Make Your Own Hot Cocoa Mix
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Fall is Here
Crisp mornings, shorter and colder days. Fall brings a change in the weather. And after the hot August we had, I’m welcoming fall with open arms. Especially when fall means I get to have hot cocoa in my mug!
My husband loves his tea and coffee and almost always has a cup of something warm at his desk at work.
Me? I’m not a big drink person. I like tea, but I usually get distracted after pouring it and forget all about it. Oops. And I’ve never gotten into coffee.
Hot chocolate is a different story.
The one drink I’ll finish every single time is hot cocoa. Last week, I think I had at least one mug of hot cocoa every day!!! I grew up drinking the hot cocoa packets. But these days, I like my chocolate a little darker. Plus, I think we can all do without excessive sugar, preservatives and artificial flavorings that come in those packets.
Everybody likes to hear that the things they like to eat are good for them. Even more so when its chocolate. Agreed?
If you’re looking for a reason to keep up your chocolate habit, continue reading. Keep in mind that these benefits are for 100% cocoa powder. Sugar has zero of these benefits, and in fact causes many health problems. So the more sugar you add to your cocoa, the fewer of these benefits you’ll be receiving.
Also, when cocoa is processed into chocolate, it changes things and doesn’t have quite the same effects. So let’s talk about cocoa.
- Cocoa is rich in polyphenols, which are naturally occurring antioxidants and have been linked to reduced inflammation, and improved blood sugar.
- Cocoa contains calcium, copper, and magnesium…important minerals for our bodies.
- The polyphenols in cocoa have been found to improve brain function and blood flow.
- The flavanols in cocoa may have cancer protective properties.
All hot cocoa mixes are NOT created equal
In our house, we like our hot cocoa much darker than the store. If we have a store bought mix, we often add extra cocoa powder. If you are looking for a store bought option, I’ve had this kind and absolutely loved it.
I’d caution you to check the ingredients if you’re buying it from the store. You might be surprised at what’s in there. Many have corn syrup, dairy products (not great if you have a dairy sensitivity or allergy), and plenty of unpronounceable preservatives. It’s simple enough to make your own. And you can customize it to your liking.
Hot Cocoa Mix
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar (add more sugar for a sweeter hot cocoa)
Take a mason jar (here’s my favorite size for this), add the cocoa and sugar, then stir or shake (with the lid on) to mix. You can keep the cocoa mix on hand all winter.
This week I’ve been spicing my hot cocoa with my chai spice blend. Mmmm…..so rich, so spicy. Sweet enough to balance the bitterness, but not so sweet that your blood sugar will spike through the roof.
Add a couple heaping tablespoons of your cocoa mix to some hot liquid. You can use milk, water, or a combination of the two. My favorite is 1/2 coconut milk, 1/2 water. I think a few drops of vanilla extract really make it special. Got marshmallows or whipped cream? Even better.
If you’re looking to add spice to it, I use two teaspoons of my chai spice blend for each mug. If you like it super spicy (like my husband), try adding a dash of cayenne.
However you drink it, take a deep breath and enjoy this delicious treat.
How’d it go? Tell me about it in the comments below!
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