Pros: rich taste, inexpensive
Cons: can be watery if not mixed right, high in calories
I love winter, if for no other reason than the image of curling up in front of a roaring fire with a cup of hot cocoa. I dont like drinking hot drinks when the weather is too hot (even my coffee consumption is way down), so for me hot chocolate is the definitive cold-weather drink.
On snowy days when all the kids are around and going in and out of the house, I often make home-made hot chocolate on the stove. You know, the kind with the unsweetened cocoa, milk, and sugar that seems to take forever but is one of the richest, creamiest concoctions Ive ever tasted.
Unfortunately, its not always practical to spend the time to make hot cocoa from scratch. Usually, we take the easy way out and just heat up water and mix up one of those packets of instant hot cocoa mix.
Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix definitely fits the bill in that regard. Each 1 ounce package of mix makes 6 ounces of hot chocolate when prepared according to the instructions. I usually put the mix in my cup and add hot water up about halfway, let it dissolve, then add milk to the rest of it. This helps cool it off as well as stopping it from having a watery taste. I have had that happen when I dont get just the right amount of hot water, but it doesnt seem to happen when I mix it with milk.
The water should be hot, but not boiling. The directions on Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix say to heat it in the microwave as the best way to achieve this. I still like using my tea kettle. My trick is that as soon as theres a slight noise of whistling I take it off the heat and this seems to be the proper threshold.
The mix dissolves nicely in the hot water. Sometimes I have issues with it clumping, but I just keep stirring it until the clumps dissolve. Sometimes I have to press the clump against the side of the cup with a spoon, but it eventually all mixes very well and doesnt have the taste of a powder mixed with water.
Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix is made with a rich blend of European cocoa for a rich, chocolatey taste. It does taste better than many other packaged cocoas. It is the brand standard for many hotels during their complimentary breakfasts as well. This speaks to the quality of the mix.
There is both a sugar-free and diet versions available. The original one, which we usually use, has 120 calories per packet with 25 of those calories from fat. It would definitely add up if you drank a few cups of this every day. It is a good source of both calcium and iron, providing 4% and 6% of the recommended daily value respectively.
When I want hot cocoa but dont want to go through all the trouble of making it from scratch, this is the perfect option. I often have a cup in the wee hours of the morning as its a nice way to feel warm without getting the kick from a drink loaded with caffeine. My kids love Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix as well, they just ask that I either get the variety with marshmallows in or bring home some marshmallows for them to add to it. Its definitely a quality hot chocolate mix that your family will find delicious.
Ingredients: sugar, modified whey, corn syrup, cocoa (processed with alkali), partially hydrogenated soybean oil, nonfat dry milk, less than 2% of: salt, dipotassium phosphate, carrageenan, artificial flavor
This is part of Julie's Food for Food write-off in conjunction with the November first review contest where Epinions is donating $1 for each first review submitted to them this month. Please join in!
© 2007 Patti Aliventi