he prefers this cacao.) ;)

And you might wonder how maple syrup will taste in place of sugar... It tastes just fine! I had worried it might change the taste, but I can't actually tell it's maple syrup once it's made (and if I could, I don't think it would be bad, at all, but I happen to like maple syrup). And while processed sugar is most definitely not good for you, maple syrup is.

Ok, on to making some delicious hot chocolate!

Into a mug, place 1 Tbsp cacao and 1 Tbsp maple syrup. 

Stir until they combine, everything is wet (no dry powder from the cacao), and lumps are gone. 

Pour in up to a cup of hot milk. I first pour in a little bit, mix with the cacao mixture and then pour in the rest of the milk to blend it well. 

Hello, Mr. Snowman!
 Add marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired. (Yes, if you add marshmallows, you're adding sugar... At least it's less sugar this way. I've even greatly decreased the amount of marshmallows I give the kids, and nobody is complaining!) 

The hubby and 12-year-old say this is the best hot chocolate ever. And we've tried them all, even those made with tons of sugar or melted marshmallows to sweeten (in addition to sugar). That's pretty awesome that cacao and maple syrup beat out the rest!

Maybe you prefer to eat the marshmallows on their own before drinking... This little guy does, apparently!

Take a moment to sit back and just enjoy the warm goodness! ;)

Drink up! 

Feel free to use less of anything or add a bit more if you prefer! Since Aiden is just 3 and hasn't gotten used to the very sugary hot chocolate I used to make, I make his with a lot less of everything. I use 1 tsp of cacao and 1 tsp of maple syrup, and he is in heaven!

1 comment:

Megan @ Restoring the Roost said...

This looks delicious!! I will definitely have to try this because I love hot chocolate :) Thanks so much for your well wishes on my facebook page! I am doing a little better each day and praying my leg heals properly. Hope you are doing well :)