My tradition of watching the 24-hour A Christmas Story marathon on December 25 is never complete without a cup of rich hot cocoa in hand as I relax on my couch. Often, I go for an extra cup or two while watching this holiday classic — but end up regretting it later, when my sweet tooth is overwhelmed with the chocolaty, marshmallow-y goodness. This year though, I’m going to enjoy as many mugs as I want — without the sugar hangover — thanks to Rachael Ray’s healthy hot chocolate recipe!
How to Make Rachael Ray’s Healthy Hot Chocolate
First, break a one-ounce dark chocolate bar into small pieces (you can use a bar with or without almonds, although Ray recommends with!). Place the chocolate pieces in a saucepan with one cup of coconut water, then sift in one tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder.
Heat the mixture over a medium flame for about five minutes, or until it comes to a simmer and the chocolate is fully melted. Pour the cocoa into four evenly-sized mugs, then top with mini marshmallows if desired. (The recipe calls for dividing a half cup, or 32 marshmallows, between the four mugs, but I just eyeballed this since I love marshmallows — and I especially love when some of them melt into the drink and others stay at the top.)
At first, I was a little skeptical that this hot chocolate recipe would be too rich, or that it wouldn’t taste like the creamy, milky hot chocolate I’m used to. But it was actually much better than I expected! I couldn’t taste the coconut water at all, and the decadent, chocolaty flavor really shined through with each sip.
The almond pieces from the chocolate bar floating in my mug didn’t make sipping it any less enjoyable, and the marshmallows added a hint of sweetness so I was actually satisfied after just one cup. This recipe will definitely be gracing one of my beloved holiday mugs on Christmas Day as I watch A Christmas Story.
Swapping milk for coconut water and omitting sugar are just two ways to make a lighter version of this classic winter treat — check out these healthy hot chocolate recipes that help with burning fat, balancing blood sugar, and more!