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Heat Up to Hot Chocolate

Heat up to hot chocolate

When the temperatures hit freezing, kids and adults alike seek out sweet treats to warm up their winters. But before the cold snap hits, some of America's hottest chefs have teamed up to create decadent, yet nutrients and antioxidant packed hot chocolate drinks made with low fat chocolate milk.

Sip Your Antioxidants

A surprising winner in the drinkable antioxidants arena is cocoa. Warming up with hot cocoa will deliver an antioxidant punch that neither red wine nor green tea can beat, according to recent research. Cocoa is rich in phenols, compounds that fight heart disease and negative effects of aging.

With each steamy mug of these hot chocolate recipes, you get the chocolate taste you crave, along with calcium and eight other essential nutrients.

Decedant Hot Chocolate Recipes


The Avenue's Classic Hot Chocolate

1 quart low-fat chocolate milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar
6 ounces bitter sweet chocolate chunks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pour low-fat chocolate milk and non-sweetened cocoa powder into a saucepan and mix well; bring to a simmer and mix in sugar. Reduce heat to very low and add chocolate chunks, stirring occasionally until melted (takes about three to five minutes). Carefully pour hot chocolate mixture through a metal strainer and finish by adding vanilla extract. Pour into individual mugs and top off with marshmallows or whipped cream if desired. Serves six

Rooibos Hot Cocoa

Rooibos has a warm flavor that reminds some drinkers of cinnamon, making it the perfect choice for blending with hot cocoa. If you have a rooibos tea bag, use it instead of the loose leaf to skip the straining - just remove the bag from the milk after steeping.

1-1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 heaping teaspoon rooibos
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring about 1/4 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Combine the cocoa and sugar in a mug. Add enough of the boiling water (about 1 tablespoon) to make a thin paste. Discard the remaining water.

Combine the milk and rooibos in the saucepan, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 5 minutes. Add the vanilla. Strain through a fine-mesh wire sieve into a liquid measuring cup (the same one you used for the milk). Pour the hot milk mixture into the mug and stir well. Serve hot. (1 serving)

Mulled Hot Chocolate

1 quart low-fat chocolate milk
4 cinnamon sticks
4 whole allspice or 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 rind from a whole orange
1/4 cup sugar
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chunks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cut the skin off of an orange, removing the pith. Next, julienne the orange peel and set aside. Pour low-fat chocolate milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add sugar, cinnamon sticks, allspice and orange rind. Then remove from heat for 10 to 15 minutes. After the spices have steeped in the milk, reheat the mixture to a very low heat and add chocolate chunks, stirring occasionally until melted (takes about three to five minutes). Carefully pour hot chocolate mixture through a metal strainer to remove spices and finish by adding vanilla extract. Pour into individual mugs and top off hot chocolate with whipped cream and a julienned orange peel if desired. Serves six.

London Hot Chocolate

4 cups fat-free milk
1-1/4 pound semisweet chocolate
1 quart low-fat chocolate milk

Combine first two ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until chocolate melts (takes about three to five minutes). Add in low fat chocolate milk and stir until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Pour into individual mugs and top with whipped cream if desired. Serves six.

Hot Chocolate with Morrocan Spices

3 cups low fat chocolate milk, divided
2 ounces bittersweet Belgian chocolate, plus one-half ounce for garnish
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange rind
3 pieces cardamom pods or 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

Bring 2-cups of low-fat chocolate milk to a boil. Steep cinnamon sticks, orange rind and cardamom pods in the milk mixture. Remove from heat for ten minutes. Meanwhile, finely grate chocolate and place in bowl. Using a metal strainer, carefully strain out the spices from the milk mixture. Pour hot milk mixture over the chocolate. Stir mixture until well blended. In a saucepan, froth the remaining cup of low-fat chocolate milk. Pour into individual mugs and top with foam and sprinkle with grated chocolate if desired. Serves six.

Spiced Hot Chocolate

1 quart low-fat chocolate milk
4 cinnamon sticks
4 whole allspice or 1 /8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chunks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pour low-fat chocolate milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer; add sugar, cinnamon sticks, allspice and nutmeg, then remove from heat for 10 to 15 minutes. After the spices have steeped in the milk, reheat the mixture to a very low heat and add chocolate chunks, stirring occasionally until melted (takes about three to five minutes). Carefully pour hot chocolate mixture through a metal strainer to remove spices and finish by adding vanilla extract to the strained liquid. Pour into individual mugs and top off hot chocolate with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick if desired. Serves six.

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

1 quart low-fat chocolate milk
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1-1/2 tablespoons hazelnut syrup
1/4 cup sugar
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chunks
1 tablespoon hazelnut extract

Place toasted hazelnuts in a food processor and grind coarsely (takes about two minutes). Then pour low-fat chocolate milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer; add sugar and ground hazelnuts. Reduce heat to a low simmer and slowly add chocolate chunks, stirring occasionally until melted (takes about three to five minutes). Carefully pour hot chocolate mixture through a metal strainer and finish by adding hazelnut extract and syrup to the strained liquid. Pour into individual mugs and top hot chocolate with whipped cream and hazelnut garnish if desired. Serves six.

Super Duper Easy Cafe Mocha

Turn plain black coffee into a cafe mocha by adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of your favorite hot cocoa mix into your cup. Make it richer by topping it off with an ounce or two of non-fat creamer!

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