Hot Chocolate (& This Week’s Balanced Bag Lunch)


Hot chocolate is to winter as pineapple mango smoothies are to summer. A co-worker of mine just asked me if I’ve posted any smoothie recipes lately. Although I wish I was able to drink smoothies and green juices all day every day, I just can’t wake up during these December, New York mornings and say, “Mmm, I can’t wait to drink an iced cold watermelon, raspberry, almond milk smoothie.” (On a side note, my father actually does. I’m talking about real deal, lentil-oatmeal-banana-chia seeds-hemp-pineapple-blueberry-orange-spinach-cinnamon kinda smoothies. And he lives in Pennsylvania where it snowed over a foot last weekend. Just sayin…) I made this hot chocolate recipe a lot last winter and I kind of forgot about it until the other night. It takes about 3 minutes and entails just 3 ingredients.



  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp cacao powder



  1. On medium/low heat, whisk all ingredients together until completely blended. Cook for about 3-5 minutes. Taste for sweetness.


On another note, we have another balanced bag lunch to discuss! Although last week I had to devote each minute I was home to baking for a holiday boutique, I’m happy to get back to the bb lunches. So, let’s get into it. In this week’s lunch there will be:

  • a pint of coconut pumpkin “risotto” with beans and peas
  • a large fudge black bean brownie (my favorite)
  • a bottle of water

Pick-up times are between 6-8 pm on Wednesday evening. For those balanced co-workers of mine who are interested, I’ll be bringing the lunches to work Thursday morning. If interested in ordering, you can send me a message via the contact tab at the top of this page, message me on Facebook at Jaime Witkowski, email me at, or send me a text if you have my number. You can also check out what the coconut pumpkin risotto will look like by viewing the recipe here. I’ll be showcasing some new and decadent packaged baked goods this Sunday at Ms. Elaine’s Dance Studio here in Rockaway, so hopefully I’ll see some of you local people there!  I haven’t started baking for that yet, but if you have a favorite recipe, let me know in the comments below and I’ll make sure to have it there : )

Last Thursday night at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club's Holiday Boutique <3
Last Thursday night at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club’s Holiday Boutique ❤


Author: Balanced Bella

Hi, I'm Jaime and I am the recipe tester, photographer, and writer at balanced bella! All my recipes are vegan, gluten free, and 100% delicious!

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