Mainely Dish: Hot Cocoa Convenience Mix

— By Alex Gayton, Assistant EFNEP Coordinator & Social Media Coordinator, Expanded Food Nutrition and Education Program (EFNEP), University of Maine Cooperative Extension

I love this simple Hot Cocoa Convenience Mix, once you make it, all you have to do is measure out a serving and add hot water or milk. Using milk or a fortified milk alternative instead of water can help boost your calcium, vitamin D intake, and protein. Calcium is beneficial because it helps build and maintain strong bones, while vitamin D helps maintain proper calcium and phosphorus levels. You can read more about the benefits of dairy on MyPlate.

This recipe also uses unsweetened cocoa powder, which more closely resembles dark chocolate flavor rather than milk chocolate. If you have more of a sweet tooth like me, you can increase the sweetness by adding 1 teaspoon of sugar, mini marshmallows, your favorite creamer, or whipped cream right before drinking. I personally like adding a New England staple, like marshmallow fluff, to mine!

This is a great last-minute homemade gift to give for the holidays. To make it a complete gift, simply add a fun winter-themed mug and mini marshmallows with it. For more food gift ideas go to our Gifts from the Kitchen blog post.

Visit EFNEP’s recipe website for the Hot Cocoa Convenience Mix recipe and recipe video.