Those chilly winter months will be here before we know it. What better way to stay warm this winter than with a cup of rich, velvety hot chocolate!
Homemade hot chocolate brings back fond memories of warming up after a cold night of sledding or ice-skating as a kid. But as an adult, I’ve often wondered if I should drink hot chocolate when I’m trying to stay healthy. Believe it or not, the answer is actually yes, hot cocoa can be enjoyed in moderation, and is actually a nutritious beverage.
According to Cornell University, a steaming cup of hot chocolate is surprisingly higher in antioxidants than red wine or green tea. That’s because cocoa is a rich source of the flavonoid called gallic acid, which can help protect against cancer, aging, and heart disease. And serving cocoa hot actually increases the activity of this important antioxidant.
However, homemade hot cocoa is better for you than most instant hot cocoa mixes that can be filled with artificial ingredients including non-dairy creamer, which contains trans fats. So why not try this simple and delicious homemade hot chocolate recipe that provides a good source of protein, calcium and other important nutrients?
And remember, you can easily make this recipe dairy-free, sugar-free, low-fat or even organic, if you desire. And you can be creative and add mint, orange or even cinnamon.
- 4 cups milk (or milk substitute)
- ½ cup sugar (or equivalent substitute)
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- In a medium-sized saucepan mix together cocoa, sugar and salt. Add water and bring to boiling over medium heat while stir constantly; boil 1 minute. Whisk in milk and heat to desired temperature. Do not boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla or other flavorings as desired, such as mint, cinnamon or orange.
Serve this delicious homemade hot chocolate in mugs, and there you have it, A Nutritious Dish in a matter of minutes! ™