‘Tis the season for hot cocoa, among many other sweet treats that taste yummy but are not so forgiving to the delicate waistline. Fortunately, there is a way to enjoy a grown-up version of hot chocolate that I think tastes just as good as the kiddie version and that doesn’t break the calorie bank.
Prep time: about 10 minutes
- unsweetened cocoa powder (dutch processed preferred), 1/4 cup (or 1 heaping tablespoon for 1 serving)
- unsweetened almond milk, one 32 oz. package or 4 cups (1 cup for 1 serving)
- stevia extract powder, two to two-and-a-half scoops (less than 1 scoop for 1 serving)
optional ingredients if you are looking to spice it up a bit:
- whipping cream
- peppermint sticks
1. Bring almond milk just to a boil (but don’t let it boil over, like I did!)
2. Whisk in cocoa powder. Mix in stevia.
3. Add whipping cream, mini marshmallows, and/or peppermint sticks if you like!
The benefit of using dutch processed cocoa (linked above) is that it is less bitter, however, you can use Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa and still have a nice treat.
The benefit of using stevia extract powder is that it is a pure form of stevia, so it is healthier than other versions because it doesn’t have fillers. Besides being better for you, the stevia extract powder linked above tastes so much better than the other versions of stevia I have tried. It might seem expensive to buy such a small bottle for a considerable price, but the powder is so concentrated that it lasts for many months.
We have switched from Splenda to using this as our only sweetener for coffee and tea, and have found that 5 scoops (measured by the tiny scoop included in the bottle) equals a half cup. If I am using it to sweeten one cup, I use less than one whole scoop, maybe about 3/4 of a scoop. I would suggest erring on the side of less and tasting, and then add more if it needs more sweetness. I have also found this product at Whole Foods.
I have been heating up the almond milk in a pan, and then pouring it into the pot I use for tea before mixing in the cocoa powder because I tend to make a mess pouring the cocoa into a glass directly from the pan. If you find that you don’t like the taste of almond milk, you might want to add a tablespoon or so of whipping cream. It is also nice to add some mini marshmallows or peppermint sticks if you are looking to make it a little more festive. For the everyday hot cocoa drinking when it is cooler out, I am happy with just the basic healthy version.
What is your favorite way to enjoy hot cocoa? Happy hot cocoa season!