This holiday season, it’s easy to overindulge. Sweets, fatty foods, and seasonal drinks surround us and threaten to undo all the good work we’ve done for our bodies over the past year. Luckily, we’ve got on hand. Jessica Fishman Levinson is a registered dietitian nutritionist and the founder of Nutritioulicious, a nutrition communications and consulting business designed to help individuals and corporate clients be the healthiest they can be. She is going to give you the inside scoop on how to keep your holidays healthy with some delicious and nutritious alternatives to some of the holiday traditions that aren’t the best for you. Today’s recipe: Healthy Hot Chocolate. Take it away, Jessica!

What I love about this hot chocolate is that it’s rich and decadent, but full of nutrition and so much better for you than most coffee-house hot cocoas because it’s made with nonfat milk, less sugar than most hot cocoas, and unsweetened cocoa powder, which is rich in flavonols. It also has almost 50% of your daily needs for calcium!
Vanilla Hot Chocolate-001
serves 2; serving size 12 oz 
  • 3 cups nonfat milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar substitute (1 packet; I used Splenda)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In a medium saucepan combine milk and cocoa powder.
  2. Heat over medium, whisking until the cocoa is fully mixed into the milk.
  3. Whisk in the sugar, sugar substitute, and vanilla extract.
  4. Continue heating until hot, being sure to whisk often to prevent the milk from curdling.
  5. Ladle into mugs and enjoy!
  6. Garnish with low-fat whipped cream or mini marshmallows if desired. 
Nutrition made with n: 184 calories, 15 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 24 g sugar, 2 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 7 mg cholesterol, 197 mg sodium, 485 mg calcium 49% DV Calcium
(FYI, 18.5 g of the 24 g sugar come from the natural sugar in milk)

Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN is a registered and New York State-certified dietitian nutritionist and the founder of Nutritioulicious, a New York-based nutrition communications and consulting business with a focus on culinary nutrition. Jessica has extensive experience as a recipe developer, writer, editor, and speaker. She is the co-author of We Can Cook: Introduce Your Child to the Joy of Cooking with 75 Simple Recipes and Activities (Barron’s, 2011), the Culinary Corner columnist for Today’s Dietitian Magazine, and maintains the popular Nutritioulicious blog. Jessica has been featured as a nutrition expert on television and radio outlets, including NBC, Fox 5, and NY1, in national magazines like Glamour, Fitness, and Woman’s Day, and on numerous health and lifestyle websites. Jessica has an MS in Nutrition and Dietetics and a BA in Psychology, both from New York University. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and various Dietetic Practice Groups of the AND, including Nutrition Entrepreneurs, Dietitians in Business and Communications, and Food and Culinary Professionals. In addition to her professional work, Jessica enjoys all things related to food and wine and spending time with her husband and twin daughters.

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