Guilt-Free Hot Chocolate

I couldn't resist posting one more recipe today, because hot chocolate and winter weather go so well together. The only problem is, I've discovered that if you look at the ingredients list on the cans of most pre-fab hot chocolate mixes, the first ingredient is usually--you guessed it--sugar! If it does not use sugar (because it is some version of "light"), the sweetener of choice is aspartame. Not to mention the chemically-altered "modified milk ingredients", and possibly some version of "high-fructose corn syrup."

So, although this is still a drink that should be consumed in moderation (thanks to the caffeine content--roughly 5 mg/8 oz., as opposed to 135 mg/8 oz for brewed coffee), this is my "Guilt-Free Hot Chocolate". Enjoy!

Guilt-Free Hot Chocolate

Makes 1 12-oz. mug

3 round tsp. cocoa (adjust to taste)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2-3 tsp. raw honey
10 oz. hot water from electric kettle (approx.)

You could make this right in a mug, but I recommend a blender. I use my Magic Bullet with the small cup. (Blending it makes for perfectly smooth, frothy hot chocolate.)

Add your cocoa and cream into the cup. If you are not using a blender, mix these into a perfectly smooth paste. If your honey is a little on the hard side, use the hot water to melt it off the spoon as you pour it into the cup. Blend, pour into a mug, and enjoy!

I like this recipe, because I am often only making 1 mug at a time, and I like being able to drink it right away without scalding my mouth. If you would like to make a larger batch, or you like it hotter and don't mind a bit more fuss, here is a stove-top recipe that you can multiply by the number of people you would like to serve:

Guilt-Free Hot Chocolate (Stovetop Version)

1 heaping tbsp. cocoa
1 heaping tbsp. honey
3/4 c. whole milk
1/2 c. filtered water

Blend cocoa and water in a blender. Add to saucepan with milk and honey. Heat gently until at desired temperature, being careful not to boil.

Tastes wonderful topped with real whipped cream. (Sweeten whipped cream with a touch of maple syrup.)