While some look forward to November 24th for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the smell of slow-cooked turkey that permeates the house, to me, Thanksgiving has always marked the first day of the holiday season. Because such an occasion warrants celebration, for as far back as I can remember I've reserved Thanksgiving morning for my first soul-warming mug of hot chocolate.
Help preserve this rich seasonal tradition by joining me this year (in spirit, of course) for a delicious mug of your own. Swiss Miss mix will always be welcomed in my house (especially when overflowing with marshmallows), but for those who prefer a more refined version, here are four organic brands that get the Zeel seal of approval.
Green & Blacks Organic Hot Chocolate
Dark chocolate addicts love Green & Blacks' organic hot chocolate, made from dark cocoa beans, raw cane sugar, fat-reduced cocoa powder, cocoa butter, soy lecithin and vanilla extract. To make your own, add four teaspoons to a mug filled with warm skim or low-fat milk for a tasty, full-bodied elixir. Cozy up on the couch and enjoy.
A piquant version of the original cocoa blend, Dagoba's Xocolatl features a combination of rich dark chocolate, cinnamon and chilies. While I can't vouch for the slimming capabilities of this (or any other) chocolaty drink, spices like chilies are said to pack a metabolism-boosting punch. Better yet, a serving of Xocolatl has eight percent of your daily intake of dietary fiber, a digestion superstar.
Allison's Gourmet Hot Chocolate
A gourmet drink dubbed "comfort in a cup," Allison's is as versatile as it is satisfying. For those who don't care for hot chocolate, this vegan drinking powder can also be used in a chocolate shake or a deliciously caffeinated cup of café mocha. Allison's fair-trade products are free of all animal products, making her brand a favorite among vegan celebrities like Alicia Silverstone.
Ah!Laska Organic Cocoa
As evaluated by this stay-at-home mom, Ah!Laska Organic Cocoa is the best "everyday" hot chocolate. "It has the sweetness that the kids like, but not too sweet that it turns off the grown-ups," she wrote after performing a taste test. Ah!Laska's "chocolatey chocolate" mix is fat-free and contains high quality organic milk powder and evaporated cane juice. Vegans can try the non-dairy version.
So many brands, so little time. Did we miss out on your favorite hot chocolate? (Or, do you love one of these?) We want to know!
Anyone can make brownies. What new JELL-O Holiday Recipe would you surprise everyone with?