Sunday, November 8, 2015

Decadent and Dairy Free Hot Cocoa and Melted Vanilla Ice Cream Drinks


It's fall, which means cooler weather, and that means "s.n.o.w." becomes the next concern, or joy, in our home. While some may wonder why on earth snow suddenly becomes part of my autumnal lexicon, those who live in my area will understand. The past three years we were "lucky" to be graced with snow in late October or early November. Not exactly normal for our area and no fun when, suddenly, you can no longer pamper the snow blues away with a rich cup of homemade hot cocoa, such as my dietary change created.

I've tried to come up with something that tasted like the cocoa of days gone by, but at the same time actually has some health benefits to it, beyond the warm fuzzies it provides the soul. Because my taste buds are shifting from loving the sweetness of milk chocolate to the bite of dark, I am providing a few different options for sweetening your drink. I know that what I enjoy sipping probably won't go over as well with the younger kiddos out there or those with a sweeter tooth. Let's just say those who relish a bite of 85% dark chocolate will want to sweeten according to the lower measurements. If you want sweeter, increase little by little until you find your happy spot. I'm also providing the stove top prep and microwave approach. Either way you still get an awesome creamy drink, but you may not always have the time to wait for water to boil in the pot. Benefit of the stove top is that you can make many mugs at once instead of one at a time, like the microwave. 

As a little bonus, I'm also going to provide what we call in my family a melted vanilla ice cream in this post because it's another hot drink winner on a very cold day. It's also dairy free and will use the same ingredients, minus the coco powder, and with a little extra spice.


Ingredients for Decadent Dairy Free Hot Cocoa 


Per Drink...

3 heaping tbsps of chilled coconut milk (No lite stuff or pre-boxed here if you really want that creamy mouth feel.)
1 cup water
2 tbsps cocoa powder (I use Hershey, but that's my traditional choice.Also, if your powder is pill-like or hard, then you'll want to sift this first. )
2-4 tbsps raw honey (You can use confectioners sugar using the same measurements.)
1 tsp vanilla extract (Use the real stuff if you got it, but imitation will be ok.)
2 dashes of Ceylon cinnamon *optional (Read up on the health benefits of this variety and ditch the Cassia cinnamon right quick. It's worth it, trust me.)



Microwave approach

Since this is most likely the way most will make it, I'll start here:

1 serving at a time...

1. In a microwave safe mug, add in your coconut milk. Then pour your water over the milk and stir. Microwave on high for 45 seconds.
2. To the mug, add cocoa powder and stir well until powder is well incorporated. (If you are using confectioners sugar, now is the time to add to your mug.) Return to microwave and heat an additional 45 seconds.
3. Add in the honey, if you are opting for this sweetener, the vanilla, and the cinnamon. Stir until honey is melted and enjoy!


Stove Top Approach


1. Bring water to a boil.
2. While you wait, add into your mug(s) the coconut milk, sweetener of choice, and cocoa powder.
3. Slowly pour a cup of water over the ingredients in the mug and stir until well blended.
4. Add in your vanilla and cinnamon, then stir to blend.














Melted Vanilla Ice Cream


So yummy and a nice twist on a typical hot drink after a long day out in the snow.

Ingredients

3 heaping tbsps of chilled coconut milk (No lite stuff here if you really want that creamy mouth feel. I use Golden Star as my go to and nothing else for this particular recipe.)
1 cup water
2-4 tbsps raw honey (You can use confectioners sugar using the same measurements.)
2 tsp vanilla extract (Use the real stuff if you got it, but imitation will be ok.)
2-4 dashes of Ceylon cinnamon. The more you add, the more like a cinnamon roll instead of vanilla ice cream. (Read up on the health benefits of this variety and ditch the Cassia cinnamon right quick. It's worth it, trust me.)
1 dash of nutmeg (Add this in where cinnamon is called for in the recipe options.)



You can make this in the same two approaches as given for the hot cocoa recipe, obviously omitting the hot cocoa and adjusting a couple of the seasonings. Again, the stove top makes it easier to make more at once.


Topping Options Great for Both Recipes: Mini marshmallows, dairy free whipped cream, candy cane, etc.


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