There’s something so sweet and nostalgic about warm hot cocoa on a cold winter day. Not that I really know what a “cold winter day” is anymore living in Southern California where the sun is currently shining through my window and it’s about 80 degrees outside. But I grew up in Colorado where winter was full of snow days and sledding, and coming home to a fire and a warm cup of hot cocoa and toast (I’m not sure why we always dipped buttered toast into it, but man it was good!)
One other particular memory of a Christmas parade in the mountains always comes to mind, when we got to buy a cup of peppermint hot cocoa. Woo! That was the big time, and something about that subtle minty cup of warmth in my cold hands screamed Christmas like nothing else.
So, nowadays, once the “cold” weather hits, something inside of me cries out for a delicious, sweet cup of hot cocoa to relive my childhood and feel like it’s truly Christmas time. However, my grown-up, health-conscious self can no longer bring myself to touch the packaged stuff I used to so often indulge in. Pure sugar mixed with some low quality cocoa powder…all I can think of is how high my insulin is skyrocketing and what damage I’m doing to my body.
I’ve often tried mixing my own cocoa with Stevia, but it’s just not the same. Chocolate protein powder with cocoa and milk comes close, but this is by far the BEST sugar-free option I have found. Sure, it’s pricier than a box of Swiss Miss ($12.99 on Amazon) but it’s totally worth it.
Lankanto Drinking Chocolate is made with monkfruit, fiber, cocoa and stevia. It does use guar gum to thicken it up, if you’re opposed to that, but it does really enhance the texture. It’s very creamy and sweet without that fake aftertase and wonderfully chocolatey. I’m pretty picky about my chocolate flavors – I like it rich, and this fits the bill, especially because you can add more or less to make it more or less rich. By itself, a serving is only 10 calories. Mix it with something like coconut milk or almond milk, and you can enjoy a dairy free, gluten free cocoa drink for around 45-55 calories.
This also makes a great gift or stocking stuffer for any chocolate lover in your life!
Here’s a super simple, wintery hot chocolate recipe to make you feel warm and cozy without the guilt and stomach ached of the sugary, fat-filled, high calorie version.
Sugar Free, Dairy Free Peppermint Hot Cocoa Recipe
- 4-5 oz coconut, cashew, rice or almond milk
- 2-3 oz water ( you can also use all milk if you prefer a richer version)
- 4 1/4 tsp Lakanto Drinking Chocolate
- 1 drop peppermint extract OR stir the hot mixture with a candy cane (you can also replace this with cinnamon and a cinnamon stick, which is another delicious way to spice up your hot chocolate!)
- Heat milk in the microwave for 1-1.5 minutes, or on the stove until slightly bubbling
- Add drinking chocolate and drop of peppermint or piece of candy cane, and stir until smooth
- Wait about 30 seconds for it to cool down, then sip and enjoy!
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