I felt this post was appropriate because the super cold weather we’re getting in Toronto lately has me craving warm and comforting foods. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still eat ice cream in the dead of winter but sometimes you don’t want to put on a big sweater and thick socks just to get your sweet fix. This is a high protein hot chocolate recipe I’ve been enjoying. Growing up, I always loved coming inside to a warm cup of hot chocolate after playing in the snow or helping to shovel the driveway (for about 5 minutes). You know, one of the pre-made mixes with the tiny hard marshmallows. I’m pretty sure I liked the idea of it more than the actual taste because I would almost never finish it, which is saying something coming from the kid who used to put white sugar on her ice cream.
This hot chocolate will provide you with the sense of nostalgia with an additional 26 grams of protein and without all the added sugar. Plus it’s a lot more delicious and won’t cause your blood sugar to plummet in about an hour. The higher protein content makes this more filling and substantial than regular hot chocolate so you can enjoy it as a ‘stand alone’ snack. I wanted to give 2 versions as one is a little more ‘diet-friendly’ and the other more of a decadent treat. Both got big thumbs up from me and my tester (thanks Mike) :). A lot of people are starting their ‘ah crap, summer isn’t that far away anymore’ diets so it’s nice to still be able to partake in winter traditions without feeling like you’re blowing your diet.
‘Diet-friendly’ hot chocolate:
– 1 scoop chocolate whey protein
– 1 heaping tbsp cacao powder
– 1 tbsp xylitol (or any other sweetener of choice)
– 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
– optional: 1 tbsp canned coconut milk (cream from top)
– optional: 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
Directions: In a saucepan over low heat, heat up the almond milk until it starts to simmer. Be careful as it will boil over very quickly. Add all remaining ingredients, except for the protein powder, and stir. Transfer to blender, add protein powder and blend on high. Pour and enjoy.
Nutrition Breakdown – full recipe (using Xylitol + without coconut milk):
Carbs: 8 grams
Protein: 26 grams
Fat: 5 grams
*important note: Make sure you follow the recipe directions and do not heat up the protein powder in the pot as it will curdle. I’ve made this mistake before. Not appetizing.
Decadent hot chocolate:
– above recipe +
– 1 tbsp dairy-free chocolate chips
– pinch of sea salt
– 1 tbsp coconut whip (or just 1 tbsp from top of the can)
Directions: Same recipe as above but add chocolate chips and sea salt to the pot with the almond milk. Top hot chocolate at the end with coconut cream.
Nutrition Breakdown – full recipe:
Carbs: 28 grams
Protein: 26 grams
Fat: 12 grams
If you want to make a vegan version, you can use a vegan protein powder (e.g. Sunwarrior brown rice protein). I haven’t personally tried it with this recipe and it will likely make the texture slightly gritty.
– 1 can full-fat coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tbsp powdered sugar
Directions: Refrigerate can of full-fat coconut milk overnight. It will harden and separate the cream on top from the liquid at the bottom. I like to use Thai Kitchen brand as it has the best cream to liquid ratio out of the brands I’ve tried. Scoop out cream from top of can and add to a medium-sized bowl with the vanilla extract and powdered sugar and use a beater to beat until is starts to resemble thick whipped cream. It should only take ~2 minutes.
Nutrition Breakdown – 1 tbsp:
Carbs: 1 grams
Protein: 0 grams
Fat: 2 grams