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Sugar-free Hot Chocolate

January 17, 2007

3 cups low-fat milk
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Splenda
1 tablespoon vanilla-whey protein powder or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine everything in a saucepan over low heat, whisking until the cocoa is dissolved. Heat slowly until quite hot and serve - with real whipped cream, if you like. No marshmallows - they're pure sugar.

Serves 3.

Nutrition information per serving: 154 calories; 6 g fat; 13 g protein; 16 g carbohydrates; 2 g dietary fiber.

Cook's notes: The vanilla-whey protein adds extra creaminess and makes your hot chocolate more filling, but if you don't have it on hand, vanilla extract is fine.

If you're low-carbing, Hood Dairy still makes carb-reduced milk. They've just changed the name to Calorie Countdown. Look for it. Or substitute half heavy cream, half water, but you'll add 289 calories. Hood Dairy's Calorie Countdown line also includes sugar-free, chocolate, carb-reduced milk. Just pour in a mug and nuke for a quick hot-chocolate fix.

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There also are no-sugar-added hot-chocolate mixes at your grocery store. Stash a few envelopes in your desk, and you've got an instant chocolate fix that will keep you away from the doughnuts in the break room. Because it's hot, you have to sip it slowly, making it last awhile. And it's got enough protein and a low-enough blood-sugar impact that it will keep you full for an hour or two.

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