Winter has officially started and on cold winter nights, there is nothing better (in my book) than a good cup of hot chocolate! One of my favorite simple substitutes for this classic is to ditch the prepackaged mix and make your own. It is super easy to do and uses items you most likely already have at home. Your homemade mix will have WAY less ingredients in it as well. A standard package of hot chocolate mix can contain hydrogenated coconut oil, carrageenan, artificial flavoring, corn syrup, and the list goes on. Homemade hot chocolate is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and protein when made with milk and will contain the great natural antioxidants found in cocoa.
- 1 cup (8 ounces) 1% or skim milk (could substitute soy or almond milk here)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Dash of salt
Directions: Mix sugar, cocoa mix, and salt together, set aside. Warm milk (about 60-90 seconds in microwave), gradually mix the cocoa powder mixture in with the milk, stir in the vanilla last and enjoy! If you are looking to add a little holiday “cheer”, you can add 1 oz of marshmallow vodka, vanilla vodka, or butterscotch schnapps (enjoy responsibly).
Stay tuned to simple substitutions after the holidays for healthy ways to start your new year.