Fess up, moms, and tell me I’m not the only one.
You tuck your children in to bed, and when everyone is asleep and out of the kitchen, you get out a special treat for yourself that you dare not have while the littles are out for fear of having to share.
Yep, I knew I wasn’t the only guilty party. Those little ones have keen ears and noses! They can smell and hear a treat from a mile away!
Hot chocolate is one of those treats I often make for myself during the cold months once the children are in bed. I also make it for them from time to time, but I have to wonder what they’d think if they knew how often I have it when they are in bed! We’ll let that be our secret, okay?
Want another secret? I’ll let you in on my recipe.
Swiss Miss was kicked out of our house long ago. I’m an avid label-reader, and partially-hydrogenated soybean oil, artificial flavors, and corn syrup are ingredients we strive to avoid as much as possible. Thankfully, real hot chocolate is not hard to make at all, and when made from real food ingredients, you don’t have to feel guilty drinking it.
They recipe and technique is simple, and you can tweak it according to your family’s (or just yours if you’re sneaking it in at night) preferences.
Real Hot Chocolate
- 1 1/2 c. whole milk, preferably raw and from your local family farm
- 1-2 T. unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder (I like really dark chocolate, so I go for the full 2 T.)
- 1-2 t. unrefined sugar, honey, or maple syrup (I usually use Sucanat or honey, and find 1 t. is enough for me.)
- 1/4 t. vanilla extract
- a pinch of cinnamon
- 1-2 t. unrefined coconut oil (It’s the secret ingredient! My favorite is the Gold Label oil from Tropical Traditions. This is my referral link which gives new customers a free book on their first order, and blesses our family with a coupon. Thanks!)
- Place milk and cocoa powder in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. As the milk warms, the cocoa will dissolve into it. I often use a fork to break up any cocoa powder clumps.
- Add the sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, and stir to dissolve. Give it a taste and add more cocoa or sugar to suit your preferences.
- Pour the simple goodness into a mug, and stir in your coconut oil. Once it melts, drink and enjoy!
I know the coconut oil may sound strange to some of you, but you just have to trust me! It’s so very good, and coconut oil has wonderful health benefits! I usually keep a spoon handy to keep stirring it into the hot chocolate since it will float to the top. I do enjoy the hot chocolate without it, but it adds a whole new level of flavor that I miss when I don’t add it.
Paired with cinnamon toast, made with homemade sourdough bread, lots of butter and cinnamon, and a bit of sugar or honey, this is the perfect ending to a busy day!