Even though winter does not technically start for another day it has been cold for a few weeks in Recycla’s home state of Virginia. Since Recycla can occasionally be a fun mother, she has been letting her daughters drink hot cocoa with breakfast and again after school while they’re working on homework.
Up until a few years ago, the family bought those ubiquitous boxes of hot chocolate with the individual packets inside. The resulting product tasted a bit, um, flat. And fake. Definitely not chocolatey. So Recycla tried adding milk instead of water. Marginally better, but still not good enough. Plus, the waste from all those individual wrappers was completely unnecessary.
After some trial and error, Recycla’s family decided that the cocoas made by Lake Champlain Chocolates are the best. The company makes several flavors, including Mocha Hot Chocolate and Aztec Hot Chocolate, but the family’s favorite is the Organic Fair Trade Hot Chocolate. It’s thick and chocolatey and utterly delish.
Even if you don’t buy Lake Champlain cocoa, Recycla encourages you to ditch the individual packets of hot chocolate and go for larger tins from which you scoop out what you need. Also, making it with milk instead of water results in a much thicker, more delicious beverage.
If you’re going to have hot chocolate, you must have marshmallows too. In fact, Recycla thinks that it ought to be a law in all 50 states. While regular machine-produced marshmallows taste pretty good when drenched in hot chocolate, old fashioned handmade marshmallows are excellent. Her family buys them at Whole Foods and could eat them all in one sitting. Old fashioned marshmallows are made in pans and then cut into squares. The ingredients are high quality and, in the ones that Recycla’s family buys, you can taste the vanilla bean. Rumor has it that making marshmallows at home is the best of all, but Recycla hasn’t attempted it yet.
What about you fellow Eco Warriors? What is your favorite hot chocolate and why?