Thursday, December 15, 2011

Belated Cocoa Day

I missed it - Dec. 13 was Cocoa Day.  However, today you can learn about cocoa and perhaps curl up with a mug of homemade hot cocoa.

If you've heard that chocolate can be good for your health, then you've heard about the benefits of cocoa.  The cocoa bean contains flavonoids which have antioxidant properties.  As you are likely aware there are different types of chocolate.  More processing means less flavonoids so less health benefits.  In these terms white chocolate has no flavonoids, milk has some, but dark has more, and cocoa powder has the most.

If you're buying chocolate, look at the ingredient list for cocoa solids or cocoa mass to be listed before sugar.  or choose a bar with a high percentage of cocoa, such as 70% or more.

Again, MODERATION is key because you need to save Calories for all the nutrients you need in your day.

Health Castle has a great article about cocoa and the different types available.  I didn't know there were different types of cocoa as I grew up with Fry's Cocoa in the house.  There is however natural cocoa (Hershey's, Nestle...) and Dutch-processed (Fry's, Lindt...).  They undergo different processes, are different colours, different tastes, and different antioxidant levels.  Natural unsweetened cocoa has the highest concentration of flavonoids.   

Chocolate Recipe Substitution from When a recipe calls for chocolate, use dark chocolate (usually less sugar) or even better cocoa powder. To substitute 1 oz of unsweetened chocolate, use 3 Tbsp of dry cocoa + 2 Tbsp of sugar + 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil.

Ready for that warm mug of homemade hot cocoa?  I am (once I find some natural cocoa to try!).  Again, please enjoy in MODERATION :)

Hershey's Hot Cocoa


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • Dash salt
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 4 cups (1 qt.) milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Miniature marshmallows or sweetened whipped cream (optional)


  1. Stir together sugar, cocoa and salt in medium saucepan; stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Add milk; stirring constantly, heat to serving temperature. Do Not Boil.
  2. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Beat with rotary beater or whisk until foamy. Serve topped with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired. Five 8-oz. servings.

    VARIATIONS: Add one of the following with the vanilla extract:

    SPICED COCOA: 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Serve with cinnamon stick, if desired.

    MINT COCOA: 1/2 teaspoon mint extract OR 3 tablespoons crushed hard peppermint candy OR 2 to 3 tablespoons white creme de menthe. Serve with peppermint candy stick, if desired.

    CITRUS COCOA: 1/2 teaspoon orange extract OR 2 to 3 tablespoons orange liqueur.

    SWISS MOCHA: 2 to 2-1/2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee.

    COCOA AU LAIT: Omit marshmallows or whipped cream. Spoon 2 tablespoons softened vanilla ice cream on top of each cup of cocoa at serving time.

    SLIM-TRIM COCOA: Omit sugar. Combine cocoa, salt and water; substitute nonfat milk. Proceed as above. With vanilla, stir in sugar substitute with sweetening equivalence of 1/2 cup sugar.

    CANADIAN COCOA: 1/2 teaspoon maple extract.

    MICROWAVE SINGLE SERVING: Combine 1 heaping teaspoon HERSHEY'S Cocoa, 2 heaping teaspoons sugar and dash salt in microwave-safe cup or mug. Add 2 teaspoons cold milk; stir until smooth. Fill cup with milk. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until hot. Stir to blend; serve.

    Nutritional Information per serving (1/5 of recipe):
    Calories: 180, Total Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 100mg,
    Total Carbohydrate: 32g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 29g, Protein: 7g, Vitamin A: 8%DV*,
    Vitamin C: 0%DV*, Calcium: 25%DV*, Iron: 0%DV*
Happy Thursday,
Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching