We welcome back our guest blogger, dietitian Sarah Remmer, with another tasty recipe!
There are two things in particular that make this chilly time of year bearable for me: the holidays and warm drinks. Although the two go hand-in-hand, yummy hot drinks such as cafe lattes, hot chocolate and hot apple cider seem to stay the course right from October through to March or April, which makes the long cold Canadian winter a little bit more enjoyable.
My four-year-old son, who has a sweet tooth like me, has recently discovered hot chocolate and occasionally asks for it after playing outside on a cold day. It seems as though he has discovered the same soul-warming qualities of hot sweet drinks that I love so much.
Although I don’t deny my son treats, I do limit the amounts of processed foods that he’s exposed to, especially those that are high in sugar and/or trans fats (such as many hot chocolate mixes that you find in the store). That’s why I wanted to find a hot chocolate recipe that I could feel good about serving my family on more than an occasional basis—a recipe that could even be considered a nutritious snack!
I love using my slow cooker all year round, but especially when it’s chilly outside. Not only does it fill my entire house with the delicious aroma of whatever is cooking, but it saves me time and energy—two things that I seem to run short of often with little ones at home. Because I leave my slow cooker out on the counter all winter long (I use it A LOT), I decided to use it to make hot chocolate, which turned out beautifully.
Because I used mostly milk, a cup of this hot chocolate serves as a nutritious snack containing plenty of protein, calcium, Vitamin D and other important nutrients. I used a bit of 10% cream to add some richness and semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips (you could use whatever you like best). For a holiday twist, I added some eggnog as well (which allowed me to use fewer chocolate chips because of the sweetness). What’s great about making hot chocolate in the slow cooker is that you have enough to feed a chilly and thirsty crowd (or enough for leftovers)!