Low-Cal Hot Chocolate

Sipping on a warm cup of hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows

Sipping on a warm cup of hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows

There is a difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. Hot chocolate literally means to melt chocolate, whereas hot cocoa is a mixture of dry cocoa powder, sugar and liquid resulting in a hot beverage. I’ve tested all kinds of recipes for both, and found that hot chocolate consistently yields a fuller, richer, more satisfying cup. Since I’m a huge hot chocolate fan, this recipe is a delicious way to enjoy my favorite treat without crashing my diet.

Technically, this recipe doesn’t really count as a recipe. There are two main ingredients, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and nonfat milk. You can a tablespoon of mini marshmallows and still, this “recipe” will be right under 200 calories, and just 4.5 grams of fat.

To put that into perspective, my usual cuppa’ cocoa, from an unnamed mega-coffee retailer, has a whopping 370 calories and (yikes) 16 grams of fat. While hot chocolate probably shouldn’t be in the daily meal rotation, as an occasional treat, I think this counts as a holiday win.

Serves 4


  • 4 cups of nonfat milk
  • 4 tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons of mini marshmallows (optional)


  • In a pot, simmer the milk until it’s scalding.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Add the chocolate chips to the hot milk.
  • Whisk continuously until all the chocolate chips have melted. You may see small flecks of chocolate, which is fine.
  • Turn off the heat and pour the hot chocolate mixture into four mugs.
  • Top with mini marshmallows if desired.
  • Enjoy!

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