The winter break is over but winter is still very much upon us, at least here in the UK. We know that many of you are waking up to frost (or snow) where you live too. Even Michael spotted some frost on the rooftops of Los Angeles recently!
My kids have been telling me that they have felt cold at school all day, and last week my six year old’s teeth were chattering when I picked him up. On days when it’s especially cold, I like to give them something warm to drink right when we get home. Often they have either a herbal tea like camomile or peppermint or a red tea or decaffeinated black tea with milk. But sometimes I give them hot chocolate for a treat. This reminds me of something my mom would do to surprise me when I was in elementary school– she would come to pick me up and bring a Thermos of hot chocolate, and it was so comforting to have that right when I got out of school.
I want to give my kids that experience but I don’t want to use hot chocolate mix because it has so much sugar in it. One envelope of Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate flavour has 23g of added sugar in it, which is nearly 6 teaspoons. That’s about the maximum amount of added sugar recommended by Public Health England for kids ages 7-10 for the entire day and more than is suggested for 4-6 year olds. In Sugarproof we have recommendations for kids based on age and gender too, and one Swiss Miss packet is over our suggested limits for my boys as well.
To be able to give my kids hot chocolate without all of that unnecessary sugar, I’ve been giving them a warmed up version of our Sugarproof Chocolate Milk, a recipe you can find in our book and here on our blog. Michael came up with the idea to make a warm version of this drink and added hazelnuts for a Nutella flavored hot chocolate. He posted about it on IG over the holidays and made it live with Chef AJ on her YouTube Channel as well.
My kids have been enjoying this too, and so we thought we would give you the details about two easy ways to make it if you would like to try it out as well. One of the methods uses our Sugarproof “Nutella” and is super convenient if you already have a batch of that handy. All you do is add it to milk as you warm it. If you don’t have our Nutella in your fridge, not to worry as you can quickly make the Sugarproof Hot Chocolate without it using a milk of your choice, cacao powder, dates, and hazelnuts (optional).
Method 1, using Sugarproof Nutella:
In a small saucepan, add 1 cup of unsweetened milk of your choice (dairy or plant-based) per person. Add in 2 Tablespoons of Sugarproof “Nutella” for each cup of milk. Slowly warm the milk, stirring the “Nutella” into it as you go until it comes to a gentle simmer.
–Set out mugs and pour in the hot chocolate to serve. If you prefer a very smooth drink, set a fine-mesh strainer over the top of the mug and strain it as your pour to remove any bits of hazelnuts and dates that remain.
Method 2, using a blender:
(Serves 1, so scale up according to how many you are serving)
Add the following to a blender:
–1 cup of unsweetened milk (dairy or plant-based)
–1 teaspoon of raw cacao powder
–1-2 pitted dates depending on size and how sweet you want the drink
–1 Tablespoon of blanched/peeled hazelnuts (optional)
Blend this until the dates and hazelnuts are well-incorporated. Then pour it into a small saucepan and gently warm it until it’s simmering. Pour it into mugs, straining to serve if you would like an extra smooth drink. If you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix, this probably won’t be necessary. I have a regular blender and some bits do remain so I strain it as my kids prefer it smooth.
We hope you enjoy this drink and it helps keep you and your kids warm this winter! Please post pictures if you make it and tag us on IG or FB @sugarproofkids. Cheers!