14 Jan Lean & Laced Hot Cocoa (Booze Optional!)
When it’s ridiculously cold out and a cup of tea just won’t cut it, reach for Lean & Laced Hot Cocoa! It’s rich, chocolatey and packed with metabolism-boosting protein (unlike most hot cocoas that are loaded in sugar and whole milk or cream). I used a whey based chocolate protein and to be honest, I’ve never tried this recipe with a plant based chocolate protein so I’m not sure how that would turn out. I do know that every protein powder is different so you may need to adjust the amount of liquid or even the Stevia a bit, depending on what brand you use.
For a grown-up twist, add just a splash of your favorite gluten free Vodka like Tito’s. Of course you can skip the vodka all together- it’s just as delicious without! If you’re serving Lean & Laced Hot Cocoa at a party or get together, put together a simple “hot cocoa bar” for guests to load up on healthy toppings like all natural sprinkles (find em’ at Whole Foods), all natural unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, toasted nuts and Vanilla & Chocolate Spice Coconut Crème! And not so healthy toppings like booze. Ha!
Makes 6 servings (about 1 and 1/2 cups per serving)
- 6 servings high quality chocolate protein powder (I’ve only used a whey based protein powder for this recipe – I’m not sure how it would be with a plant based protein powder)
- 6 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 3 cups water
- 2 heaping tablespoons all natural, unsweetened cocoa or 1 tablespoon cacao powder (unrefined cocoa)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Stevia, to taste (only if needed -if the protein powder you are using is naturally sweet, you may be able to skip it altogether)
- pinch sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Tito’s Vodka (optional but fun!)
Garnishes for the Hot Cocoa Bar:
- Vanilla & Chocolate Spice Coconut Crème or your favorite all natural whipped cream
- Toasted nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts), chopped
- All natural sprinkles (find em’ at Whole Foods)
- All natural unsweetened cocoa powder (I wouldn’t recommend cacao powder as a garnish)
- Combine all ingredients (except alcohol) with a whisk in a big pot until smooth over medium heat. As cocoa begins to get hot, whisk constantly. Once cocoa is hot throughout, remove from heat.
- Stir in alcohol if desired. Or serve booze with the hot cocoa bar so your friends can just add a small splash to individual mugs.
- Top with desired garnishes. Enjoy!
SO, WHAT’S THE NUTRITION BALANCE?
Oddly enough, this recipe (without the booze and toppings) has a great balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat and can be considered a perfectly balanced meal or snack that will keep your blood sugar stable. If you’re adding booze and toppings but want to keep it lean, just go light on both!