Monday, December 16, 2013

Healthier Hot Chocolate and Homemade Marshmallows

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The past few days here have be very cold. It's been windy, rainy, and then we got snow! My kids were obviously excited and had a lot of fun playing outside. I find it funny how as a kid I would play out in the snow and come in a huge mess waiting for my mom to give me a cup of hot chocolate. Fast forward and now I am that mom dealing with messy kids covered in snow and handing out cups of hot chocolate. As much as I do love to play in the snow I much rather cuddle up with my kids sipping hot chocolate and snacking on homemade marshmallows. That is definitely great comfort food!



A while back I shared a recipe for a pretty famous comfort food- Chicken Pot Pie, done healthy of course! I have to say though that in terms of comfort, especially after fun in the snow, a nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows sounds even better.

This hot chocolate recipe is as easy as the kind that comes in a packet that has ingredients I can't even pronounce. Only my recipe has way less ingredients and tastes even better!

I was surprised at how easy it was to make these marshmallows. Yes, it is easier to buy a bag of already made ones and pop some on top of your hot chocolate, but these are so much better for you and melt perfectly into the hot drink that I think they are worth the effort. They are fun to make and taste...
and you can be proud of yourself that you actually made your own marshmallows that aren't filled with corn syrup, sugar, or artificial food coloring. I think you need to make these- ASAP

Hot Chocolate
Makes 1 serving- You will definitely need to make more...

1 1/2 cups almond milk or milk of choice
1 square of 60% or 70% dark chocolate
1 Tb maple syrup
tiny pinch of salt, optional
1/8 tsp vanilla extract, optional

Combine ingredients in a small pot on the stove. Start by cooking at a low heat till chocolate has melted. Whisk to be sure all is combined. Then bring to a low boil and simmer for about 5 minutes till it has reduced and thickened a bit. Whisk again and pour into a mug. Enjoy as is or with some homemade marshmallows!


Healthier Homemade Marshmallows
Makes 30 little marshmallows

1/4-1/2 cup honey or maple syrup *see tip below
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 Tb gelatin (I used kosher fish gelatin)
6 Tb water 

*1/2 cup makes these VERY sweet so I would suggest using a smaller amount. Honey is sweeter than maple syrup so you may want to use more maple syrup than you would honey. I used 1/2 cup honey and found them too sweet so I suggest starting with 1/4 cup.

Mix gelatin and water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds then remove and whisk. Microwave for another 30 seconds and whisk again. If the gelatin has not yet dissolved, keep microwaving in 30 second increments till dissolved. 

In a mixing bowl or bowl of a mixer place the honey or maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Using a mixer start to mix them together while slowly pouring in the gelatin mixture. Keep beating and you will slowly see it turn into a white fluffy mixture similar to marshmallow fluff. This could take up to 10 minutes if you use a dinky hand mixer like mine. 

Line a 8x8 smaller baking pan with parchment paper and pour in marshmallow mixture. Smooth the top. Do not cover the pan. Let it sit out on the counter for 4 hours. 

After about 4 hours you will be able to peel off the parchment paper and cut into small squares. 
You can then roll them into some toasted shredded coconut or a mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar (which I chose not to do.) You can also separate them and let them sit out even longer to get dryer. I really enjoyed them with the coconut on the outside, but to go into my hot chocolate they were best plain. 

Mixing 

Pour into pan

Wait till firm and cut into little squares

I hope this recipe helps you stay warm!


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6 comments:

  1. a lot of work for a cup of hot chocolate but looks worth it :-)!

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  2. I have thought of making homemade marshmallows a few times. I'll bookmark this and perhaps I'll follow thru!

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  3. Oh yum! I wish I could do honey or maple syrup but the sugars would make me sick. But that looks amazing and like something I would serve my family without any guilt!

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    1. You didn't say why sugar makes you sick, but have you tried silan (date syrup)? I can't have honey or sugar either but silan doesn't bother me.

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  4. yum, i must make these marshmallows with my kids, and then the hot cocoa too. what fun recipes

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  5. I absolutely love homemade marshmallows and they are amazing in this kind of hot chocolate. Love that I can save some calories using Almond milk and I never tried using maple syrup this way, that is a new twist I have to test, thanks.

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Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!