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The Best Hot Chocolate Mix for Cooler Weather

- Written by on September 25th 2015

Some people spend September clinging to the last bit of summer, eschewing pumpkin spice lattes and fall boots in favor of one last stroll in flipflops. I personally belong to the other camp—the people already wrapping themselves in scarves and eyeing the first squash appearing on the supermarket shelves.

Whether you're ready for it now or in a few months, hot chocolate is the perfect cold weather drink. But if you like to start with a mix, it can be hard to find one that isn't sickeningly sweet or that doesn't contain corn syrup, vegetable oils, or artificial flavors.

Who needs all those additives when hot chocolate, at its core, is just cocoa powder, sugar, and milk?

As far as we're concerned, the best hot chocolate mix should use as few high-quality ingredients as possible to create a rich, smooth hot chocolate with the right balance between sweet and bitter. It's a tall order, but it can be done.

The Best Low Sugar Hot Chocolate Mix

It is hard to find sugar free hot chocolate mix. Swiss Miss makes a diet hot chocolate powder, which only contains 2 grams of sugar (from the milk) per serving. However, it also contains artificial flavors and, as you probably guessed, artificial sweeteners. If you need a low sugar hot chocolate mix, though, it is well reviewed on Amazon so it could be a good fit.

If you'd prefer hot chocolate with stevia, you could try one of these low sugar hot chocolate recipes instead.

Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets Diet Hot Cocoa Mix

  • only 2 grams of sugar per serving
  • contains artificial ingredients
  • some reviewers noted an unpleasant aftertaste

Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix

I have the feeling my taste buds are more grown up than I am. I put off laundry day until the last pair of clean socks and need my nap time, yet I drink dry wine and eat dark chocolate. Since the thought of eating sugary milk chocolate makes my teeth hurt, it makes sense that I don't particularly want to drink milk chocolate either.

These dark chocolate hot chocolate mixes are a good starting point. They contain 12 grams of sugar per serving, while other hot chocolate mixes can contain as much as 26 grams!

Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix - Simply Dark Chocolate

  • no artificial ingredients
  • widely available
  • 12g sugar per serving, but this isn't so much when comparing to other brands!

Green & Black's Organic Bittersweet Dark Hot Cocoa Mix

  • certified organic
  • 12g sugar per serving, but this isn't so much when comparing to other brands!

Best Flavored Hot Chocolate Mix

Regular hot chocolate too plain Jane for your tastes? Silly Cow Farms Hot Chocolate might be a better choice. They make beautifully packaged hot chocolate with rather clean ingredient lists, which is unfortunately a rarity when it comes to specialty flavors from other brands. Their pumpkin spice hot chocolate, for example, contains ingredients you'd expect to find:

Natural cane sugar, Dutch processed cocoa (with alkali), cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and natural pumpkin flavor.


They also have a Marshmallow Swirl flavor to take you back to the days of hot chocolate envelopes with tiny marshmallows already included.

Silly Cow Farms All Natural Hot Chocolate

  • no artificial ingredients
  • gorgeous packaging makes them great gifts
  • a bit hard to find and pricier than other options, but available on Amazon

Fair Trade, Organic Hot Chocolate Mix

Cocoa products are loved all over the world, yet cocoa growers don't always work in the best conditions and don't always receive a fair price for the product they work so hard to produce. For this reason, we highly encourage you to purchase Fair Trade hot chocolate mixes, and we would absolutely consider one of these options the absolute best hot chocolate mix:

Cisse Trading Co. Signature Hot Cocoa

  • certified organic and Fair Trade hot chocolate
  • comes in a few flavors (semisweet, dark chocolate cinnamon, milk chocolate vanilla bean)
  • may be hard to find in stores, but available online

Equal Exchange Hot Chocolate Mix

  • certified organic and Fair Trade hot chocolate
  • comes in regular, dark, and spicy varieties
  • may be hard to find in stores, but available online

We hope you'll soon be able to settle down to a warm, creamy mug of low sugar, dark chocolate, marshmallow-infused, or Fair Trade hot chocolate. If you still think the best hot chocolate mix cannot come in a box, then perhaps you should try a recipe for homemade hot chocolate mix.

Author

Crystal Schlegelmilch

Written by on September 25th 2015

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