I love a hot chocolate packet, don’t get me wrong, but by mid-January I’ve reached my instant hot chocolate threshold. To spice things up, my kids and I tried a few warm winter drink recipes: vanilla milk, healthy hot chocolate and homemade apple cider. The [not very scientific] results are in.
Meet The Tasters:
Mom: I didn’t last long cooking organic homemade baby food (store-bought’s fine with me!), but I do my best to provide a well-balanced diet for my kids.
Toddler: A pudgy 19-month-old who has never met a food he didn’t like.
Preschooler: The pickier eater of the two, this 3-year old is hesitant to try new things but doesn’t shy away from fruits and veggies.
Dreamy Nighttime Milk
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 drops vanilla extract
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- Pour milk into a microwave-safe mug and place into microwave. Cook on high until the milk is very hot and begins to foam, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in honey and vanilla, then sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.
Mom: The most “doable” of all the recipes, this is simple enough that I can easily repeat it and yummy enough that it feels like a treat. Next time, I’d ease up on the vanilla.
Toddler: Oh! A juice! YUMMY. I yike it!
Preschooler: Mmm. Good. It tastes like cinnamon sugar toast. It makes you have good dreams. Thank you. I like the taste of it. Can we do this dreamy milk another time?
Healthy Hot Chocolate
Source: The Chic Life
- 1 cup, plus 1-2 tablespoons milk of choice
- 2 rounded teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon raw sugar (or sweetener of choice)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place milk in a small pot over medium low heat.
- Meanwhile, place cocoa powder, sugar and extra tablespoon of rice milk in a small bowl. Whisk until a paste/thick mixture forms and powder is absorbed. Add additional tablespoon of rice milk, if needed.
- Whisk cocoa mixture into milk mixture. Heat till hot but not boiling. Stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour into a mug and sprinkle with cinnamon, if using.
- Serve and enjoy once the drink is cool enough to safely drink
Mom: I’m not sure how healthy it was after we added the marshmallows, but it tasted delicious! It has a richer dark-chocolate flavor compared to typical hot chocolate. I loved it, but the boys only drank about half of theirs.
Toddler: Um, marshmallow. Cheers! I yike it!
Preschooler: It’s kinda hot but still okay. Well, I like the taste. I like the marshmallows.
- 10 fresh apples
- 1 orange
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Dash of nutmeg (ground)
- Dash of cloves (ground or 4 whole)
- 1 Gallon of filtered water
- Wash apples and peel if they aren’t organic.
- Cut into slices and place in slow cooker.
- Slice orange into 8 slices and add to slow cooker.
- Add spices.
- Pour water into the slow cooker and turn on low for about 8 hours. I prefer to make this before bed and have it ready (and the house smelling incredible) for breakfast.
- Strain out apples and spices using a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.
Mom: I appreciate the health benefits of apple cider, and boy did this make my house smell heavenly! Because it’s more labor intensive than store-bought cider, I’ll probably only make it around the holidays. That said, the boys loved it and requested it the next day.
Preschooler: I like it. I tastes kinda like apple orange juice. It tastes like strawberry.