If there’s one thing we love in the winter it’s a creamy cup of hot cocoa! Liquid chocolate topped with gooey marshmallows or fresh whipped cream is a warm and delicious treat. But many hot chocolate mixes are filled with sugar, milk ingredients, and very little of the good stuff — chocolate! That’s why we like to make our own hot chocolate mix at home with cacao powder.
Cacao is well known as one of the world’s most powerful superfoods. But what is it exactly? Think of it as chocolate before it’s been turned into a chocolate bar. When cacao beans are dried, fermented, and heated at a low temperature, they’re known as cacao products versus cocoa. When heat is used, it separates the fatty part of the bean from the rest, which makes up cacao powder. In comparison, cocoa is harvested the same way as cacao but heated at a higher temperature. This higher processing results in a sweeter, less bitter product, but also less nutrients compared to cacao.
That’s why we love cacoa powder, since it’s less processed and provides a dark, rich chocolate flavor. It’s perfect for shakes, smoothies, baked goods, and you guessed it — hot chocolate! Whether you’re vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, or low-carb, there’s a hot cocoa mix for you. Take a look at these three hot chocolate recipes using pure cacao powder for a delicious and nutritious holiday treat.