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Ask The Protein Powder Chef

How Do I Make A Healthy
Cup Of Hot Cocoa?

Ask The Protein Powder Chef: How Do I Make A Healthy Cup Of Hot Cocoa?

Why wait for winter? A cup of steaming hot chocolate can be the perfect topper to a cool fall day. Indulge in a protein-packed version of the original with this healthier alternative.
Q

Hi Protein Chef! Summer's coming to a close, and I'm looking to stock up on healthy fall treats. I'm a sucker for a steaming cup of hot cocoa, but I know it's packed with sugar and fat. Are there any healthy, protein-heavy alternatives?

A few years ago, I went on vacation to the north of Italy. It was winter, and it was cold. Everything was blanketed in snow—cars, buildings, everything. It was there, in the midst of that beautiful winter wonderland, that I fell in love with cioccolata calda.

Cioccolata calda literally means "hot chocolate" in Italian, but it's wildly different from the hot chocolate that you and I probably grew up accustomed to. Cioccolata calda is thick. It's rich. It's dark. It's delicious. And, man, it's intense!

So, when I got a request for a high-protein hot chocolate recipe, I couldn't help but draw my inspiration from Italy's cioccolata.

The result is crazy. It's crazy because it's luscious, sugarless, low carb, and, at the same time, jam-packed with protein POW! It feels indulgent, but guess what? It's far from it. It's protein wizardry at its best. Here's the recipe.

Protein Hot Chocolate

Ingredients
Directions
  1. In a pot, add together the milk, whey, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, and peanut butter.
  2. Heat it all up at medium heat while whisking.
  3. Take it off the heat as soon as it gets hot but not boiling hot—think warm enough to touch. If you wait any longer and the mixture boils, the whey will start to curdle.
  4. Top it with some protein whipped cream. This is obviously optional, but it adds a great texture to the drink and gives you a hidden pocket of delicious creaminess to look forward to. The added protein alone is worth giving it a shot.
  5. To make protein whipped cream: Whisk some quark or low-fat ricotta with 1/4 cup of vanilla whey protein powder and 2-3 tbsp of milk. Place the mixture in a piping bag and pipe it on the hot chocolate.
  6. Destroy with gusto!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 servings
Per Cup (without whipped cream)
Amount per serving
Calories 216
Total Fat7g
Total Carbs14g
Protein24g

Protein Hot Cocoa PDF (27 KB)

Note

Be careful with the xanthan gum. The stuff is crazy powerful. If you use too much, whatever you make turns extremely gummy and gains a kind of unpalatable "toothpastiness." Xanthan is an awesome thickening agent, but just remember that a little goes a long way.

Don't forget to check out Anna's new cookbook, Protein Pow(d)er: The Cookbook at the Bodybuilding.com store! Get your copy now.


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About The Author

Anna's passion for exercise and nutrition inspired her to create proteinpow.com while she was still in the last year of her Ph.D. program.

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Comments

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fcdb

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fcdb

Can I use any substitute for xanthan gum, like gelatin? How much?

Sep 10, 2013 5:32pm | report
 
AnnaSward

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AnnaSward

You know, I've never actually tried gelatine in hot chocolate but am inclined to say no as gelatine has to set to 'work' and when it 'works' then what you get is a pudding, not a drink. I'd actually use casein to thicken it if I didn't want to use the xanthan. Just make sure your milk isn't scalding hot though as that'd cook the casein (and the whey) which'd make it a bit lumpy and... yuck. As long as your milk temp is medium though, you can probably mix in the whey with a bit of casein until your desired consistency is reached?

Sep 12, 2013 5:26am | report
dogetta

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dogetta

You can get xanthan gum from a health food store or amazon. Its inexpensive and goes a long way.

Oct 1, 2013 12:05pm | report
tycali17

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tycali17

DEFINITELY trying this. thanks!

Sep 10, 2013 9:13pm | report
 
RyGuy14

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RyGuy14

Perfect for those upcoming winter months! Thanks for the suggestion. Favorited!

Sep 10, 2013 9:44pm | report
 
thatguy189

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thatguy189

I was thinking the same thing

Sep 11, 2013 6:23pm | report
AnnaSward

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AnnaSward

Thank you <3

Sep 12, 2013 5:26am | report
steelchic

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steelchic

<3 Love Hot Chocolate!!

Sep 11, 2013 8:41am | report
 
Tiff2Fit

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Tiff2Fit

Is xanthan gum necessary? I don't like my cocoa to be thickened.

Sep 11, 2013 4:10pm | report
 
AnnaSward

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AnnaSward

See comment above :-)

Sep 12, 2013 5:27am | report
GetPumps

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GetPumps

Youguys are trying to make me fat again lol..

Sep 11, 2013 5:42pm | report
 
TDORManiac

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TDORManiac

i will try it :-) thanks

Sep 12, 2013 5:25am | report
 
JDa617

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JDa617

Wowwww!!!! Haha I saw this and I instantly started watering at the mouth!

Sep 12, 2013 7:13am | report
 
SputnikHnG

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SputnikHnG

Looking forward to trying it out!!

Sep 12, 2013 1:56pm | report
 
Thadathil

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Thadathil

Looks delicous

Sep 13, 2013 1:44pm | report
 
ferron44

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ferron44

Got to try this on those cold days and nights

Sep 15, 2013 11:04am | report
 
jameselliott87

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jameselliott87

This sounds awesome!
I'll give it shot with my gold standard whey from Optimum Nutrition and see how it goes -
Thanks for posted BB.com!

Sep 16, 2013 6:11pm | report
 
dogetta

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dogetta

Sounds great but I would use skim milk and I am thinking that I am going to make whipped cream may be with some sweetener if needed and eat that instead lol!

Oct 1, 2013 12:01pm | report
 
ajmigliacci

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ajmigliacci

I love your column! I just made 4 batches of your protein peanut butter cookies and I'm about to make your protein brownies and banana bread...I can not wait for those bananas to turn black!

Anyway, I have a request: Stuffing. Like, for thanksgiving. Traditional American stuffing. I love mine with celery, apple, and walnuts. But what's a girl to do about the bread???? I know you have a lot of protein bread recipes on your site. I've tired a couple and I failed miserably at turning it into stuffing. It didn't have the right texture and didn't absorb water properly. It was the bread hearts recipe. I was so sad. Now that it's fall, can you PLEASE work your magic and get us a Protein Stuffing Recipe?

I need a healthy thanksgiving menu and I just love to have mini-thanksgiving dinners year round!

Alanna

Oct 6, 2013 2:22am | report
 
sasquats4life

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sasquats4life

My birthday is in a few weeks do you have any fairly easy recipes for a chocolate protein cake. If so i would appreciate it

Nov 17, 2013 5:39pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 20 of 20 Comments

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