There’s nothing quite like snuggling up to the fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate on a cold, wintry night. But something as innocent of your cup full of hot chocolate can have dangerous implications for your waistline– with 80 calories and 11 grams of sugar (and that’s before the milk!) it’s better to try healthier versions of your favorite hot chocolate, apple cider, and peppermint mocha recipes. Need some inspiration, and ways to get started? Keep reading for some winter drink recipe inspiration, and how to drink your seasonal drinks responsibly this winter!
While it can be tempting to go for some skim milk for making hot chocolate, you should tailor what you put in hot chocolate off the ingredients in your base powder. If your base powder has powdered milk (like the Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Flavor does,), you can skip the milk altogether and add water! If it doesn’t have powdered milk in it, you are still more than welcome to add hot water–but the taste might not be quite like you remember.
If your hot chocolate mix doesn’t have milk, consider your dietary needs before heating the stove. Unsweetened almond milk has the fewest number of calories but doesn’t offer a ton of vitamins and minerals as whole milk does. Ultimately, finding a happy medium between calories and macronutrients, like with any other component of a diet plan, is a useful thing to do. Something like 2% milk is ideal for the creamy taste and healthy mineral content of milk, without all the calories.
If you want to get healthy with it, try making your hot chocolate mix at home! All it takes is a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder, paired with a teaspoon of sugar. If you’re trying to get rid of white sugar in your diet, try throwing in a teaspoon of brown sugar, some sugar substitutes, or even a teaspoon or two of spices. Adding spices like cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice can make for a hearty (but still festive!) hot drink in a pinch.
Eggnog: Egg on Holiday Cheer
Eggnog: you either love it or you hate it. If you love it, though, it might be more like a love-hate relationship, with eggnog being high in fats, sugar, and calories. If you’re looking for a healthy eggnog alternative this holiday season, try eggnog made from almond milk, organic skim milk, or other, healthy, non-whole-milk alternatives!
Peppermint Mocha Magic
Need to get your Starbucks to fix in the morning? Instead of reaching for a full-fat mocha, try to lighten your morning with a lighter version of your favorite holiday splurge. Instead of ordering the largest size, a venti, try ordering a Grande or a tall. Not ready to give up the sweet kiss of a venti? Try ordering your drink with almond milk, fewer pumps of peppermint, or dark chocolate. If you can skip the whipped cream, you should. If not, go for light whipped cream with shavings of dark chocolate.
Apple Cider: Cinnamon, Anyone?
Apple cider on its own is generally healthy. Buying premade cider can add a few calories and grams of sugar to the otherwise healthy mainstay–so try making your own! Throwing in the juice of four to six apples, some orange slices, lemon zest, cardamom, cloves, whole cinnamon sticks, and a little bit of ginger leaves you with a superfood-filled, super healthy alternative (and it’ll make your house smell great!)