I was even more impressed when I stopped and saw that this little girl was giving half of the money that she was earning to the Mansfield Animal Shelter. What a great example of philanthropy (and entrepreneurship!) at such a young age. I gave her an extra few dollars to put towards both the shelter and her own earnings. And in return, I was treated to a warm cup of instant hot chocolate with a few mini marshmallows.
If you’re interested in whipping up a healthier hot chocolate recipe at home, consider mixing 1 cup of warmed skim milk or almond milk with 2 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Add a dash of vanilla extract and cinnamon, and if you need it, a little sugar (a teaspoon or so). Or consider making a Mexican Hot Chocolate, typically made by mixing grated Mexican chocolate with hot water and whisking until frothy. You can find a great recipe on the Taza website. With either recipe, skip the marshmallows, and you’ve got a relatively healthy warm drink to sip on a cold chilly night, complete with a boost of flavanols.
I enjoyed a sip of the instant hot chocolate, and then tossed the rest. It tasted fine, but besides knowing the nutrition facts, it’s also not one of my favorite holiday time treats. I definitely believe in indulging in moderation over the holidays, but I think it’s important to select the treats that we really love and don’t necessarily have at other points in the year. Case in point – in a few weeks, I’ll visit some extended family in Virginia. My Aunt June makes this insanely delicious crumb cake that I only get to have once a year during this family get together. I most definitely will have a piece of that. On the other hand, when I see store bought cookies at a Christmas party, I don’t have a hard time passing on them because to me, they’re not anything special and I know I won’t really enjoy it.
I’d encourage you to think about this as you come across lots of holiday treats throughout the rest of the month. Take a moment and ask yourself – Is this something that I really want? Will this be satisfying and truly tasty? Is this really a “once a year” or very special indulgence? If you don’t answer yes to those three questions, then you may want to reevaluate whether the treat is worth it.