Winter is the perfect season for a nice mug of hot cocoa. I LOVE hot cocoa. And although it’s a yummy treat, it doesn’t have to be considered unhealthy. You can very easily mix up a batch of healthy hot cocoa mix that not only tastes yummy, but is also all-natural, and good for you!
You might be asking, “Why not just go to the store and buy a pre-made mix?” You totally can, but it’s important to be aware of ingredients. The hot cocoa mixes you can buy in the store contain a lot of ingredients, and some of those ingredients leave you wondering just what-in-the-world they even are. When you make your own hot cocoa mix you not only know exactly what’s in it, but also that it’s all-natural and contains real ingredients. For comparison, below is the list of ingredients in a very popular brand of hot cocoa mix that most people buy:
Ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, modified whey, cocoa(processed with alkali), hydrogenated coconut oil, nonfat milk, calcium carbonate, less than 2% of: salt, dipotassium phosphate, mono- and diglyderides, artificial flavor. Contains milk.
Sugar is the first ingredient. White sugar, which as we all know is not good for you. Down the list you have nonfat milk, calcium carbonate, dipotassium phosphate, mono-and diglyderides, artificial flavor… what!?!?!? This hot cocoa mix is more complicated than it needs to be.
So, let’s flip the switch and make it healthy! You ready for the list of ingredients that is in my hot cocoa mix?
- Raw Cacao Powder
- Coconut Sugar
- Peppermint Essential Oil
And that’s it!!! No artificial flavors. No ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Just real, wholesome ingredients. Of course, the hot cocoa mix you buy in the store (the one I mentioned above) you can mix with water. Mine you will need to mix with milk. My husband and I use raw milk which only adds to health benefits of this hot cocoa.
Organic Raw Cacao Powder: Cacao powder is literally a super food! It is high in anti-oxidants, contains magnesium, it is the highest plant based source of iron, and can help improve your mood. I love using cacao powder and figuring out ways to incorporate it into recipes. Why do I use Cacao Powder instead of regular Cocoa Powder? Good question. BeGoodOrganics.com explains the benefits of Cacao Powder vs. Cocoa Powder really well:
“Cacao (pronounced “cu-COW”) refers to the Theobroma Cacao tree from which Cocoa is derived, and is used when referring to unprocessed versions of the cacao bean.
Normal cocoa powder and chocolate have been chemically processed and roasted, which destroys a large amount of the antioxidants and flavanols (the things that keep you young and healthy). A recent study suggested that between 60% and 90% of the original antioxidants in cacao are lost through common “Dutch processing”. Dutch processing was originally developed in the early 19th Century to reduce the bitterness, darken the colour, and create a more mellow flavour to chocolate, but unfortunately also eliminated a bunch of the goodness.
Non-organic cocoa (and non-organic chocolate) has also been treated heavily with toxic pesticides and fumigation chemicals, and may contain genetically modified (GMO) products.”
Coconut Sugar: Coconut Sugar is derived from the coconut. It scores low on the glycemic index and also provides vitamins and minerals.
“Coconut sugar isn’t a nutritional superfood, but it does offer more vitamins and minerals than white table sugar. It contains trace amounts of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and copper. Coconut sugar also provides small amounts of phytonutrients, such as polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanidin, and antioxidants. You’ll also find the B vitamin inositol, often used as a mood booster, in coconut sugar.”
Let’s make some healthy hot cocoa! After making your mix be sure to store it in an airtight container so it’s ready to use whenever you want a nice warm mug of cocoa. You will only need to use 2 teaspoons of mix for each cup, so your homemade hot cocoa mix will last you for awhile. And when you need more, it’s easy to mix more up!
Healthy Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- a dusting of cinnamon
- 4 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (I use Young Living)
Mix all ingredients. Store in an airtight container. When ready to use, heat 6 oz of milk until warm, but not boiling. Stir in 2 tablespoons hot cocoa mix. Enjoy!