Hot chocolate. We all know this delicious drink. You can drink it on whatever day with whatever temperature. Nevertheless people mostly order it when it is very cold outside; wearing a wollen hat, mittens and your nose is freezing off. You can picture yourself holding this big steamy mug filled with hot chocolate to warm up a bit. Only this idea, this picture in my head makes me wanting to prepare a hot chocolate right now! I like the old fashion way, like my grand mother did; pure coco powder, some boiled water and fill it up with hot almond milk. In one word: delicious! You might not be surprised we make our hot chocolate at BitterSweetz the same old school way. For me it is the one and only hot chocolate in the world.

At BitterSweetz you can choose between added or no added sugar and of course we have a fair amount of milk; Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Oat Milk, Soy Milk or Full Fat milk. We serve it in a big mug and for the children we have smaller mugs. Just ask us to prepare the right size.

I think there are more people who think this is the best hot chocolate in the world. But I also know there are many people who And that’s OK. Some prefer Nesquik (maybe you know them too; the yellow packages with blue words and this bunny on the front) and some prefer Chocomel (the one and only from FrieslandCampina). It is easy since you can buy this type of chocolate milk in every supermarket and it is ready to go. In this case you can drink it hot as well as cold.

Everybody has his/her own taste and that is OK. My version is not per-see the best version even though I think it is (:))

I while ago I read something in a blog from a zomer friend of mine. She is an American Author and was looking for the best Hot Chocolate in Chicago. She came up with doe delicious ideas and of course I had to try them too. They were right, Is is a great taste to add some cayenne pepper or cinnamon or a shot of espresso.

Most of the time I change ingredients during the day. In this case I prefer to drink my hot chocolate with a pinch of cayenne pepper at night and a pinch of cinnamon in the morning. Maybe you can try this too or maybe you have some other spices you want me to try? Just let me know!

OK, so chocolate milk, it’s main ingredient is cocoa powder, of course. But what is cocoa?

fresh cocoabeans in their shell

The cocoa bean is the flavor-determining raw material of chocolate. The fruit grows directly on the stem. The bean is the seed in the fruit of the cocoa tree.

Cacao beans with and without their skin

Cocoa beans are grown in many countries around the equator, like┬áCongo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Honduras and Indonesia. There are more than 30 varieties, each with its own taste. After the harvest, the beans undergo a natural fermentation process. As a result, the beans develop important flavor and color components. After the fermentation, the beans are dried and the bean can be processed further. The beans are then roasted. As a result, the taste develops even further. After roasting, the beans are ground, creating a liquid dark brown substance; the cocoa mass. This cocoa mass can be ‘squeezed’, resulting in cocoa butter (the liquid part) and cocoa powder (the solid component). Cocoa mass is therefore the raw material for cocoa powder, butter and chocolate.

We have written about the cocoa bean and its health benefits before, but here you can find a small list again.

For example, cocoa is rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect your body against free radicals. The antioxidants in cocoa have a positive influence on your cholesterol and therefore offer protection against heart problems. Cocoa also protects againsttype 2 diabetes.

Contains cocoa essential minerals.
These minerals are necessary for the metabolic processes and an optimal oxygen level in the blood. We are talking about the minerals magnesium, copper and iron.

Cocoa is good for your heart and vascular system.
It can improve your blood pressure and blood circulation.

Cocoa is good for making you sleep well.
Cocoa is rich in magnesium; a mineral that is involved in a good night’s sleep and a relaxed feeling.

Cocoa ensures a good balance of your blood sugar.
Cocoa does not cause large fluctuations in your blood sugar level and therefore promotes your energy level.

Cocoa has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Cocoa reduces inflammatory reactions in the body.

And so there are a number of advantages that you can find online. The conclusion is that a (hot) cup of chocolate milk is a good drink with many health benefits and it also tastes fantastic at any time of the day in any weather.