Cheat Codes: Homemade Hot Chocolate & Hot Cocoa

As everyone in northeastern America is aware now, it’s preeetty freaking Winter outside. There’s several feet of snow on the ground in a lot of places around here and it’s gonna be a while before those disgusting grey-colored snow mountains in parking lots disappear. And yet we still have another month left of this shit, unfortunately. But hey, don’t let that get you down. Make some hot chocolate! It’s good for you!*

 

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*NOT sarcasm, surprisingly.

 

That’s right. Actual, srs biz scientific studies show that hot chocolate and hot cocoa may actually be pretty good for you. They contain more antioxidants than both green tea and red wine. For the record, since a lot of people don’t know why antioxidants are good for you, they basically prevent molecules from undergoing a reaction called oxidation, which produces these things called ‘free radicals’. In turn, free radical particles cause cells to deteriorate and die, and basically are what are responsible for you getting old and dying. So in other words, drinking hot chocolate may help you live longer/healthier.

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Okay, first I need to offer this disclaimer: you need to actually be drinking GOOD hot cocoa/chocolate, for this benefit to take place. Cheapo garbage packs of Swiss Miss and other instant mixes aren’t really going to net you as many points in the health corner due to the crummy ingredients like carrageenan and powdered milkfats featured in them. Swiss Miss DOES make a natural cocoa mix which features only four ingredients as opposed to twelve (haha), but it’s on the pricy side.

But forget all that. Do you have milk? Do you have some form of chocolate? Good. Congratulations, you can just make homemade hot chocolate in like 4 minutes.

 

Ease Homemade Hot Chocolate / Cocoa

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • pinch salt

OR

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • pinch salt

There’s some discrepancy about the difference between hot chocolate VS hot cocoa. Honestly it’s not rocket science though. If you’re using whole chocolate melted into milk, it’s hot chocolate. If you’re just putting cocoa powder in, it’s hot cocoa. The difference mostly comes to preference. Hot cocoa produces a somewhat more bitter flavor, though that can be altered by adding more or less sugar. Hot chocolate meanwhile is a little bit thicker and richer due to the cocoa butter present in regular chocolate. It’ll be a little bit higher in fat, but so long as you use good-quality chocolate, it really isn’t gonna make much of a difference health-wise.

 

  1. Pour 1 cup of milk into a small saucepot and set on a medium flame. Stir milk with a whisk occasionally to prevent it from scorching.

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  2. When the milk becomes hot and begins to form bubbles, start stirring it continuously for about 1 minute until it’s reached a nice simmer.

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  3. Reduce the heat to low, and add in the chocolate, a pinch of salt, and/or sugar to the milk and begin to whisk vigorously. Make sure you start stirring immediately as the chocolate can scorch very quickly if it settles.

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  4. Continue mixing for another minute or two while chocolate melts and dissolved into the milk. When everything is mixed together smoothly, remove from heat. Pour your hot chocolate into a mug and it’s ready to serve!

 

Either way, they both come out delicious. As mentioned above, the only difference is that cocoa = darker and a nice bitter tint, chocolate = richer and thicker. Even so, it’s subtle and barely makes a difference. Like really, look:

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Fig. 1 Hot Chocolate

 

Fig. 2

Fig. 2 Hot Cocoa

 

Can you tell the difference? ‘Cuz I sure as hell can’t. Try making both, see which you prefer. They’re both delicious and like we established, good for you. So let’s all together repeat the new winter mantra:

“Drink hot chocolate! Live longer!”

Posted on February 11, 2015, in Cheat Codes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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