SCL-Wholesome-style-blog-headerBy Elena Lynch

This is the time of year where nostalgia rules and we crave some of those foods and drinks we enjoyed so much as a child. One beverage that seems to be a staple in our homes around the holidays is hot cocoa. I grew up using those pre-made hot chocolate packets, and many others use Hershey syrup to quickly make a cup of chocolate milk or hot cocoa. Problem is, neither are good for you.

Check out the ingredients in Hershey’s syrup: High Fructose Corn Syrup; Corn Syrup; Water; Cocoa; Sugar; Contains 2% Or Less of: Potassium Sorbate (Preservative); Salt; Mono- And Diglycerides; Xanthan Gum; Polysorbate 60; Vanillin, Artificial Flavor.

I opt to make pre-made hot cocoa mix powder, because the ingredients in store-bought options are just so unhealthy! This recipe is so simple and really healthy for you!



  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey – I prefer raw honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa powder or Cacao

Add the milk first, then add the cocoa powder and honey. Heat all the ingredients together on medium low, whisking it together until it reaches the desired temperature. Be careful not to burn the milk, where you will notice a film residue starting to form on the bottom of the pan. That’s it!

If you enjoy marshmallows on top of your hot cocoa like I do, opt for marshmallow Fluff instead. The ingredients list is slightly more appealing than marshmallows.

Fluff is far from “perfect,” but I am not always after perfection here, just better choices.

Marshmallow Fluff contains: Corn Syrup, Sugar Syrup, Dried Egg Whites and Vanillin.

Marshmallows contain: Corn Syrup, Sugar, Dextrose, Modified Cornstarch, Water, Contains Less than 2% of Gelatin, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate (Whipping Aid), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Blue

See what I mean? Always, always compare ingredients. Usually, the one with less, is the better option.

Check out my homemade chocolate milk recipe!  Happy Holidays, everyone!



Elena Lynch runs, a health and wellness website, and also offers food consultation services. She can be reached at