Cold weather got you down? Sounds like it’s time for homemade hot cocoa. We’ll share a simple hot cocoa recipe, and give you a few tips about things to watch out for when preparing this winter favorite.
Simple Hot Cocoa Recipe
A mug of homemade hot cocoa is the perfect thing to warm you up on cold days. For this quick and easy hot cocoa recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup water, milk, or vegan milk alternative
- 10g dark chocolate
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2-3 teaspoons sugar or sugar substitute (to taste)
- optional: spices like cinnamon, black pepper, or chili
- Heat about 1/3 cup of your chosen liquid in a pot.
- Bring the burner to the lowest setting.
- Add pieces of chocolate to the pot and stir constantly until it is completely melted.
- Add the cocoa powder to the pot and stir until a thick, creamy consistency is reached.
- Add the remaining liquid and the sugar to the pot.
- Slowly increase the heat, stirring constantly.
- If you’re feeling daring, add a dash of spices at the end for an extra kick.
Finished – your homemade hot cocoa is ready!
Homemade Hot Cocoa: What to Keep in Mind
When you consume a chocolate product like hot chocolate, it is very important to drink lots of water. Theobromine, an active ingredient in chocolate, acts as a diuretic; that is, it has a dehydrating effect on the body. If you consume too much chocolate and not enough water, you might get a headache or a stomachache.
It’s also not the best idea to drink your homemade hot cocoa right before bedtime. In addition to theobromine, chocolate contains caffeine and phenethylamine, all of which are stimulants and therefore anything but relaxing.
Cocoa: Things to Watch Out For
For more than 14 million people, cocoa beans are the main source of income. Unfortunately, very many cocoa farmers live in poverty, and work for big corporations for little pay. The growers have been estimated to get paid only around six percent of the selling price of each bar of conventional chocolate. Child labor and the use of dangerous pesticides is also not uncommon in the chocolate industry.
For this reason, when you are making homemade hot cocoa, it is important to buy exclusively organic and fair-trade chocolate. These products may be slightly more expensive, but you can be sure that the chocolate you are buying was produced under humane and fair working conditions and that the farmers receive their fair share of the profit.
Enjoy your homemade hot chocolate!
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