Post by Katie Mae Stanley, Contributing Writer
Steaming cups of chocolate goodness! Hot cocoa is a favorite treat of mine. It is the perfect way to warm up after playing in the snow. You never know what kind of cocoa we will be drinking at my house. Some days it will be a Mexican inspired hot cocoa, another day it will be peppermint, for a special treat raspberry but normally we just have it plain, which is delightful in its own right.
When I was growing up Friday nights were treat night, we could have a small bowl of ice cream or a mug of hot chocolate. Naturally we had the little instant packages of mix that you could add to hot water or milk. It was always thin and watery. For years I lived in the disillusionment that, that was how it was supposed to taste. As I moved into my teen years I always felt a bit guilty for adding two packs to one mug to make it taste right. When I first switched to eating real foods I left my hot chocolate packets behind. I didn’t want loads of sugar and powdered dairy in my body. At that point I was unaware of where I could find raw milk. Enter my search for coconut milk hot cocoa. What did I find? A recipe for coconut milk hot cocoa found right here at The Nourishing Gourmet which inspired me to create my first hot cocoa.
There are days when I want to cut out a few of the steps of making hot cocoa. Commercial mixes, even organic ones are out of the question. Instead I came of with my own mix. It has just three ingredients, sucanat, cocoa and chocolate chips. It takes no more than ten minutes to whip up a large batch of it. Next time you want hot cocoa, simply warm the milk of your choice and add two tablespoons of mix per cup of milk.
This makes the perfect easy gift this time of year. Add the mix to jars of your choice, decorate with a pretty ribbon or string and a sticker or two. If you have a bit of extra time on hand you could whip of a batch of honey sweetened marshmallows or peppermint marshmallows to add to the gift. Giving the cocoa mix with one of these whimsical owl mugs (affiliate links) would be so fun too!
Update: We’ve had a few requests for brand names to use for the chocolate chips. Here is my recommendations from the comment section! Here are a couple options: Enjoy Life Chocolate chips (affiliate links) are very allergy friendly, and so those who need chocolate chips made in a dedicated environment often choose them. They are great, though a little too sweet for me. Although cane sugar sweetened, my preference is to use really dark chocolate (we LOVE dark chocolate), as it contains much less sugar. A few fair trade brands that are also excellent quality dark chocolate: Scharffen Berger dark chocolate and Dagoba organic fair trade dark chocolate drops. With these two options, per serving, the amount of cane sugar is very low. However, for those who don’t want any cane sugar, there is one option that I LOVE made with coconut sugar. It’s Coconut Secrets’s dark chocolate bar. YUM! They do have it here on Amazon, but it has very expensive shipping. I checked Vitacost, but it looks like they only have the one with toasted coconut and milk added to it. So, I’d check any local high end/health food stores for them.
When gifting a jar of this hot cocoa mix add a note instructing them to add two tablespoons of mix to a cup of hot milk of choice.
- Pour your sugar of choice and cocoa powder into a blender. Blend on high for 2-5 minutes until the sugar and cocoa are mixed well.
- Add the chocolate chips and blend for another minute or two until the chocolate chips have boken into small pieces about ¼ to ⅛ of the original size. (If you have a higher quality blender like a Blendtec or Vitamix check after 30 seconds to prevent your chocolate from melting.)
- Pour into a quart size glass jar or four ½ pint jars to give as gifts.
- If gifting a jar of this hot cocoa mix add a note instructing them to add two tablespoons of mix to a cup of hot milk of choice.
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