As much as I love summertime, I have to admit that I look forward to the slower pace of winter on our homestead.
I relish the cozy afternoons when the brisk winds and cold temperatures force me to stay inside.
My latest "guilty" pleasure is to sit down for several minutes during my daughter's nap time (the most peaceful part of my day!) with a steaming cup of hot cocoa.
I might surf around a blog or two, or read a chapter of a book. Regardless of the activity, just having the little bit of "me" time makes a big difference in my mood for the remainder of the day.
As moms, we are often so busy taking care of everyone else's needs that we completely forget to give ourselves an occasional break.
I invite you to join me this week and make it a point to set aside a little bit of "mom-only" time. Even just a few stolen minutes can make a big difference in your outlook for the rest of the day.
To help make your special time even a little more special, I'm sharing my recipe for wholesome, homemade cocoa.
This recipe only makes one portion and the ingredients are sure to be found in your cupboard. This homemade version is far more nourishing and decadent than the processed mixes found on store shelves, and it takes mere minutes to whip up.
Wholesome Homemade Cocoa
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder OR carob powder (carob is a natural cocoa alternative found in health-food stores. It's a great caffeine-free option.)
- 1 cup milk (I use raw milk for this. Feel free to use whatever quality milk you have available.)
- 1/4 teaspoon real vanilla extract (Check out my homemade vanilla tutorial here.)
- Your choice of sweetener: I prefer to use 15-20 drops of liquid stevia (a plant-based natural sweetener) in my cocoa. You can also use a tablespoon or so of regular sugar. Another option is 1-2 tablespoons of honey, although honey tends to change the flavor just a bit.
Place the water, cocoa or carob powder and sugar/honey (if you are using that option) in a small saucepan.
Use a wire whisk to blend everything together as you cook it over low heat. It usually takes less than a minute for the mixture to completely blend together and start steaming.
Stir in the milk, continuing to stir until the mixture is throughly warmed, but not boiling. (If you are using raw milk like I do, take care not to heat the mixture too much, as it will eliminate the beneficial "rawness" of the milk).
Remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla extract and liquid stevia (if using).
Pour into your favorite mug, and enjoy your little break Mama. You deserve it!
If you are in a warmer climate, or aren't in the mood for a hot drink, whip up a healthy milkshake instead. A few of my favorite flavors are chocolate peppermint, pumpkin, and orange creamsicle. (Plus, these recipes don't require any ice cream!)