You slowly peel off the layers of clothing one by one.
First, your frozen hat. Then your snow-encrusted scarf. Next come the chilly jacket and boots. Finally, your bulky snow pants come off as you embrace indoor heating your home has to offer.
You pad up the stairs to your kitchen and grab a blue ceramic mug from a cabinet. Your hand creeps towards the next cabinet. It’s supposed to have hot chocolate mix.
But it doesn’t.
When was the last time you had hot chocolate?
If you don’t drink milk, there’s a good chance it’s been a while. Me? I admit it’s been a few years since I’ve had a cup.
I don’t crave hot chocolate on a regular basis. But there’s something special about curling up on a chilly day to a warm mug of steaming hot chocolate.
If only there was a way to make dairy-free hot chocolate without the fuss of finding the perfect balance of sweet, creamy and chocolatey…
Lucky for me, I have Windy City Cocoa. They make allergen-free, vegan instant hot cocoa.
What I love about Windy City Cocoa
Easy to make
Being pre-packaged and effortless to prepare is a necessity. Yet, for a person who doesn’t usually buy plant-based milk, this can get tricky. To make the mixture creamy, you need milk. Or usually you need milk.
Windy City Cocoa removed buying or making my own milk from the equation. They use gluten-free oats in the mixture to provide creaminess. No need for any type of milk—dairy or plant-based.
High carb, low fat
I’m a high carb girl. While fat is tasty in the moment, it can also make me feel regretful afterwards.
A great characteristic of Windy City Cocoa’s hot chocolate mix is that it’s pretty low fat. If you’re interested in numbers, it’s less than 10% fat.
The reason it’s less than 10% fat is the oats. Essentially, Windy City Cocoa uses oat milk powder to give the hot chocolate creaminess.
Another aspect I enjoy about the hot cocoa? It’s made simply.
No ambiguous ingredients and long lists of additives. This hot chocolate contains only 5 ingredients: cane sugar, oats, cocoa, vanilla powder and salt.
There’s nothing wrong with an ingredient that improves texture or prevents separation. But it’s nice to know that every single ingredient isn’t ultra-processed.
Deliciousness in a cup
I’m nowhere near being a hot chocolate connoisseur. But I assure you Windy City Cocoa makes delicious hot chocolate.
The humble ingredients combine well to make a cozy, tasteful cup of hot chocolate. This hot chocolate is truly hot chocolate. It isn’t trying to be a salted caramel hot chocolate or a hot chocolate cappuccino.
This is for people who want hot without the fancy fluff.
Room for improvement
There are a couple of aspects that Windy City Cocoa could improve upon:
- Added sugar
Making delicious food that’s healthy and non-perishable is challenging. That’s why I avoid it.
I understand the reasons behind Windy City’s use of cane sugar—it’s sweet and doesn’t spoil easily.
But added sugar is added sugar. There’s no way around it. This product contains refined sugar. Is it better than other products that contain both added sugar and added oil? Of course.
In the end, I still wish there was a healthy, dairy-free hot cocoa mix available.
Windy City Cocoa’s hot chocolate is better than other prepackaged hot cocoas. But there’s still room for improvement.
My Solution: Use date paste to sweeten the mixture and make the hot chocolate mix into a syrup-like mixture.
After a long time without hot chocolate, you better believe I enjoyed my cup of comforting cocoa. However, I noticed that while I sipped my drink, it began to get thicker.
Do I love thick cocoa? Absolutely. But this inconsistency was a problem for me. If the hot chocolate is going to be thick, make the whole thing thick. Not just the bottom half of the glass
My Solution: Add a component to the mixture to prevent settling. I wouldn’t mind a little carrageenan if it meant a more consistent thickness.
I have one last suggestion for Windy City Cocoa: try making the hot chocolate mix with carob powder. Carob has a taste similar to cocoa without the addictive qualities.
Final grade for Windy City Cocoa: B
Windy City Cocoa offers the best allergen-free, vegan hot chocolate mix I know. It’s tasty, low fat, contains simple ingredients and is effortless to make.
Just remember: don’t drink it every day and remember to stir.