Hot cocoa isn’t only a winter drink to keep you warm; it is beneficial in many ways. It is a form of drinkable chocolate and has been used for years. However, it takes only few ingredients to prepare such as cocoa powder, milk and sugar. This beverage is good for heart health as it lowers blood pressure and keeps blood vessels healthy. Cocoa powder is also rich in antioxidants. There are some of the best brands of hot cocoa which allow you to make a warm drink at anytime.
Many people consider hot cocoa and hot chocolate as the same thing, while both of these are somehow different. The main difference is in the ingredients such as hot chocolate drink contains chocolate pieces which can be dark or white.
Another good thing about hot cocoa is it is time saving beverage. All you need to do is to add cocoa powder to hot water on the low heat and keep stirring it for a minute and a delicious cup is ready for you to enjoy. So, even if you have to reach early somewhere, it wouldn’t take long for you to make this drink.
Cocoa is obtained from the beans of cocoa tree. It is available in powdered form for ease of use and called as cocoa powder.
Best Brands of Hot Cocoa
Here is the list of some of the best brands of hot cocoa for a delicious and warm drink:
1. Nestle Hot Chocolate Mix, Hot Cocoa
This delicious cocoa is 99.9 percent caffeine free and doesn’t contain trans fats.
It is made by using the finest ingredients and it has rich and creamy flavor.
This is pack of 50 servings.
It is Toasty, warm hot cocoa which is not only refreshing but also easy to prepare.
2. Coconut Cloud: Dairy Free Hot Cocoa Mix
This cocoa powder is 100 percent dairy free, soy free, free from gluten, non GMO and Vegan friendly.
The ingredients used in this are simple and clean including; dried coconut milk, hint of coconut sugar and also rich cocoa powder.
It is very easy to make by simply adding hot water, and you can stir and enjoy this delicious drink.
3. Four Sigmatic, Superfood Mushroom Hot Cacao Mix Variety Pack
This hot cocoa powder contains a mixture of Reishi and Cinnamon.
The main active ingredient of the Cordyceps variety is the pure cordyceps mushroom while in the production method the caterpillars are not used and it is suitable for people who are vegans too.
While long grown reishi mushroom is the main ingredient of the Reishi variety.
So, by consuming this cocoa powder would not only be delicious, but you also get the healthy benefits of mushrooms.
4. Land O Lakes Cocoa Classics, Cookie Flavored Hot Cocoa Mix Variety Pack
It has the variety of four different flavors including three packets of Snickerdoodle, three packets of Oatmeal, 3 packets of Sugar Cookie, and three packets of Gingerbread flavored hot cocoa mixes.
So, the total packets are 12 which you can enjoy anytime.
The flavor of these cocoa mixes is rich, frothy and creamy.
These are very easy to make, such as you can simply add hot water and enjoy.
5. Café Escapes Hot Cocoa, Dark Chocolate
This cocoa powder allows you to enjoy the elegant and satisfying experience of dark chocolate.
Each box of this contains 24 K-Cups and as these are two boxes, so these are total of 48 K-Cups for long use.
The containers of these are air tight which lock out the oxygen, moisture and light for maximum freshness and in a great flavor.
6. Stephen’s Gourmet Hot Cocoa, Chocolate Mint Truffle
This cocoa powder is made by using a number of things such as real peppermint, milk chocolate, and Dutch cocoa, giving you a delicious flavor.
It is free from gluten, and it can be used as a coffee creamer also.
Not only that, it also has rich and creamy flavor which you can enjoy at anytime.
7. Wild Cocotropic Raw Cacao Drink Elixir with Reishi
This raw cocoa is blended with superherbs, making it not only delicious but also mentally potent drink, so it also helps in improving focus while enjoying the great drink.
The ingredients used in making this cocoa are 100 percent natural which are from trusted producers.
It contains some of the great ingredients such as Reishi mushroom extract which helps in the nutrients to help in reducing anxiety, while Wild Chaga mushroom helps in improving focus and mood. Not only that, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Is Hot Cocoa and Hot Chocolate the same?
These words are used interchangeably and why not? Both of these drinks look similar. However, if we take a close look, hot cocoa is light than hot chocolate. Hot cocoa contains few ingredients such as cocoa powder along with milk and sugar whereas, hot chocolate is thicker than that and usually has different ingredients such as vanilla and many others.
Health Benefits of Hot Cocoa:
As hot cocoa drink is usually made by using cocoa powder, so the benefits of drinking hot cocoa can be described by talking about how beneficial cocoa powder is. Here are some of the health benefits of cocoa powder:
Cocoa is rich in polyphenols. But first let’s talk about polyphenols. These have more than 500 types and these usually are available in different plants, fruits, vegetables, beverages, nuts and seeds. So, when we talk about all those chemicals these are also called as phytochemicals.
The benefits of polyphenols include; lowering the blood pressure, improved blood flow and better blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
The Blood Flow to Brain gets Improved:
The flavanols content in cocoa helps in producing neuron and blood flow to brain improves so the brain remains safe against various diseases.
Many studies suggest that cocoa helps in reducing depression as it lowers stress related levels. So, it improves your mood.
Is there any Alternative to Cocoa Powder?
Cocoa powder is common for many uses while sometimes you might think what the best alternative of cocoa powder is. Many cocoa powder brands can be suitable for your recipes. However, there are many things which can be substituted with cocoa powder. Let’s talk about some of these:
It is a good alternative to cocoa powder. Carob powder is sometimes also called carob flour. Similar to cocoa tree, carob is also grown in the carob tree, and carob powder also look alike cocoa powder. There are various baked dishes where carob powder is used as a natural sweetener. Another thing about carob powder is that, it was been used before even cocoa bean was even in the use. Because it is sweeter than cocoa, you should use less as compared to cocoa powder.
If you don’t have time to look for carob powder, go for chocolate chip or even dark chocolate as an alternative. As you might be willing to prepare a recipe, always make sure you are using right amount of those alternatives, otherwise you might end up making a recipe with too different taste.
Some Question and Answers about Hot Cocoa
There are some questions and answers for you to know about cocoa:
Does Cocoa have Caffeine in It?
Hot Cocoa has about 2 grams of caffeine, alright it isn’t that much but there are people who are sensitive to caffeine. For those Hershey has decaffeinated version of cocoa which would be suitable.
Is it ok to drink hot cocoa before bed?
Drinking hot cocoa before bed is as good as many other drinks such as milk or several fruits for your nutritional needs. However, you should make sure not to add much sugar to it. As it can be the sugar content and this might make sleeping difficult.
What are the best ways to enjoy hot cocoa?
There are many ways such as you can enjoy it, when you start looking for it there are a number of delicious recipes such as with almond milk to get a nutritious drink. Even adding cinnamon to hot cocoa can be beneficial in many ways.
So, in this article you learned about some of the best brands of hot cocoa and different benefits. If you have any questions, please ask in the comments