Anachan's Corner

One woman's journey through marriage, motherhood, and the classroom…

Hot Chocolate May Be Good For You?

Written By: Anachan - Aug• 18•13

Pseudo-science articles drive me crazy.  They typically have headlines proclaiming great progress or possibilities.  (Usually possibilities.)  The trouble is that when you get down into the details, you usually find the study being reported is way too limited to make any kind of reliable conclusions; they are often meant as justification to ask for more funding.  But the headlines make people excited enough they don’t really dig into the details.  Too often, I have to bite my virtual tongue when one cousin or other posts some kind of story in a misinformed fit of public righteousness, telling everyone of their acquaintance to change their lifestyles based upon a study involving 20 people over two weeks or neglecting to take into consideration well-accepted factors which may affect their results.

That rant over, my husband sent me a story with a headline so exciting, I could almost wish it was true:  Drinking Hot Chocolate May Help Keep Brain Healthy, Study Finds.  Apparently, the people running the study have concluded that elderly people who drink hot chocolate may be able to maintain healthy blood flow to their brains through so doing.

If there is one thing for which I have never needed an excuse, it is for drinking hot chocolate, especially when it is home-made.

During the school year, I make a pot of hot chocolate almost every morning to share with my daughters.  Because we have to get up so early, we are not usually very hungry, so a small amount of hot chocolate is enough to get our minds awake and our bodies warmed up on a chilly winter morning.  We sit around the kitchen table, sipping our chocolate and reading scriptures, before finalizing preparations to head out to school.

We know hot chocolate is not necessarily the best thing for us, as it does have a certain amount of sugar and fat.  But when we question the wisdom of our daily morning dose, we cite other studies which indicate women have more stable emotions when they consume chocolate, even though their validity is dubious.  So another study, purportedly showing it might keep our brains healthy as we get older, only strengthens our imaginary justification to keep drinking it.

I find most packaged hot cocoa mixes to be overly sweet, with my taste for dark chocolate, so I vastly prefer my homemade hot chocolate.  (The difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate, by the way, is that hot cocoa is made from cocoa, while hot chocolate includes some actual chocolate.)  I can make it on the stove, but I prefer to make it in my Cocomotion, a handy little hot chocolate maker which can hold up to 4 cups of hot chocolate.

In the event anyone else has a burning desire to follow in our footsteps, here is my hot chocolate recipe:

4 cups milk or equivalent water and powdered milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup baking cocoa

1 Tablespoon chocolate chips  (Regular semi-sweet works, but for real decadence, go for the Ghirardelli 60% dark.)

If using the Cocomotion, add everything to the machine and press “On.”  When it stops spinning, it is ready to pour.

If using a pot on the stove, put in the milk and start heating.  If you are using the water and powdered milk option, you can just heat up the water for starters.  (I find this easier, because I don’t have to worry about scorching the milk, so I can crank up the heat and go more quickly.)  After the water is hot, add the powdered milk.

After the milk is hot, add the sugar, baking cocoa, and chocolate chips.  Stir until everything is dissolved, mixed, and melted.  Do not boil the mixture.

Ladle the mixture into cups and enjoy!

Just think, you could be drinking to your brain’s health!  <wink>

 

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