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Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
Red cheeks, frozen fingers, and snow covered boots. All are a sign my girls have been enjoying our Iowa winters. When they finally come in from the cold, I almost always hear the same request, “Mom, can you please make hot cocoa?” The occasional cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows is certainly considered a treat or dessert in our home. However, there are ways to make hot cocoa healthier, even good for you. Making hot cocoa mix from scratch allows you to replace or switch ingredients, and can be a nourishing treat for your family. But where do you start? Take a look at the simple switches below.
Simple Ingredients Swaps
The first ingredient to switch is the sugar. Choosing an Organic raw cane sugar prevents consuming GMO sugar beets, or glyphosate in your hot cocoa. Coconut sugar is another alternative, with benefits cane sugar cannot provide. Ultimately, limiting your sugar consumption in any form is the healthiest option. We sometimes make hot cocoa with raw and unfiltered honey for the amazing health benefits. Simply make your hot cocoa mix without the sugar, and add 2 teaspoons of mix and one tablespoon of honey to each cup of milk.
The next ingredient to switch is the cocoa. Cocoa powder is a processed byproduct of the cacao bean. While both cocoa and cacao powders contain antioxidants and nutrients, cacao powder is less processed and ultimately a better choice. This article does a great job of explaining the difference between the two.
Another ingredient to switch out is table salt for one that is unrefined. Many table salts at the store are refined and stripped of their vital nutrients. Choose a salt that is unrefined and minimally processed. Pink Himalayan salt, sea salts, or real salts are all better options. Often pink or brown in color, these salts contain trace minerals our bodies need.
Finally, consider the milk you are using. Organic, raw, whole milk would be an ideal choice. However, many cannot find access to raw milk. Choose a dairy milk that is minimally processed, and free from antibiotics and pesticides. Or, find a nut milk that isn’t made with extra fillers, thickening agents, or added sugars. Homemade coconut milk is an easy option that is super easy and inexpensive.
Enjoying a warm cup of hot cocoa on a cold day can be part of a healthy lifestyle. By making small changes to the simple ingredients you choose, you can give your family a sweet treat that is good for them. That sounds like an easy mom win that I will gladly take!
Healthier Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe
Makes 1 pint, or 16 servings
1 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
2/3 Cup Cacao Powder (or cocoa)
1 tsp. Real salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon, optional
- Mix ingredients together and store in a glass jar until ready to use. I use a quart sized mason jar to mix as it is just over a pint.
- To make hot cocoa, whisk 2 tablespoons of hot cocoa mix into 1 cup of milk. Heat until warm. Serve with these homemade marshmallows.