3 Ways To Jazz Up Hot Chocolate

Sunrise Senior Living  |  January 6, 2015

Tired of the same old hot chocolate recipe? There are many different ways to switch up this classic winter drink, and there's sure to be a recipe that suits your individuals tastes. Whether you're partial to spicy drinks, rich dark chocolate flavors or low-sugar beverages, use these options to jazz up your hot cocoa the next time you're entertaining friends from your retirement community.

1. Aztec hot chocolate
A little bit of spice might be just the thing to warm you up on cold winter days. This hot chocolate recipe contains just enough chili pepper for a little kick without overwhelming the sweet taste.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 tsp. instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground chili pepper

Directions
Combine milk, half-and-half and chocolate in a small saucepan, and warm over medium-low heat. Stir the mixture constantly until the chocolate has melted. Add in the espresso powder, cinnamon and chili pepper and stir well. Serve the drink hot with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top!

2. Dark chocolate cocoa
If dark chocolate is more your taste, you can make your own decadent cocoa. Reader's Digest magazine explained that dark chocolate has a number of potential health benefits, as researchers have found that the sweet can eliminate free radicals in the body. This can help stave off a number of chronic conditions, like heart disease. To incorporate this health-boosting ingredient in your cocoa, use this recipe, which makes enough for two.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups low-fat milk, separated
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. corn starch
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt

Directions
Place dark chocolate and 1/4 cup milk in a small saucepan. Warm the ingredients over medium-low heat until the chocolate melts. Whisk together the cornstarch and the remainder of the milk, then slowly add the mixture to the pan. Add sugar and keep stirring until the cocoa reaches a low simmer. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.

3. Healthier hot chocolate
Even though hot chocolate may taste good, that doesn't mean that it's good for your health. The delicious drink traditionally contains high levels of sugar that aren't great for those on a low-sugar diet. However, there are recipes that will give you a chocolate fix without overdoing it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Stevia or other sweetener
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions
Combine almond milk and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Warm the mixture over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Add in cocoa powder a little at a time, stirring constantly until all the chocolate is dissolved. Remove from heat, then mix in sweetener. Transfer the drink into your favorite mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick if desired.