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When the end of the year starts rolling around, we often start reminiscing about the last year and planning for the new year. Our family doesn’t make resolutions, but we often make goals or plans for the year ahead. Going into the 2017, one thing both my husband and I plan to focus on is loosing weight not just for the sake of loosing pounds, but to feel better, healthier.
We decided at this point, we were not going to be tied down to a diet, but focus on an overall better lifestyle. After longs discussions, we have several areas we need to focus on:
- Activity: With the days getting a bit warmer and the sun being out longer, getting outside and being more active is easier with the children.
- Late Night Snacking: This is a terrible habit! And can be so hard to break. With working at home, currently much of my writing happens after hours (after the children’s bedtime) so I tend to snack. It is truly a bad habit.
- Replacing Dairy: I plan to harness more plant power and less dairy for our entire family.
This actually won’t be a difficult step. Of our four children, three have dairy allergies. Since I am still nursing and my last three children are the ones with allergies, I altered my diet to be without dairy back in 2009. I have only had dairy intermittently between nursing and seem to have developed an intolerance myself.
Using Silk Milk as a non-dairy alternative form of milk is now everyday life in our home. My children prefer Silk Almondmilk with Silk Cashewmilk coming in a close second because both are very smooth and creamy. Silk Almondmilk has a mild nutty flavor and is rich and creamy. It is a delicious substitute in basically any recipe that calls for milk. It has no cholesterol and no saturated fat! Silk Milk is our number one choice for non-dairy alternatives not just for the taste and protein but also we love that they are a part of the Non-GMO project!
I use it in baking these dairy free muffins, in pancakes, overnight oatmeal and decadent hot chocolate! I really strive to ensure none of my children feel that they have to do without because of their allergy. For most things, I have been able to find and create a non-dairy alternative so they can still have all the treats.
Over the years we have found various non-dairy hot chocolate mixes and while some have been tasty, most are expensive and with a long list of ingredients. After testing out lots of recipes, we decided this one was a keeper. It is packed with simple ingredients and it a perfect to pair with Silk Milk.
Dairy Free Hot Chocolate Sticks
3/4 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of coconut sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
This recipe makes 12 hot chocolate cubes.
Place about 3″ of water in a small pan and place a glass dish inside it. I use a wide mouth mason jar. Add your coconut oil, coconut sugar and cocoa to the jar. On medium heat, stir frequently until the coconut sugar dissolves. The coconut oil will melt rather quickly, but it takes about 10-12 minutes for the sugar to dissolve.
Once combined well, spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons into a cube tray. I actually used an ice-cube tray here because I couldn’t get my hands on my silicone molds but making these into cute shapes are a favorite at our house. I praise you if you are able to spoon the mixture in neatly, I’m a rather messy cook but don’t worry, it is easy to knock off the extra.
Place the tray in the refrigerator to get a jump-start on the cooling for about 25-30 minutes. Now is the time if you want to add a little fun sprinkle to the top to do so. Then insert your paper straws or candy sticks into the center of each one. Place back into the refrigerator to completely cool.
Once they have cooled completely you can loosen them gently as you would crack ice. If you are gifting these, place in candy bags and tie with a ribbon. Be careful to not handle the chocolate too much, coconut oil melts rather quickly. If you are making these for yourself, I would store in the refrigerator. With our family, these doesn’t last long but they are super fast to whip up.
If you are looking for a cute gift, pair a couple of these hot chocolate sticks with a cute mug and you have a fun gift! When ready to use, simply heat your dairy-free Silk Milk and add your hot chocolate stick and stir until melted. It is so simple but warm, creamy and so delicious!
Pair a cup of Silk Milk hot chocolate with a Silk Yogurt and fruit for an easy and protein packed breakfast or snack. We were so excited when Silk launched their Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative. It is smooth and creamy with a delicious flavor. Since it is cholesterol-free, vegetarian and contains 6g of plant-based protein, it is a great choice any time of the day!
Our Walmart carries many different varieties of Silk Milk and Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative. You can find them with the other milk and yogurt but be on the lookout, Silk has updated their packaging and you should see the updated packages soon!