Peppermint Hot Cocoa

It is cold outside and the snow just keeps coming.  I am trying to embrace the season with the classic foods and drinks that scream winter, like soups, meals made with seasonal vegetables, and of course, hot cocoa.  What would a snowy winter be without being able to come in from the cold and enjoy a mug of hot cocoa?  When I was growing up, having hot cocoa meant ripping open a package, pouring in some water, and heating it up in the microwave.  As a child, there was no thought that went into what I might be drinking.  Now, as a mom, I have to make the decision between convenience and knowing (and feeling good about) the ingredients.  A popular instant hot cocoa packet has the following ingredient list:

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.

I have to choose between all of ^^^those^^^ ingredients and the list in a cup of homemade hot cocoa, which includes:  milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, agave nectar, and peppermint oil extract.   I can have the homemade version made in almost the same amount of time, so really, there’s no question which one I’m going to choose.  I don’t need sugar to be the number one ingredient in my hot chocolate, and I don’t want corn solids, hydrogenated oils, and other chemicals that I don’t know enough about in there, either.

I included just a drop of peppermint oil extract in my hot cocoa because I’ve been craving the combination of mint+chocolate, but you can leave it out for a classic, no-sugar hot chocolate treat.  The recipe is for one mug, but you can easily double, triple or quadruple the recipe to make enough for your family.

Enjoy!

Comments

  1. says

    Thank you for this post! I was actually just thinking about this a few days ago. I figured peppermint extract would be the way to go, but glad to hear it was a success from someone who’s tried it. I also like that this is much more cost effective than going to Starbucks to get it. :)

  2. says

    My dad always made homemade coco, so did my mom, actually. I remember learning how when I was little & thinking it was cool. Yours sounds really yummy. I don’t think I’ve made any (or had any!) since I was a kid…maybe this year.

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