In honor of the second snowfall of the season here in Colorado, I am reposting one of my favorite hot beverage recipes! I have a couple different variations that can be tried, which differs from the original post - but it still remains an amazing recipe for homemade hot cocoa! Especially since I now use cacao powder instead of cocoa powder (both are good, cacao has a sweeter taste to it that I like!)
Hot cocoa is a much adored beverage in our home, especially in the colder months. Living in Colorado gives us plenty of time to enjoy this hot drink since the weather will permit it probably 7-8 months out of the year. Not that it’s freezing cold, but even in the late summer when the days reach 80 degrees, the evenings can dip into the 40’s, so this is a great comforting drink for the kids and myself. Every once in a while my husband will have hot cocoa. He doesn’t like ‘hot’ drinks in general. I know - weird. And to skip out on this chocolate goodness, well, seems to me he has issues. Right?
For those of you who know me, I don’t buy mixes and I don’t bake or cook out of a box. No cake mixes, brownie mixes, pasta mixes - and definitely no hot chocolate packets. For the past couple years I’ve tried different recipes and really never found the one that really made my tummy smile real big. Until I decided to create my own.
Sometimes you have to step up to the plate and just go for it!
I’ve done the melted chocolate chips in hot milk. Good - but something was missing.
I’ve made the powder mixes with cocoa and dry milk that you add to hot water. No thank you.
I’ve bought organic, fair trade hot chocolate packets just to see what I was missing. Not much.
Then one day as I stood over the stove warming my full-fat, non-homogenized milk - the clouds parted and wisdom came down.
I added a touch of this, a little of that, a teaspoon of whatever and I happened to have some home made whipped cream and added some to the top - and my oh my - my tummy smiled a toothy grin! Someday I’ll attempt home made marshmallows to add to it!
If you are a hot cocoa connoisseur then you’ll have to try this. I firmly believe there is a huge difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa - and it isn’t just the name. For someone like me who savors the taste of food, can pick out certain seasonings in a dish, who can tell the difference between 55% cocoa and 72% cocoa, who can taste if butter is salted or unsalted, whether or not the milk is homogenized or not - there is a difference.
Consuming food and beverages is a form of art and I participate in this creative process very intentionally. I’m pretty sure once you taste this beverage, you’ll begin to feel the same way about food.
Old Fashioned Healthy Hot Cacao
What You Need:
3 cups organic full-fat milk (or almond milk, hazelnut milk or coconut milk)
6 tablespoon organic light coconut sugar (or organic coconut palm sugar, organic cane sugar, or raw honey*)
5 teaspoons organic/raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
* If you use honey, start with a less than 6 tablespoons and then slowly add more as needed to sweeten
What You Do:
In a medium saucepan, begin to heat milk over medium-low.
Slowly whisk in the coconut sugar and cacao powder and blend well.
As the milk starts to heat, whisk continually so it doesn’t scald.
If it is taking a long time to heat, turn the heat up to medium, but make sure you are continually stirring.
Once it begins to have that rolling effect - not quite to boiling, remove from heat.
After a couple minutes, add the vanilla in and stir well.
Divide among 3 mugs and enjoy!
Enjoy this. Every.Last.Drop.