What’s better for relaxing you when you’re all twisted up over a man? Sure, it’s a trick question. For me, though, warm, rich hot chocolate is the best medicine, especially when it’s after dinner and approaching bedtime and I’m probably wishing he was with me.
Oh, sure, you’ve probably got packets of hot chocolate mix in your cupboard. It may even be the premium stuff. But if you’ve read my perspective on natural ingredients, you know what I’m about to say. Icky-poo icky to all of those chemicals created in a laboratory to taste and smell like chocolate but aren’t chocolate at all. Especially when it takes the same amount of time and effort to make your own rich, creamy hot chocolate.
Seriously! In the same time it would take to wait for the water to boil in the kettle to mix with your packet, you can have real, homemade, ingredient-controlled hot chocolate…and you guarantee that it’s exactly the strength and sweetness you want it!
- 8 oz of your favorite kind of “milk” (cow, soy, almond, rice, goat)
- 1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon of instant espresso
- 1-2 tablespoons of sugar (or equivalent artificial sweetener of your choice)
- optional: 1 teaspoon natural vanilla, hazelnut, almond, or cinnamon extract (especially if you use cow milk and/or unsweetened versions of soy, almond, or rice milk)
Start with your milk, cocoa, espresso and extract in a small saucepan on medium heat. Whisk briskly to blend the ingredients and loosen any lumps in the cocoa or espresso (or sift these if you feel like taking the time). As you blend and see the brown and white gradually transform into a beautiful chocolatey color, you will notice a light bubble foam developing on the top; this is normal and should not be confused with the beginnings of a boil-over.
Stop and taste the mixture with a teaspoon to check for the sweetness level. If you are a true “dark” chocolate person, you will not desire any added sweetness; the “edge” of the unsweetened chocolate and the espresso will tickle your tastebuds just right. But if you are like me and need sweetness to untangle your evening nerves, begin by adding 1 teaspoon of sugar (or equivalent artificial sweetener). Again, whisk briskly and taste. Continue adding up to 1 tablespoon of sugar in small sprinkles until you achieve your desired flavor.
Remember, never allow the chocolate to boil…EVER! If you do, you will burn the milk, create a skin from the carbohydrates in the milk (all milks have carbs!), and the drink will become slightly (or more) chalky.
I like to use a combination of 4:1 of organic vanilla almond milk to skim organic cow milk for optimal creaminess for me. Others will appreciate the slight tang of goat milk. Regardless of which milk you use, please use organic, non-gmo milks and go very light on soy milk, which in significant quantities (more than 2 oz per day) can accelerate puberty in girls, delay puberty in boys and lead to a number of later life health problems, which have been confirmed by long-term studies only recently concluded.
Momentum Points (using 7 oz almond milk, 1 oz skim milk, and 2T real sugar) = 4
PointsPlus (using 7 oz almond milk, 1 oz skim milk and 2T real sugar) = 4