Today’s post is by author Kristel Wiesner; her goal is to share tips for saving money on healthy food without sacrificing nutrition. Kristel believes improving your diet is a journey, and every step taken to replace processed food with whole food is one step closer to better health.
Although food is primarily for nourishment, it serves other purposes in our lives. Food is a means around which we enjoy each others company and deepen relationships. It provides pleasure as it tickles the taste buds. For me, and probably for many of you, preparing food is also an outlet for creativity.
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I like eating to be an adventure. I love finding or creating recipes that use food in unusual ways, especially when they incorporate healthy ingredients. Such is the case for Thick and Creamy Mayan Hot Chocolate. You’ll never guess the secret ingredient that makes this hot chocolate drink thick and creamy…
That’s right, butternut squash. I feel pretty confident no one would ever guess the secret ingredient, unless they have super sensitive taste buds. Even my squash hating daughter likes this drink.
I wouldn’t try to pass this off as regular hot chocolate to your kids, though. It’s different. It is a sweet, hot, chocolate drink but it’s not a cup of hot chocolate like they might expect.
The version below is my take on the recipe. It’s less sweet and uses baking chocolate instead of a more expensive semi sweet chocolate bar. Semi-sweet chocolate chips could be used, but if you’re trying to avoid GMO soy and sugar you’ll find both of those in regular chocolate chips. Non-GMO chocolate chips are readily available in my grocery store, but at $4.25 a bag, it’s cheaper to use the baking chocolate squares that I can buy for half that price. Here is the original recipe from Relish, if you would like to compare it or try their version.
Creamy Mayan Hot Chocolate
1 cup cooked butternut squash
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 ounces (1 1/2 squares) baking chocolate, broken in half
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper
2-3 tablespoons sweetener of choice (I use 2 tablespoons raw honey)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Put all ingredients, except vanilla, in a thick bottomed pan or double boiler and heat on medium stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the vanilla. If you’re using raw honey stir that in at the end also. Pour the hot drink in a blender container. Be sure your blender has some type of venting for steam or the lid will blow off and you could get burned (not to mention have a big mess). Whir at high speed 30-45 seconds, or until it is very smooth. Serve warm.
Canned pumpkin can be used if you don’t have butternut squash.
I have tried whirring this recipe in the blender both before and after heating. My hot chocolate came out smoother when I blended the hot mixture than when I blended the milk and squash before heating, as they do in the Relish recipe.
I’ll be posting another recipe that uses squash in an unusual way at Healthy Frugalista in the next few weeks, so come check it out. Until then, here are some yummy squash recipes from Learning and Yearning and Healthy Frugalista to enjoy: