By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

A rich, warm chocolaty cup of cocoa should warm your heart, not hurt it.

For those who want a comforting and steaming drink to help fend off the end of winter, this recipe offers a luxurious cup of hot chocolate with a consistency similar to heavy cream, yet it is still heart-healthy.

The secret ingredient is corn starch.

It’s both “heart-warming and heart-healthy,” said Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., a nutrition professor at Penn State University and volunteer for the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee. “You’re treating yourself with a very luscious, satisfying beverage.”

Heart-Healthy Hot Chocolate

2 cups low-fat or fat-free milk

1 Tbs corn starch

1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

3-4 Tbs water

Step 1: Mix corn starch, cocoa powder and water together. Do this in small steps to help avoid lumps. Keep adding water until it becomes a thick liquid.

Step 2: Heat milk on high until it is steaming. Stir constantly. Stir in the liquid corn starch-cocoa mixture.

Step 3: Continue stirring the milk until the liquid thickens to preference.

Step 4: Serve immediately.

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