By Renee Kohley, contributing writer
It’s a fact:
December = hot chocolate.
We make it a tradition the weekend after Thanksgiving to decorate the house for Christmas and enjoy the first night of Christmas lights with mugs of hot chocolate with whipped cream.
A few years ago when my oldest was getting at that age where she wanted to try *everything* that we were having, I decided I really needed to figure out a way for all of us to enjoy the simple pleasures of the holidays and keep the food real at the same time.
I love freezing a simple sheet pan of easy whipped cream and cutting out shapes to make the girls’ hot chocolate mugs special.
Our local health food store carries naturally dyed candy canes that I crush up on top and it really turns out super pretty in their mugs! You also can adorn them with these naturally-sweetened homemade marshmallows.
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Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe
- 2 ½ cups whole milk (organic/grassfed/raw is preferable if you can find it)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (make your own vanilla extract)
- 2-3 tablespoons organic pure cane sugar (where to buy)
- 3-4 tablespoons raw cacao powder or cocoa powder (where to buy)
Put the milk, butter, vanilla, and sugar in a sauce pan and heat until the sugar dissolves.
Pour out about half the milk into a blender with the cacao powder and blend until smooth.
Return the blended cacao mixture to the pan with the rest of the milk mixture. Stir and heat to desired temperature.
This hot chocolate recipe makes 2 big mugs of hot cocoa – my 5 and 3 year old split one mug, just for reference!
For the whipped cream cutouts:
Freeze a batch of homemade whipped cream for at least 30 minutes before serving. Use small cookie cutters (or playdough cutters!) to make your shapes.
- Put the milk, butter, vanilla, and sugar in a sauce pan and heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Pour out about half the milk into a blender with the cacao powder and blend until smooth.
- Return the blended cacao mixture to the pan with the rest of the milk mixture. Stir and heat to desired temperature.
- If you want the whipped cream shapes in your cocoa, just freeze a batch of whipped cream at least 30 minutes before serving and use small cookie cutters (or play doh cutters!) to make your shapes!
Renee is a wife and mama of 3 busy bees under 5 years old. After struggling for years with gut and food allergy issues, she has been able to heal, and is passionate about raising the next generation of kids with a better understanding of how food affects their bodies. She is committed to teaching others that simple, real food can make positive changes in health and can be done on a (very) tight budget, all while making the kids smile. Renee blogs at Raising Generation Nourished and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.