I had plans of reduxing an ooey-gooey chocolate dessert for this month’s Recipe ReDux post. But when we ran out of milk last week and my kids instead drank just-as-much-calcium-and-protein-as-milk hot cocoa for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I knew I just had to share the versatile recipe. And when I say versatile, I mean I use it in cooking, in smoothies and to successfully bribe my kids to go outside to run off pent-up energy in the dead of winter.
Most homemade hot cocoa mixes contain dry non-dairy creamer. Of course these creamers contain all sorts of chemicals and fillers which are completely unnecessary for a cup of rich hot cocoa. My recipe contains only powdered milk, baking cocoa and just a little sugar. So kids (or anyone) get the goodness of milk, antioxidants from the dark cocoa, and a little sweetness to make the powdered milk go down. (I was the child of a very frugal mother who at one point in my childhood provided my sisters and I with the dreadful experience of drinking plain reconstituted powdered milk “to save a little milk money.”)
The Cranberry Quinoa Breakfast Cookies are an example of how I use the mix to add some chocolate goodness to recipes. I added 2 tablespoons of mix to the recipe and used dried cherries instead of cranberries. And if you don’t have quinoa, Deanna made the recipe using cooked whole wheat couscous instead (see photo below!) The cookies are a perfect breakfast or snack along side a cup of the cocoa reconstituted with water, or with milk for extra creaminess and double the calcium and protein.