Deliciously Organic: Make Your Own Hot Cocoa MixBrooke McLay
Carrie Vitt’s blog, Deliciously Organic, is an online home for healthy, wholesome foods. After being stricken with a series of debilitating health problems, she turned to an all-organic diet. Organic eating not only eliminated her health concerns, it gave her a worthy mission. Thousands of reader’s tune in weekly for her latest recipe updates, ideas, and organic eating tips. Carrie’s knack to create healthy, organic meals from simple ingredients isn’t just something foodies notice. She nabbed a cookbook contract last year, and her book, Deliciously Organic (photographed by the remarkable Helene DuJardin of Tartelette) arrives in bookstores this fall. When I told Carrie it was allergen-free week over here at Babble, she was kind enough to share one of her family’s favorite autumn treats. It’s the divinest cocoa mix, made with four pure and simple ingredients, and not one speck of preservatives or other chemical nastiness. You’re going to want to make four batches today and eleven tomorrow, it’s that good.
“As soon as the weather begins cooling, my kids ask for hot cocoa. I’m tempted by store-bought mixes because I can simply tear open a pouch, pour it in milk, stir, and serve. Their convenience comes at a price, though. Hot cocoa mixes are usually full of preservatives, additives, coloring, trans-fats and refined sugar. My kids want to drink the warm, thick, sweet concoction constantly in the fall and I want to give them something minimally processed without anything artificial. As with many convenience-food conundrums, a little research and preparation solved the problem in a delicious way. Before you head to the market to grab a box of pre-mixed hot cocoa, I suggest you give this recipe a try.
I developed this mix using a few ingredients that may be new to you. Maple sugar can be found at your local health food store or Amazon. It’s simply dehydrated maple syrup and it’s fabulous in hot cocoa. It’s a bit more pricey than other unrefined sugars, but definitely worth it in this cocoa mix. I also use vanilla powder dried vanilla beans ground into a powder. If you can’t easily find any, simply splash a little vanilla extract into the cocoa before serving.
This mix is great for trips, just measure individual amounts in little baggies. It also makes a fun gift come holiday time.”
2 cups cocoa power
1 cup maple sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla powder
Mix all ingredients together and store for later use.
To prepare a 1 cup serving, whisk ¾ cup milk with ¼ cup hot chocolate mix over medium heat. Whisk until just steaming. Serve immediately.
When debilitating health problems meant her daily regime would include multiple medications, Carrie decided to take matters into her own hands—or rather, into her own kitchen. She switched her diet to whole, unprocessed, pure organic ingredients and began to notice an improvement in her symptoms within a matter of days. Seven years later, Carrie is off all medications and on to a new adventure…authoring the cookbook, Deliciously Organic, available Fall 2010. You can find more of her recipes at DeliciouslyOrganic.blogspot.com.