‘Tis the season for your favorite cup of hot cocoa! While some recipes call for cream and melted chocolate, yielding an intense, rich dessert, the one we spell out here shows you how healthy (and delicious) hot cocoa can be.
Lighten up your hot chocolate this season by using these 5 tips below:
Select the Right Milk
A simple hack to save on fat and calories is to choose the right milk. Instead of whole milk and 2% milk, opt for a plant-based milk or skim milk. Unsweetened almond milk will give you the lowest-calorie drink, ranging from a mere 30 to about 60 calories per cup, versus 80 to 90 in the same amount of skim. Feel free to experiment with any unsweetened dairy-free milk of choice, like oat milk, soy milk or coconut milk, and find the one that works for you!
Sweeten it with Stevia
A great way to sweeten your hot cocoa is to opt for a natural, zero calorie sweetener like Stevia. Not only can you add a packet of stevia to your drink, but you can also purchase stevia-sweetened hot chocolate mixes! There are a BUNCH of different varieties on Amazon. Stevia sweeteners range from being 200-350 times sweeter than sugar, and therefore, only a small amount of stevia is needed to match the sweetness provided by sugar.
An excellent way to deepen the flavor of chocolate and make this healthy hot chocolate taste richer than it actually is, is to add a bit of extract. There are so many different kinds of extracts to choose from such as vanilla, hazelnut, mint, almond.. You get the picture! Find one that you love and watch your tastebuds transform right before your eyes.
Be More Mindful
Nothing completes a hot cocoa like some whipped cream and marshmallows on top! However, it’s important to be mindful of how much you’re using when it comes to the toppings. Maybe instead of building a tower of whipped cream, you only use a few dollops...Maybe instead of adding a handful of marshmallows, you add just enough!
Add a Splash
Calling all coffee lovers...this ones for you! An easy way to spice up your coffee in the morning and create a delicious mocha (similar to hot chocolate) is to add a splash of chocolate milk or a scoop of chocolate protein powder to your coffee. Black coffee has minimal calories on its own and by adding these in, you can make a warm treat with the added bonus of protein from the milk or protein powder.