November 26, 2012

Simple Veggie Snacks: Sinless (Nostalgic) Holiday Sipping

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Every year from the time I was in second grade up until I started school at NYU last year, my dad took my sister and I to the city to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel for a few days before Christmas. We’d go from Broadway to FAO Schwarz to Rockefeller Center —  you know, all the quintessential holiday city spots. I’d always be freezing about a block after leaving our hotel, and had zero patience for the crowded streets (as I still don’t), but I look back upon each stay so fondly. The first year we went, I was not acclimated to the city in any way. However, I knew there was one place located in the Big Apple, a place with which I had formed a mild obsession. You see, I had seen the film Serendipity, and had fantasized about the classic and cozy interior of the iconic dessert establishment Serendipity 3 (and I may have subconsciously associated it with finding true and spontaneous love, but then again I was, like, eight years old, so probably not). So, my dad dutifully took us to Serendipity, where we waited on a line longer than my average Christmas list. Finally, though, we were seated! And, amongst the fantastical, endless array of desserts, there was the classic Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. My sister ordered it and I some other gaudy sundae, and a splendid time was had by all. Flash-forward a decade or so, and I still associate that dessert-drink with the holidays: Something special and classic — the perfect winter-time treat. However, now I am nowhere near the Serendipity 3 in NYC or any of the other locations. Additionally, my metabolism is no longer that of an eight year old, and, sorry to break some hearts, but there are a staggering 728 calories in one Frrrozen Hot Chocolate (when made using Serendipity’s recipe, whipped cream included). So, I sadly concluded that the combination of the horrific nutritional content and my location meant no frozen hot chocolate this year … at least, not from Serendipity 3. But who needs them! Below is a recipe that you and I can make with ease, is dramatically lower in calories, and will still bring you holiday joy (even while you turn into Scrooge amidst all your finals).

HEALTHY Home(or dorm)-made Frozen Hot Chocolate:-2 tbsp cocoa powder-a PINCH of salt-1 tablespoon sugar (add more if you like it sweet)-1 cup milk (I love Vanilla Almond Milk)**-1 tablespoon melted chocolate chips (Chocolate syrup works, too…just make sure to mix it well!)

1. Combine ingredients in a big mug or a small bowl (it’s a pretty big serving).2. Microwave 30-45 seconds.3. Pour into two or so small containers and freeze until thoroughly frozen.4. Thaw only slightly, then combine contents of containers into a blender and blend it!5. DRINK and enjoy! Oh, and don’t add ice … it dilutes the richness of the chocolate

**If you don’t care about calories / fat TOO much, you can use 2/3 milk, and 1/3 full-fat coconut milk. This will make the drink thicker and more dessert-like. The caloric value still falls way below the Serendipity recipe!

Take some time to treat yourself during the next few weeks. Sipping this drink will remind you that there is a light at the end of the dark and Hellish tunnel that is finals week; that light is relaxation, holiday cheer and time with loved ones (and, yes, many more desserts galore).

Original Author: Meghan Flynn