Kids love hot cocoa, but mothers might not like what’s in those store-bought hot cocoa packets. Way too much sugar, hydrogenated oils, and things hard to pronounce should not be part of our kids (or our) diet.
That’s why I love to make a batch of this simple, homemade hot cocoa mix!
As a mother (and a health foodie), I can relax when my kids want hot cocoa, because this delicious drink, in moderation, is actually quite good for them.
Simple Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
- 4 c. non-fat dry milk powder
- 1 c. natural unsweetened cocoa powder*
- 1 c. granulated sugar*
- 1/2-1 t. salt
- 2 t. cinnamon
Yield: approx. 6 cups or 24+ servings
Sift each cup of milk powder over a large bowl, using a traditional hand sifter*. Or use a food processor or blender until the powder is fine.
For me, living off-grid has had its challenges and doing without electric appliances in my kitchen, I’ve had to learn alternative methods to get the job done.
Here (because I don’t have a sifter), I took a large mesh strainer fitted over a bowl, and forced the dried milk through the strainer using a rubber spatula.
The result is even finer “powdered” milk that will dissolve faster when boiling water is added later to the final product.
Now, add the cocoa, sugar, salt, and cinnamon, to the extra-powdery powdered milk.
Store mixture in a plastic or glass container.
When ready to use, spoon three to four tablespoons of Simple Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix in an 8 oz. mug and add a small amount of hot water. Stir until a paste or slurry is formed. Then fill to the brim with boiling water. Stir, and enjoy!
Make a slurry, you say? I know you might be tempted to skip this step and get on with the goodness, but by making a paste first the natural cocoa powder in this mix is not as likely to separate and settle sludge-like at the bottom of the cup later. (Store-bought packets have chemical additives to get around this, but that’s why you and I are making our own, to eliminate the yucky stuff we read in the labels.)
If you’re impatient and pour immediately, no worries, just keep your spoon handy, and periodically swirl the liquid.
A word about natural unsweetened cocoa:
Who knew how good this stuff was for you?
Natural unsweetened cocoa powder is a super food!
It’s packed with protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and copper, and essential mineral. Cocoa powder has beneficial antioxidants with cancer fighting properties, and supports a healthy metabolism too.
Natural cocoa powder is worth incorporating into your daily diet. (I sneak it into Chili con Carne, shh, don’t tell my kids.)
One thing I love about Simple Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix is no fresh milk is needed—there’s already milk in it. (Great for those times when you are low on milk or are completely out, and the nearest store is over thirty miles away!)
Kids are getting their calcium and vitamin D, as well as beneficial antioxidants from the cocoa powder, and you as a mother can relax knowing they’re not consuming too much sugar. Win-win. 🙂
If you don’t have:
- natural unsweetened cocoa powder: If you were wondering if you can trade unsweetened cocoa powder for Dutch-processed cocoa, you can. It will make a darker, milder tasting drink, but because it has been processed with an alkali solution, you won’t get the same health benefits as you will with natural cocoa powder.
- granulated sugar: try coconut sugar or another fine grain specialty sugar, if you’d prefer. (I plan to use coconut sugar the next time I make another batch.) You could also try using 1 3/4 cups of powdered sugar instead of granulated.
- a hand sifter: try my version above, or you can place the milk powder in a resealable storage bag and pound gently with a wooden spoon or squeeze the bag with your hands.
- I used Himalayan pink salt in this recipe because of its high mineral content (and because it just looks pretty in the picture), but any plain table salt will work.
Simple Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix has the perfect balance of sweetness and deep chocolaty flavor.
With only five simple ingredients (which you probably already have on hand), this will be your go-to recipe for a healthy alternative to store-bought packets.
To make it even more special, add a small dash of vanilla and a few mini marshmallows or a generous squirt of whipped cream. Yum.
And for a special mom treat, add a tablespoon or two to your morning coffee. Ahh, delightful!
I hope you enjoy Simple Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix as much as my kids and I do. Let me know how it turns out and if you have any questions.
See you next time for another Red Apron Recipe.
(If you missed the previous ones, you can find a list on my Red Apron Recipes page.)
I thank God for the opportunity to share my favorite family recipes with you.
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The post “Simple Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix” was first published on Desert Rain.