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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Easy Hot Cocoa with Pumpkin Puree

My kids begged me to make them hot cocoa this morning and in an attempt to score some extra kid love, I agreed. Of course, I am always looking for ways to sneak in some additional nutrition or remake a recipe to be healthier. The pumpkin flavor is hard to detect in this hot cocoa and my little taste testers raved about it!

Canned pumpkin is on sale this week and I have been looking for other ways to work it into my children's meals because it is high in fiber and vitamin A. I typically add a couple spoonfuls to their applesauce along with some cinnamon and we love pumpkin waffles. I still cannot believe these muffins with pumpkin or carrot, peanut butter and banana are the most popular recipe on my blog! 

Seriously though, you can only use so much pumpkin. If I have a partial can, I freeze one tablespoon portions in an ice cube tray and pop the pumpkin cubes out into a freezer bag. That way I can add a cube to this hot cocoa, a bowl of oatmeal, applesauce or use multiple cubes when baking. {16 T. = 1 cup} No ice cube tray? Simply freeze one tablespoon blobs onto a cookie sheet and freeze!

Easy Hot Cocoa with Pumpkin Puree

Serves 2+

2 c. milk*
2 T. pumpkin puree
2 T. honey or sweetener of choice (more if desired)
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1 T. cocoa powder
marshmallows for serving (optional)

Mix pumpkin, honey, vanilla and cocoa in a small saucepan to form a thick chocolate paste.

Turn stove to med-low and gradually whisk in the milk. Heat until not quite simmering.

Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows for serving. This makes 2 adult size or 3 child size servings. Add a little brewed coffee for a grown-up mocha treat!

*Feel free to use a non-dairy milk, like almond milk, and adjust the sweetness as needed.

For a single serving--Mix 1 T. pumpkin, 1 T. honey, 1 t. vanilla and 1/2 T. cocoa in a large mug. Stir to form a paste. Gradually pour in 1 c. of milk, stir well and microwave 1-2 min. until hot. Stir again and add marshmallows.

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