There’ve been some pretty cold days here in Pennsylvania lately. And with cold days comes craving for hot drinks. We all enjoy Cranberry Cider Swizzle, and at bedtime I love a mug of honey-sweetened Cardamom Milk, and there’s always tea. But on certain days – especially snowy days when you come in from sledding and playing outside – nothing will do but hot chocolate!
Here’s our go-to hot chocolate. It is the best hot chocolate you will ever drink in your whole life. I don’t mean, it’s “pretty good for being healthier for you.” I mean, it will blow that packet of Swiss Miss out of the water and make you wonder why you ever put that stuff in your mouth. It is rich, chocolatey, and deeply satisfying. Every single person who has ever had it has said, “Wow! How do you make this!” and can hardly believe how good it is. So, if you’ve been used to making instant hot chocolate packets, try this instead. It’s cheaper, healthier, and waaayyyy tastier!
And – bonus of bonuses – not only is it absolutely delicious, it’s also made with a minimum of sweeteners and only natural, whole-food ingredients! So you can drink this (as long as you’re not highly inflammatory at the moment) and give this to your family and feel good about it!!
Apple cider. And fresh cranberries. And fresh-squeezed lemon and orange juices. And spices. And honey. All together, hot and steaming and delicious, on my stove. This is one of my favorite wintertime drinks, and as soon as I start to see cranberries arrive in my grocery store I begin to think about it. “Yay!” I say to myself. “It’s Swizzle time of year!”
I have made this drink for many different groups of people over the years (because it’s a great sort of “special company” drink), and I have never yet encountered anyone who didn’t like it. People who say they don’t like hot cider like it. People who say they don’t like cranberries like it. I don’t know what it is, but it’s some sort of magical combination of ingredients that makes it universally loved. So odds are that you’ll love it too!
This recipe is really a no-brainer. A lot of my recipes are, though, like the smoothies, and the popcorn, and the cardamom milk. They’re not so much recipes as…ideas.
But, ideas is the whole reason I have this blog! To give people ideas about what to eat – or drink – when they go on a diet like this. Sometimes all you want is someone to give you a list of things and to say, “Here. This is what you can eat! Go!”
So, you can add this one to your list of “Things I Can Drink.” You know, along with water, and milk, and…water. Yeah. The list of drink options on this diet isn’t very long. Which is why it’s nice to have this in your repertoire!
We spent last night sitting in the high school football stadium, freezing our butts off. My daughter is in the marching band so we had to go, and, man, was it cold! (She’s only in 6th grade, but it’s a small school so everyone’s in the marching band.) I had her bundled up in 4 layers of clothes as though she was going on an antarctic expedition. Tights, long socks, leggings, pants, and another pair of socks – but still her toes got cold by the second quarter. I was ready to save the day with toe warmers I pulled out of my purse like a rabbit from a hat, though. Yay for Mom!
The director let them go after half time, which I was happy about both for bedtime (it was a school night) and temperature reasons….
Of course, when we got home some hot tasty beverage was in order, so both kids got some hot cocoa before bed. I wasn’t able to have any, obviously, but felt like I would like to join them in a hot tasty beverage too – something other than tea – and so decided on warm cardamom milk.
Cardamom has a taste that’s slightly gingery – it always reminds me of ginger when I drink it. The milk gets naturally sweeter when it’s warmed, and with a bit of honey it becomes a soothing, spicy, slightly sweet drink. I think using whole milk makes a big difference – sweeter and creamier than reduced fat. Now – it’s not a hot chocolate “substitute,” so you can’t think of it like that or you won’t like it. It’s a completely different drink, good in its own unique way. Expect a taste that’s slightly exotic – like something you’d drink if you were an Englishman living in India or something!