white hot chocolate, sans white chocolate

One of my favorite fall/winter drinks is white hot chocolate. A little place in Ann Arbor called Espresso Royale makes the best by far, but sadly I haven't lived there in almost two years, so I've been left to my own devices.
Surprisingly, white hot chocolate mix is quite hard to find. I've tried making it using a bar of white chocolate melted into steaming milk, but it's just not the same! And also, calories out the...oh, you know.
If I can avoid the extra calories, but make something that tastes almost exactly the same as the original, I do. No point in cutting the calories for something that tastes terrible. However, I've come up with the antidote.
A low-calorie, delicious version of white hot chocolate, creamy and rich enough to make any cold, dark afternoon cozy and warm. Serve steaming hot with a nice book and down blanket. The funny part? There's no white chocolate in it. Sounds off, but you won't even miss it. Guaranteed.

For two cups of white hot chocolate, you will need:

Vanilla almond milk (sweetened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5-6 teaspoons of sugar
pinch of cinnamon (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)

Heat your almond milk to boiling on the stove. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, sugar and cinnamon and stir. Pour into mugs. Add a big dollop of fresh whipped cream to the top if you're feeling particularly decadent.

That's it! Minimal ingredients, simple and delicious.


Sip and enjoy, and bask in the smug glory that you just had an awesome drink with minimal calories. That in itself is worth celebration.

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