As the weather has turned to downright brutally cold, my kids have been asking for a lot of hot cocoa. Last winter I would make them small cups of hot cocoa using the oh so convenient tub of instant hot cocoa mix, complete with the unaturally crunchy (but still tasty) little marshmallows. But since we’ve been eating less processed foods, instant hot cocoa with it’s huge list of scary sounding ingredients just isn’t an option anymore. In the past if we were out of instant hot cocoa mix, I would heat up some milk and add hersey’s syrup – which was a really yummy hot cocoa, and considerably better than the instant stuff. But the list of ingredients for the chocolate syrup wasn’t particularly good either (HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP; CORN SYRUP; WATER; COCOA; SUGAR; CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE); SALT; MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES; XANTHAN GUM; POLYSORBATE 60; VANILLIN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR).
This is what I made. You can adjust the sugar, salt and vanilla for your taste.
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 TB vanilla
Place all ingredients but vanilla into a small saucepan. Heat and stir until the sugar and cocoa is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Let cool and store in fridge for up to a month.
That’s it! You can then add it to warm or cold milk just as you would the processed stuff for super tasty chocolate milk or hot cocoa.