There’s just something about a hot cup of cocoa that makes me want to run for my pjs and curl up with a good book in front of a fireplace. It’s warm, soothing, creamy and delicious. No wonder my kids were begging for hot cocoa this weekend when we finally dropped below 70° (it’s tough here in Florida).
As I pulled out the milk and cocoa powder I started to think about those little packs of Swiss Miss I used for so many years. Somehow those cute little packets succeeded in convincing me that it was so much easier to use prepackaged powder – but easier then what?? I had never really thought about how to actually make hot cocoa from scratch. I didn’t make anything from scratch. I just bought a box of Swiss Miss, pulled out the packet and dumped it into my cup of milk. Done! Pretty easy right? What I didn’t know is that to make hot cocoa from scratch is just as easy and much healthier. Let’s take a look.
Sugar, Corn Syrup, Modified Whey, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Nonfat Milk, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Dipotassium Phosphate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Carrageenan, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Artificial Flavor.
I listed the ingredients in the exact same order as they are labeled. When reading labels, the order matters because the ingredient that weighs the most is listed first. Should’t the predominant ingredient in hot cocoa mix be cocoa instead of sugar??? Also what are the rest of those ingredients that I can’t pronounce and that are sending my spell check into a frenzy? Should we really be eating this stuff? I could dedicate this post to dissecting the ingredients and the possible side effects of each but I want to stay focused on the bigger picture. The problem is that we are taking simple basic foods and turning them into science experiments. Hot cocoa does not require 15 ingredients it requires 3 and that’s with the actual milk! These food additives are questionable to say the least and dangerous to be blunt. We all like convenience, but at some point we have to weigh the risk of that convenience.
All that being said, let’s get back to a lighter note. Hot cocoa can be made in as little as 3 minutes with as little as 3 simple ingredients. If you want to make it extra yummy add a dash of vanilla extract and even a pinch of sea salt. But wait, it gets better. Homemade Whipped Cream! Again, just 3 simple ingredients in as little as 3 minutes. Check out this recipe for a perfectly delicious cup of hot cocoa.
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