Hot Chocolate Protein Shake

Winter mornings make me especially thankful that I work from home. As Eugene bundles up in his layers to head outside, I pull on a warm sweater and fuzzy socks, and wander into the kitchen to make myself breakfast.

My routine lately has included a protein shake like this coconut almond one I shared earlier in the month, but a snap of cold weather last week called for something a bit more. You see, while I don't actually have to go outside, I've found that the temperature in my apartment can be completely unpredictable. Since most people are out during the day, my building occasionally does this thing where it keeps the heat on low.  

Too low.

So low that it is impossible to stay warm--I've tried layers, balancing mugs of hot tea in my lap...even burying myself under the covers with my laptop to work! Finally, I turned to the oven, keeping it blasting all day long as I produce a steady stream of homemade breads, cakes, and roasted vegetables. Late last week, I went so far as to buy a huge pork shoulder that I quickly marinated and shoved in the oven for 8 hours of guaranteed warmth.

And for breakfast, I started sipping this steamy concoction--my hot chocolate protein shake.

Though essentially a very simple chocolate protein shake, the trick is in the heating of the milk, which turns a simple smoothie into a rich, hot beverage. I also mix in an egg, which is gently cooked by the hot milk, and helps to turn the drink into more of a proper meal. I was actually inspired to add the egg after reading a long-ago article about what Marilyn Monroe supposedly ate for breakfast in the morning.

Lovely though she was, I can assure you that my version is much, much tastier.

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Hot Chocolate Protein Shake

12oz (1 1/2 cup) whole milk (substitute almond or coconut milk)
1 large pastured egg
1 rounded scoop unsweetened vanilla or plain whey protein powder (optional)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoon raw honey or other sweetener of your choice

Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat just until bubbles start to form. While the milk heats, combine the egg, protein powder, cocoa, vanilla, and honey in a blender and blitz a few times to mix. Gently pour in the hot milk and puree again until very smooth and thick. Taste and adjust sweetener, if desired and serve immediately. 
A banana or a scoop of peanut butter would make wonderful additions!

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