Chocolate Strawberry Shake {and a Sentiment of Love}

Once upon a time, I used to make this sweet Chocolate Strawberry Shake at least a few times a week for my dear husband.  Oh, and I would usually have a little bit of it too if he felt like sharing. ;)

Sadly, we somehow got out of the habit of making these pretty shakes when we moved about a year ago.  However, last night I was reminded of just how yummy they are when my husband decided to whip some up for us in the blender.

He made one for each of us and they were perfect.  It was a perfect treat on the eve of Valentine’s Day!

And this was the perfect treat to wake up to on Valentine’s Day…

My husband decided to soap our mirror with this message of love before he left for work today.

He’s pretty smart, ya know?  Not only did he give me a sweet surprise to wake up to, but now I’m going to have to finally clean that bathroom mirror too! ;)

Chocolate Strawberry Shake

1-2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk (may substitute any non-dairy milk)
  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1 TBSP mild honey (or other sweetener to taste)
  • 1 handful frozen strawberries (to taste and to achieve desired consistency)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until completely smooth.
  2. Serve immediately.
http://creatingnaturally.com/chocolate-strawberry-shake/

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

2 Ingredient Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate {Fall in Love with Your Slow Cooker Week}

In honor of “Fall in Love with Your Slow Cooker” week, I wanted to share this super simple slow cooker hot chocolate recipe with you.

I really hesitate to even call it a recipe, because it is so simple.  With only two ingredients, this hot chocolate comes together so quickly that you might just find yourself enjoying a steamy hot cup of hot chocolate one too many times this winter!

This makes a rich, extremely chocolatey mug of hot chocolate.  It is a bit indulgent and absolutely delicious!  But if you prefer a darker, not-as sweet hot chocolate, check out this recipe for my dark hot chocolate mix that we also love and always keep on hand during the cold winter months.

2 Ingredient Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

Makes 6-8 servings

When you start making dinner, through the milk in the crockpot. By the time dinner is over and cleanup is done, it will be time to throw in the chocolate chips and sit down for an after dinner treat!

Ingredients

  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Place the 8 cups of milk in your slow cooker and heat on low for 2-3 hours.
  2. Dump the chocolate chips into the hot milk. Replace the lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk the milk and melted chocolate together until it is smooth and there are no chocolate pieces left.
http://creatingnaturally.com/2-ingredient-slow-cooker-hot-chocolate-fall-in-love-with-your-slow-cooker-week/

Notes:

  • You can use more or less chocolate chips depending on your taste.  You may want to start out with 1 cup and adjust from there.  I’ve made it with 2 cups before and it was extremely rich.  We prefer it with 1 – 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips.
  • Feel free to add other flavors to the hot chocolate as well.  Vanilla extract, peppermint, coconut extract, cinnamon, etc.  Get creative!
  • Add some coffee or espresso for a delicious mocha twist.
  • If you have leftover hot chocolate you can put it in the fridge and reheat the next day.  Or just drink it cold as chocolate milk!

Are you a hot chocolate fan?  Have you ever made it in your slow cooker before?

If you are interested in more healthy slow cooker recipes to save you both time and money in the kitchen, I recommend the eBook Crock On! A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook.

The cost for the eBook is only $5, but for this week only you can get it for 15% off using the code Creating15. It contains 40 healthy and delicious recipes for your slow cooker. You can read more about the book here, including what I think about it and if it’s for you or not!

Vanilla Green Tea Latte: A Delicious Way to Boost Your Immunity

Five Flu-Fighting Foods

Forget the flu shot! This year, fight back with food instead! I’m excited to be joining the following 5 amazing bloggers in hosting a 5-week series that will arm you with recipes to stay healthy this season!

Come back each Wednesday as we reveal five different foods that are purported to support your immune system in the fight against the cold and flu viruses that run rampant this time of year.

What’s more, each post will be opened up to all our readers, who will be linking up their favorite recipes with these key flu-fighting ingredients, so you can get lots of ideas for creative ways to serve them to your family!

So far we’ve talked about Pumpkin and Breakfastmake sure you check them out if you missed them.  There are a ton of great recipes that are linked up with a lot of really great ideas!

Today we are featuring Green Tea as our flu-fighting food (er…drink!).

Green Tea is full of antioxidants and is great for boosting your immunity.  This article by Leigh Ann explains Why Green Tea is Considered a Flu-Fighting Food

So not only is drinking Green Tea great for helping you stay well, but it is also delicious!  Especially when it’s in latte form! 

This is one of my husband’s all-time favorite hot beverages.  I’ve only started making it recently, but it is quickly becoming a new family favorite.  Trevor said that it’s as good as hot chocolate to him, which is saying a LOT, because he is crazy about his hot chocolate

Vanilla Green Tea Latte

Vanilla Green Tea Latte

Yield: 1 large serving or 2 small servings

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Steep the green tea bag in the 1/2 cup of boiling water for 4 minutes.
  2. While the green tea is steeping, heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it is very hot, but not boiling.
  3. Once the milk is hot and the green tea is done steeping, place the green tea, hot milk, honey, and vanilla into your blender.  Blend on high speed for 1 minute.
  4. Pour into mug(s) and enjoy while still hot.

Notes:

  • Feel free to adjust the honey to taste.  This is the perfect amount of sweetness for us, but it may be too little or too much for you.
  • The purpose of blending the mixture in the blender is to make the milk foamy and frothy.  If you have a latte maker, you could use the steam wand instead.
 

Featured Links from the Breakfast Link-Up

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Pumpkin Spice Granola and Pumpkin Smoothie (Yes, please!)

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Baked Blueberry Oatmeal (Oatmeal with a blueberry muffin taste!)

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Make-ahead Italian Strata (I love that this can be made up the night before. )

Be sure to check out the great Green Tea posts shared by the other lovely ladies hosting this series with me.  They have some great stuff that you don’t want to miss!

Now it’s your turn to link up your posts featuring green tea below.  We each will be picking three different recipes next week to feature.  Be sure to join us next Wednesday to see the featured green tea posts and for a GARLIC link-up!

There are only two guidelines for participation:

1.  Your recipe must feature a breakfast recipe. Any entry submitted that is not featuring green tea will be deleted.

2.  Please link your posts back to one of the hosting blogs. This way your readers can have access to all of the other great recipes as well!

 

This post has been shared with Fight Back Friday, Traditional Tuesday and Fat Tuesday.

Cozy Dark Hot Chocolate

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DarkHotChocolate

Oh, Hot Chocolate, how I have missed you!  It had been so long since I last tasted the pleasure of your rich, divine goodness.  But this morning, when I was at last reunited with you…it was pure joy!  I will never forsake you for so long ever again!

Okay, maybe that is a bit dramatic, but seriously, I LOVE this hot chocolate!  It’s finally cooled down enough here lately, that we’ve been able to enjoy it once again.  It goes along perfectly with a warm blanket, a special someone, and a cuddly couch.  Ahh…it is truly a wonderful treat!

My hot chocolate recipe is not as cloyingly sweet as most.  It is dark and rich, and we think it’s just perfect.  And for the record, it tastes nothing like Swiss Miss.  So keep that in mind if that is the style of hot chocolate that you are used to.  But I encourage you to give this a try.  Just be warned – it can be habit forming!

Dark Hot Chocolate

This recipe makes a hot chocolate mix.  I mix it up in a clean pint-sized ball jar and store it in that same jar in my pantry to have on hand for chilly evenings when cuddle time is needed!

Hot Chocolate Mix Ingredients:

  • 2 parts good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 part sucanat (Turbinado or regular sugar will work if that is all you have.  See this post on natural sweeteners for more info on why I choose sucanat.)

Hot Chocolate Mix Preparation:

Combine 2 parts cocoa powder and 1 part sucanat in a clean container.  Mix well.  You can make as much or as little as you would like.

To Prepare Hot Chocolate:

Whisk together 1 2/3 cup milk and 3 TBSP Hot Chocolate Mix in a small saucepan on stovetop.  Warm over medium heat, whisking until it is the desired temperature.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.  Pour into 1 large mug or 2 small mugs.  Serve immediately and enjoy!  May be topped with fresh whipped cream if desired.

Notes:

  • This is a very versatile recipe.  Feel free to adjust it to your specific taste.  When we first started making it, we used 1 part cocoa powder to 1 part sucanat.  Over time, we realized that we liked it better with 2 parts cocoa to 1 part sucanat.  Find what works for you and your family.
  • Also, feel free to experiment with the ratio of milk to hot chocolate mix.  What I listed above is our favorite.
  • Good quality cocoa powder really makes a difference in this recipe, as it is the star player, so keep that in mind.

This post has been shared with Simple Lives Thursday, Delightfully Inspiring Thursday, and Pennywise Platter Thursday.

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