A cup of joe . . . oh, no! Hot Cocoa!

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What warm drink just screams wintertime?  Hot Cocoa!  Yes, indeed it does  . . . especially for children!  On those cold winter days nothing seems better than a warm cup of this childhood favorite.  I remember coming in from the cold especially when it was snowing and loving a cup of hot cocoa.  The warm, sweet drink . . . just made everything feel just right!

Do you remember those packets of instant hot cocoa?  Were you too a “swiss miss” cocoa drinker?  I can not lie . . . I was one too!  Oh yes indeed!  All that was required was to rip open an individual packet, dump it into a mug, get the kettle boiling and when the whistle blows . . . hot cocoa in an instant!  Instant satisfaction, right?  If I was lucky, there were some mini marshmellows to add as a topping.  Well, I must say, I am glad those days are gone.  I am happy to say my palette has become a bit more sophisticated and instant hot cocoa is a thing of the past.  Once you have made homemade, instant is just so undrinkable.  It is alarmingly watery and sweet at the same time.  That combination just doesn’t work for me anymore.  I guess I just didn’t know hot cocoa could taste so good!  But now I do . . . Yippie! 

Honestly, hot cocoa is simply not just a kiddie drink.  Rather, it is like a drinkable dessert.  But most cups of hot cocoa are full of fat and sugar.  However, I am hear to tell you it simply doesn’t have to be that way.  Oh no!  And if made correctly, has a deep, rich flavor which satisfies the chocolate lover in me . . . and you too!  So, this afternoon when contemplating having another “cup of joe” my answer is a definite NO!  Because today is all about Hot Cocoa!

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My kids both love a delicious cup of hot cocoa!  They have never had the instant version . . . the real deal is the way they roll!  They prefer it with a topping of whipped cream . . . how decadent are they?  However, I am going to make a version of hot cocoa that is first and foremost . . . delicious.  But secondly, it is a healthy version.  I hear what you are thinking.  Of course, the holistic health nut in me can not restrain myself.  Always trying to make something just a wee bit healthier.  Hush now . . . they don’t even need to know.  Why? . . . because they will simply love it!  Let’s us remember and not forget that healthy can be so very yummy too!!  Into the kitchen, we must go because a warm cup of hot cocoa is calling . . .

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Homemade Hot Cocoa

serves 1

1 cup of almond milk

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips

1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

Additional topping: foamed almond milk with a dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder

Whisk the almond milk, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and maple syrup together in a small saucepan.  Continue whisking over medium heat until chocolate chips have melted.  Serve with an additional topping of foamed almond milk and a dusting of cocoa powder.  Drink . . . a drinkable dessert!  A sophisticated twist on a childhood favorite . . . but it can still make you feel like a kid again!  And that is a good thing!

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To making a healthier version of wintertime’s favorite warm drink . . . one cup of Hot Cocoa at a time!  Hugs, M.

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