Hot drinks for cold days

On a chilly day, a warm drink can be just what you need for a pick-me-up both delicious and relaxing. Try these drinks and let us know what you think!

Peanutty Hot Cocoa
There’s something magical about the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, so you’ll love it combined in a decadent drink! This could also double as a dessert. For a lactose-free vegan version, use almond milk (click here for a recipe if you need it!) in the place of regular milk.

Serves 4

2 cups water
2 cups milk (or soymilk or almond milk)
½ cup creamy peanut butter
4 servings of your favorite hot chocolate mix
1 tbsp chocolate syrup (optional)
Whipped cream, to serve (optional)

Bring the water and milk to a simmer in a saucepan. When hot, add the peanut butter, whisking to combine until the mixture is combined and heated through. Add the servings of cocoa powder and whisk to combine. When combined, transfer to mugs. Top with a swirl of whipped cream and chocolate syrup, if desired!

Nutritional info per serving: 364 calories, 20 g fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 302 mg sodium, 410 mg potassium, 36 carbohydrates, 2.6 g fiber, 26.5 g sugar, 13.5 g protein. 16% DV Vitamin E, 20% DV calcium.

Caramel Apple Cider
Apple cider is perfect for fall palates, especially when brewed with autumn spices that mingle perfectly with the tangy-sweet cider. Sip slowly from a thermos or your favorite mug.

Serves 16 (about 1 cup/person)

1 gallon apple cider
3-4 cinnamon sticks (about 4 inches long)
6-8 whole cloves
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (or half tsp ground ginger)
1 cup of rum (optional)
1½ cups caramel sauce
Whipped cream (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat, place the cloves and cinnamon sticks together and heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Then pour in the cider, ginger, and rum (if using) into the pot, mixing with a whisk to combine. Let heat until simmering. When ready to serve the cider, heat the caramel sauce in a glass measuring container. Drizzle about a tablespoon of the sauce down the insides of each serving mug or glass, coating the sides, then pour in the cider, straining out the solids. Top with whipped cream, if using, and drizzle with additional caramel sauce.

Nutritional info: 249 calories, 2.6 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 73 mg sodium, 1 mg potassium, 56 g carbohydrates, 17 g sugar, 1 g protein.

Cinnamon Honey Bee
This simple and satisfying drink is great for unwinding in the evening or with breakfast on a lazy weekend or holiday morning. If you use soymilk or almond milk, add honey a tablespoon at a time and taste after each tablespoon so as not to over-sweeten the drink.

Serves 4

4 cups milk (or soymilk or almond milk)
4 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon

Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat until gently simmering. Pour in the honey (it may help to spray your tablespoon measure with non-stick cooking spray first to help the honey slide right out) and add the cinnamon, whisking to combine. Pour into four mugs and sprinkle with cinnamon to garnish.

Nutritional info: 187 calories, 5 g fat, 19.5 mg cholesterol, 101 mg sodium, 14 mg potassium, 29 g carbohydrates, .4 grams fiber, 28 g sugar, 8 g protein. 25% DV Vitamin D, 29% DV calcium.

Have any delicious hot drink recipes of your own? Head over to this week’s message board to share your recipe and get some ideas for new ones!

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