One of the first things to go when I started cleaning up our kitchen was hot cocoa mix. I know you could say, “How often do you drink hot cocoa? Is it really that big a deal? Your kids don’t eat broccoli…you’re gonna worry about cleaner hot cocoa?” And you would be raising some valid points. But…I ditched the Swiss Miss and turned to good ol’ Hershey’s cocoa powder.

I really wanted to find a clean eating homemade hot chocolate mix. I haven’t found one that is totally clean, but I feel much better about giving this to my children than the store-bought mixes.

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The recipe is right off the side of the canister…and when I saw it, I thought why don’t I just make this? I like that you know exactly what’s going in it- even if one of the ingredients is white sugar. The rest you can feel pretty good about. And I don’t know if you’ve looked at the ingredients on the mixes in the store, but I can tell you some of them are pretty scary. There’s controversial ingredients in there, including hydrogenated oils.

Is it a little more hassle? Yes. But it’s worth it. And I find the days I’m making hot cocoa are usually the days you have a little more time to put into the cocoa. I would love to find a good recipe for a make-ahead mix I can make myself. That would bring a little of the convenience back to it. And I’d also like to play around with the sugar. Maybe I could use turbinado in place of white sugar? Or another healthier substitute?

In any case, this is the recipe I’ve been using…

Favorite Hot Cocoa

(from Hershey’s Cocoa)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
  • Dash salt
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Preparation:

  • Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in saucepan
  • Stir in hot water
  • Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils
  • Boil and stir 2 minutes
  • Stir in milk and heat- DO NOT BOIL
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla

The recipe makes 6 servings; maybe more if you’re talking kid-sized servings. I pour it into mugs (over the sink…I’ve learned it can be messy) and top with whipped cream (from a can- I’ll get to whipping my own cream another day).

We had a snow day here today and while the kids played outside I made them one of their favorite treats- hot chocolate! They liked it…

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So, while this isn’t a healthy recipe, and has nothing to do with working out, it is something I do to make things a little less processed around here. And it makes some really good hot chocolate!

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