I'm kind of a chocoholic. And I am not ashamed of that. I love sipping on chocolate in liquid forms. A mug filled with hot chocolate is a sure way to win a place in my heart! Not the healthiest but I lived off of store bought chocolate almond milk towards the end of my pregnancy and even indulged in a few glasses after giving birth to Lydia. I tried making up for it by having it with half plain almond milk and the rest with the chocolate milk. The desire to have chocolate milk all the time kind of dissipated and the beverage I *had* to have on a daily basis became forgotten. (That's not to say hot chocolate was forgotten ;) )
Fast forward to Lydia turning one a couple weeks ago, I had tried giving her organic milk and she wasn't into it. My mom suggested I try chocolate milk and I decided against store bought because of the added sugar and unpleasant thickening agents. However I was curious if I blended a little cocoa powder, dates, cinnamon, and vanilla bean to her milk would change her mind. Turns out it did! This chocolate milk recipe is not only toddler-friendly, it is a delicious and nutritious treat for the whole family. And it can easily be made with non-dairy milk for those with food allergies or lactose intolerant.
On the subject of milk, after seeing it a bunch of times at Whole Foods and contemplating whether or not to buy it, I finally bought grass-fed milk and guys, it's amazing! Although I've only had it in small doses, it is the only cow milk to date that hasn't given me the usual bloating and tummy troubles, and it tastes fresher too. On top of that it also has natural occurring omega-3's and CLA because the cow's are eating what their stomachs are designed to eat: grass! I just had to share because I'm excited to include more options in my diet. That being said, here's the recipe to a toddler and mommy approved chocolate milk!
Naturally Sweetened Chocolate Milk
- 16 ounces milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2-3 pitted medjool dates
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash of cinnamon
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until fully incorporated. Divide into four small glasses or in Lydia's case, plastic cups with lids. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to two days. Separation will occur, so give it a good shake before serving. Enjoy!