Winter is for a lot of things in Wisconsin. Most of them are, sadly, indoors things to do. Reading, playing games, watching movies, cooking and hanging out with other cold Midwesterners. This past weekend the kids and Tyler went sledding and I decided to spoil them with Hot Cocoa when they got back.
Published February 10, 2023
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Why make it from scratch?
I am frugal. Some call it cheap.
But I am very cheap.
So cheap, that I do not make a point to buy premade cocoa mix. But also, I do not buy it because the ingredients are not something that we typically consume.
Swiss Miss Cocoa Ingredients
One reason, the biggest reason, that buying premade is a no-go is because of the massive health risk. Anything listed as “artificial flavor” has a potential to be almond or almond extract.
Being allergic to almond, and then eating anything with artificial flavor, is a no-go anymore.
Below is the list of ingredients included in the Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa packets. Know what you eat!
On the other hand, some of the other varieties include sugar-free ingredients like stevia or aspartame.
Have you ever had a random headache after ingesting a food with aspartame? Sometimes, people are sensitive to aspartame, and it then causes headaches.
According to Healthline.com, “Aspartame is sold under the brand names NutraSweet and Equal. It’s also used widely in packaged products — especially those labeled as “diet,” sugar-free, no- or low-calorie, or no-, low- or zero-sugar.”
For more information about Aspartame and health concerns related to it, click the link HERE for the full article.
Swiss Miss cocoa ingredients
Whey permeate (also called dairy product solids, deproteinized whey or modified whey) is a coproduct of the production of whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate. Good solubility and a pleasant dairy flavor make whey permeate formulator-friendly.
Cocoa (Pressed with Alkali)
Hydrogenated Coconut Oil
Hydrogenated Coconut Oil. Coconut Oil is obtained by expression from the dried inner flesh of the coconut, Cocos nucifera. Coconut Oil is a source of lower chain length fatty acids, including lauric acid, capric acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid. The traditional use of Coconut Oil and the salts of the Coconut Acid,…
Dipotassium phosphate (DKP) is a water-soluble salt that usually comes in the form of a colourless, white substance. Commercially, it’s known as a food additive, fertiliser, and buffering agent.
Carrageenans or carrageenins are a family of natural linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. Carrageenans are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties. Their main application is in dairy and meat products, due to their strong binding to food proteins.
Acesulfame potassium , also known as acesulfame K (K is the symbol for potassium) or Ace K, is a synthetic calorie-free sugar substitute (artificial sweetener) often marketed under the trade names Sunett and Sweet One. In the European Union, it is known under the E number (additive code) E950.
Sucralose is the no-calorie sweetener in regular SPLENDA® retail sweeteners and it is also used in other retail sweeteners, such as those sold under store brand names, and is found in beverages and foods like chewing gum, dairy products, canned fruits, syrups and condiments. Because it is stable at high temperatures, sucralose can be used in baked goods.
There are hundreds of natural flavors created by food chemists. Here are a few that are commonly found in foods and beverages:
Amyl acetate. This compound can be distilled from bananas in order to provide banana-like flavor in baked goods.
Citral. Also known as geranial, citral is extracted from lemongrass, lemon, orange, and pimento. It is used in citrus-flavored beverages and sweets.
Benzaldehyde. This chemical is extracted from almonds, cinnamon oil, and other ingredients. It is frequently used to give foods an almond flavor and aroma.
Castoreum. A somewhat surprising and unsettling source, this slightly sweet substance is found in the anal secretions of beavers. It is sometimes used as a substitute for vanilla, although this is rare due to its high cost.
Other natural flavors include:
Linden ether: honey flavor
Massoia lactone: coconut flavor
Acetoin: butter flavor
Natural Flavors: Should You Eat Them? (healthline.com)
*Swiss Miss is not a sponsor for this post*
Make your own brown sugar
When it is cold out, our family loves to indulge in warm drinks. Our first go-to is Butterbeer Lattes inspired by Harry Potter, with the second is this Hot Cocoa recipe.
When you know how to make a simple caramel, you can make this Butterbeer Latte like a pro!
Caramel can be made many ways, and this recipe uses brown sugar and butter as the base while some use white sugar.
To make brown sugar is ridiculously easy. With only two ingredients, brown sugar is less expensive and tastes far better than any from a bag.
To make brown sugar, place 1 cup of white sugar into the bowl of either a stand mixer or a food processor.
If using a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, insert the whisk attachment and if using the food processor, use the chopping blade.
Then, add 2 teaspoons molasses and mix well to combine until the color is even.
I have made brown sugar with both of these methods, and I find using a Cuisinart Food Processor is much easier and quicker than using a stand mixer. A food processor is amazing for making sauces, salsa, pizza dough, shredded cheese, brown sugar and much more.
In addition to making brown sugar, making Vanilla Extract is also quite simple and crazy inexpensive.
For my recipe, and how you too can make it, click the link below!
Ingredients for Hot Cocoa
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
4 cups Milk
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Homemade Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Salt
Directions for Hot Cocoa
1. Firstly, place a medium pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium.
2. Then pour the 4 cups of milk into the pot and heat to a simmer.
3. When the milk is warm, measure and then add the 1/2 cup brown sugar to the milk and whisk to combine.
You can make it in a food processor or with a stand mixer, as brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses.
4. Measure and then add 1 Tablespoon Homemade Vanilla Extract and mix well.
5. Measure and then using a mesh strainer, add the 1/2 cup cocoa powder and whisk to combine.
The mesh strainer helps the cocoa powder to not clump into the warm milk.
6. To the cocoa mixture, measure and add the cinnamon, Chili powder and salt and then whisk well to combine.
The Chili powder adds a delicious boldness to the Hot Cocoa and is completely optional.
7. Simmer the homemade Hot Cocoa for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend.
8. Finally, serve with whipped cream, cinnamon or marshmallows.
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This post was all about how to make homemade from scratch Hot Cocoa.
Hot Cocoa Recipe
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 4 cups Milk
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Chili Powder Optional
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Firstly, place a medium pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium.
- Then pour the 4 cups of milk into the pot and heat to a simmer.
- When the milk is warm, measure and then add the 1/2 cup brown sugar to the milk and whisk to combine.
- Measure and then using a mesh strainer, add the 1/2 cup cocoa powder and whisk to combine.
- To the cocoa mixture, measure and add the cinnamon, Chili powder and salt and then whisk well to combine.
- Simmer the homemade Hot Cocoa for 5 minutes.
- Finally, serve with whipped cream, cinnamon or marshmallows.
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