Milk Free Hot Cocoa

By Heather Legg

The weather outside is COLD! And one of the best things after being outside is a nice warm cup of cocoa. That is, unless you have a milk allergy or lactose intolerance. But, of course, there are ways around this one, too. You need to be careful, though, because many of the mixes contain milk products, even if you plan on using water.

Here are some ideas for a good, safe cup of cocoa without the milk or lactose.

Use about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of regular unsweetened cocoa (like Hershey’s) and add the desired amount of sugar (probably about 1-2 Tablespoons). This is a good way to cut back on the sugar, too, if you’re looking to do that. It’s usually quite high in ready made mixes. Add to a cup or so of your mils substitute of choice, whether it’s lactose free or soy or rice milk. Simmer on the stovetop (don’t boil, it forms a nasty skin) and add a shake of cinnamon and a couple of drops of vanilla. Yummy!

I’ve heard of combining your own powder mix and then having it on hand for when the cold strikes. You can make the powder with 1 1/2 cups soy milk powder, 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar. You can keep this in a container and then just add about 1/4 to a cup of boiling water. Add a drop of vanilla if you wish.

You can also buy many of the cow’s milk alternatives in chocolate form – my daughter loves chocolate soy milk, and you can simply heat this up for a tasty cup of hot cocoa, it may not be as rich as some of the other concoctions, but may do the trick in a bind.

There are some dairy free mixes on the market, too, and if you can’t find them in your neighborhood market, you can always order online. Here’s one to try found at www.blvdsorganics.com. Boulevards organic dark hot chocolate is dairy free, all you add is your milk alternative.

So you don’t need to forego the hot cocoa in the winter. It, like so many other things, just takes a little more work for us allergy folks. The good thing is, anything made from scratch with simple ingredients is so much better than the pre-made stuff with all kinds of additives.

Stay warm, drink up!

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