Snowed in? Here’s an idea – try this…
Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe (made with only four ingredients)
I used hot chocolate packets for many years. They were just too convenient. Open, add to hot milk or water, stir, drink. So simple, right? But not only can you make from-scratch hot chocolate with the same simplicity, you can also control the quality of ingredients and make it a little healthier.
Plus, have you seen what they put in some conventional hot chocolate packets? Here’s an example from one popular, unnamed brand:
SUGAR, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, VEGETABLE OIL (PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COCONUT OR PALM KERNEL AND HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN), DAIRY PRODUCT SOLIDS, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, AND LESS THAN 2% OF CELLULOSE GUM, NONFAT MILK, SALT, SODIUM CASEINATE, SODIUM CITRATE, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM ALUMINOSILICATE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, GUAR GUM, ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS.
What is all that stuff? There are more than a dozen ingredients in that list, and if you’re a Michael Pollan fan like me, you’ll notice you can’t pronounce many of them. Food Rules fail. On top of that, who puts vegetable oil in hot chocolate? I mean, can you imagine making hot chocolate and stirring vegetable oil and corn syrup into your mug? And instead of sprinkling in cinnamon, you sprinkled in a dash of sodium aluminosilicate or sodium caseinate. Yum?
You know what the ingredient list is for the Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder I used? It’s:
Yup, that’s it.
But, then, I started thinking, well maybe they used semi-sweet chocolate pieces that were melted down?
However, here’s the ingredient list for a Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Premium Baking Bar:
Semi-sweet chocolate (sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, milk fat, soy lecithin – an emulsifier, vanilla)
I’m not saying the long ingredient list is bad, it’s just…why would you want to eat that when you can eat hot chocolate made with only four simple ingredients?
(I keep referencing Ghirardelli because I bought a bunch on major sale awhile back, but there are lots of good, pretty clean chocolate producers out there. Check your local health food store.)
My healthy hot chocolate ingredient list contains the following:
Milk, cocoa powder, raw sugar, vanilla extract
It’s a simple list and pretty much just as easy to make as the kind that comes out of a box. I wrote the recipe for heating the milk on the stove because I’m one of those hippies who doesn’t like using the microwave. But, you can use whatever you want to warm up your milk.
Bottom line – you don’t need those packets once you know how easy from-scratch hot cocoa is!
- 1 cup, plus 1-2 tablespoons milk of choice (I used rice milk, vegan)
- 2 rounded teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon raw sugar (or sweetener of choice)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- cinnamon, optional
- Place milk in a small pot over medium low heat.
- Meanwhile, place cocoa powder, sugar, and extra tablespoon of rice milk in a small bowl. Whisk until a paste/thick mixture forms and powder is absorbed. Add additional tablespoon of rice milk, if needed.
- Whisk cocoa mixture into milk mixture. Heat till hot but not boiling.
- Pour into a mug and sprinkle with cinnamon, if using.
- Serve and enjoy once the drink is cool enough to safely drink.
Multiplies easily if you need more than a single serving.
Hope you enjoy this Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe!