There's nothing like a soothing cup of hot chocolate during the hectic holiday season. When you can grab a quiet moment, try one of these high-calcium twists on the classic chocolate drink. Whether they're based on tea, coffee or chocolate, infused with squash or malt, they're sure to warm. New studies show Vitamin D may help reduce risk of autoimmune diseases, hypertension, certain cancers and diabetes. Milk is one of the few food sources of Vitamin D, one cup providing 25% of the daily recommendation.
Mayan Hot Chocolate Purèe 2/3 cup mashed butternut squash and 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk in a food processor. Place in a saucepan with 2 cups milk and 6 ounces chocolate morsels. Heat until chocolate melts. Serves 2.
Hot Malted Chocolate Combine 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, 1/2 cup chocolate morsels, 2 heaping tablespoons malted milk powder and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cook over low heat until chocolate melts. Serves 2.
Hot Mocha Combine 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, 1 tablespoon sweetened cocoa mix, and 1 tablespoon Bailey's Irish Cream or coffee flavored liqueur. Microwave 1 to 2 minutes. Serves 1.
Hot Milk Punch Combine 1 ounce brandy, 1 ounce rum, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk and a pinch of nutmeg. Microwave 1 to 2 minutes. Serves 2.
Indian Chai Punch Heat 3 cups hot brewed tea, 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 whole cloves and 2 cardamom pods in a saucepan; let steep 30 minutes. Add 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk and 3 tablespoons honey; reheat until hot. Remove spices. Serves 3.