Happy Halloween! Today’s post will be in orange and black to celebrate today being Halloween. If it’s too hard to read let me know and I will change it back to normal. It’s officially time to unpack our wool sweaters and oversized scarves and search the internet for the best hot chocolate you can warm up with. After all, frigid early mornings and cozy nights in just calls for hot cocoa. And it’s hard to argue with the fact that half the fun of drinking the wintry beverage is making it.
That’s why I got some taste testers to taste and teste five popular boxed mixes to find the absolute best hot chocolate mix. (For reference, we used 2 percent dairy milk as the base.) Skip the usual cup at your local 7-Eleven, and make a mug at home with their top pick. Mmmm!
How They Were Graded
Here are the three metrics we used to determine each hot chocolate mix’s final grade.
Because most mixes didn’t vary too much across the nutritional board, my taste testers didn’t consider this metric too heavily. After all, hot chocolate is an indulgence (or it should be).
Is the texture creamy enough to complement the milk, or does it fall flat? Did the unexpected aftertaste ruin your comforting experience?
Of course, taste is their top determining factor and we docked major points for mixes that lacked the cocoa notes we crave.
From Worst… To Best
Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Mix
PER PACKET (39 G): 160 calories, 2 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 28 g sugar), 1 g protein
In retrospect, this mix tasted way better as a kid—They said that their adult palates craved something richer. One taste tester said that this mix “smelled nostalgic,” while another proclaimed that it “tasted like a snow day.” However, this hot chocolate reminded them of our childhood, but the aqueous consistency resembled a mix that was stirred into water (although they used “regular” milk and almond milk), and the artificial aftertaste made this pick less tasty when compared to its competitors. Rather than boasting a pronounced cocoa flavor, Swiss Miss relied mostly on sugar and vanilla undertones to form its flavor base.
Nestle Classic Rich Milk Chocolate
PER PACKET (20 G): 80 calories, 2 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 12 g sugar), <1 g protein
Although it didn’t coat the mouth, Nestle’s classic hot chocolate mix was richer than the Swiss Miss envelope. They can probably chalk that up to the higher fat content in Nestle: Nestle boasts 2 grams of fat per 20-gram packet, while Swiss Miss boasts the same amount of fat per almost double the serving size (a 39-gram packet). Nestle’s cocoa gave a pleasant flavor, with no particular flavor note sticking out. One of my taste testers proclaimed that this mix tasted just like your average milk chocolate bar.
ShopRite Instant Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa With Mini Marshmallows
PER PACKET (28 G): 110 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 140 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 12 g sugar), <1 g protein
Surprisingly enough, this grocery-store find trumped two ubiquitous, classic boxes—but only marginally. Although the mix was just as excessively sweet as Swiss Miss, ShopRite’s powder boasted the perfect touch of salt, which helped balance out the sweetened cocoa. The taste was comparable to the leftover milk in a bowl of Cocoa Puffs—yum! All in all, the milky chocolate flavor was neither too rich nor underwhelming, and the mini marshmallows added a nice contrasting texture and subtle vanilla flavor to this mix.
Godiva Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa
PER 3 TBS: 130 calories, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 5 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (2 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 1 g protein
Out of all the offerings they taste-tested, Godiva’s milk chocolate hot cocoa was concocted with the cleanest ingredients, which was definitely noticeable with every sip. We commend the chocolatier for producing a spot-on cocoa flavor, but I really wished that the drink’s texture was more decadent. Something tells me that Godiva’s dark chocolate hot cocoa mix might be more up their alley than the milk chocolate version.
Land O Lakes Chocolate Supreme Hot Cocoa Mix
PER PACKET (35 G): 140 calories, 2.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (1 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 3 g protein
Land O Lakes’ mix completely set itself apart from its competitors, thanks to its super decadent, authentic taste. This mug was velvety and coated the mouth (likely due to the addition of coconut oil), and the relatively high sodium content highlighted the rich cocoa notes. Whether you’re entertaining guests, whipping up a cup for your kids before bedtime, or just enjoying a warm mug on your couch, Land O Lakes Chocolate Supreme Hot Cocoa Mix will deliver the comforting cocoa you crave.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post? I know that It’s only October (Happy Halloween). Hot chocolate is something that is sold all year round. I personally enjoy hot chocolate in the winter during a snowy night (i know cliche). I figured since tomorrow is November first and the weather is slowly getting cooler (depending on where you live where I live it’s in the low 70’s) why not give all of my hot chocolate peeps a hot chocolate post. If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions, comments, or concerns you may have.
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