Friday, April 1, 2011

Simple Foods: Homemade Chocolate Syrup

For a very long time, I've wanted to adapt my families mostly processed and commercially produced diet to one that concentrated more on simple, whole, healthful foods.  

I've discovered that the trick to making the switch is not to overhaul the entire kitchen at once - that's definitely a recipe for failure!  Instead, I'm concentrating on slowly replacing convenience or processed foods that we eat very frequently with simpler, healthier, homemade alternatives.  

Case in point: chocolate syrup. 

I love chocolate milk, and I drink it an average of three times per week, sometimes more now that I'm pregnant.  If I'm craving something sweet and chocolaty, I'll mix up some Hershey's syrup into a tall glass of cold milk, and my craving will be satisfied.  But, I don't kid myself that chocolate syrup is healthy for me in any way, shape, or form.  I mean, with ingredients like these:

High fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, waster, cocoa, sugar, potassium sorbate, salt, mono- and di-glycerides, xanthan gum, polysorbate 60, vanillin, and artificial flavor.   (Taken directly from the Hershey Syrup bottle.)
you really can't say there's any nutritive value in there at all!  

Yesterday, I stumbled across this recipe that someone on a healthy living forum shared.  You can find the original recipe, with photos and feedback here, but I've provided the ingredients and basic instructions below.

Homemade Chocolate Syrup


  • 1 cup cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1 dash salt

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes, until mixture begins to thicken.  Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. 

    How simple is that?  Five easy (and easily pronounceable!) ingredients, and five minutes on the stove and you have your own chocolate syrup!  No guessing what's in it, no plastic bottle to throw away, no high fructose corn syrup going into your body!  

    Now obviously, even the homemade chocolate syrup isn't terribly healthy, but at least it is made with natural ingredients that weren't cooked up in a chemistry lab, yes?  So now I think I can feel much better about giving my kids the occasional mug of chocolate milk, or drinking one myself, now that I know I can make a much healtheir, more wholesome version of a much-relied on chocolate treat!  

    Have you tried out this recipe, or have another great homemade recipe that replaces a store bought, processed convenience food?  I'd love to hear about it!  Just drop me a note!

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