I have created a monster. A chocolate milk monster, that is. Her name is Evi. She’s 3 years old, and she’s addicted to the stuff. Okay I admit I should have never given it to her in the first place, but I have my reasons. Don’t judge. At any rate, the fact remains that the girl loves it. Can you blame her? It’s basically chocolate ice cream in liquid form. Freaking delicious. She’s also pretty crazy for this Homemade Strawberry Milk!
But you didn’t expect to open up my refrigerator and see Hershey’s, did you? You know that’s not my style. Of course it’s yummy. It should be for all of the sugar in there! Take a quick peak at the ingredients: high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, cocoa, sugar….out of the first five ingredients named, THREE of them are a form of sugar! Then there’s a bunch of other rubbish fillers and artificial flavors.
But my main beef is with the high fructose corn syrup. You’ve seen the commercials, right? The ones from the Corn Refiner’s Association? Despite what those folks would have you believe, that is that “sugar is sugar and your body can’t tell the difference”, all sugar is NOT created equal. This is straight up propaganda folks. I submit that nutritious food doesn’t need a commercial to try to convince you of such. Can I get an amen? While sugar in excess in ANY form will contribute to obesity, corn sugar and cane sugar are not processed the same way in the body. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. in his article entitled 5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You,
“Regular cane sugar (sucrose) is made of two-sugar molecules bound tightly together– glucose and fructose in equal amounts.The enzymes in your digestive tract must break down the sucrose into glucose and fructose, which are then absorbed into the body. HFCS also consists of glucose and fructose, not in a 50-50 ratio, but a 55-45 fructose to glucose ratio in an unbound form. Fructose is sweeter than glucose. And HFCS is cheaper than sugar because of the government farm bill corn subsidies. Products with HFCS are sweeter and cheaper than products made with cane sugar. This allowed for the average soda size to balloon from 8 ounces to 20 ounces with little financial costs to manufacturers but great human costs of increased obesity, diabetes, and chronic disease.Now back to biochemistry. Since there is there is no chemical bond between them, no digestion is required so they are more rapidly absorbed into your blood stream. Fructose goes right to the liver and triggers lipogenesis (the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol) this is why it is the major cause of liver damage in this country and causes a condition called “fatty liver” which affects 70 million people. The rapidly absorbed glucose triggers big spikes in insulin–our body’s major fat storage hormone. Both these features of HFCS lead to increased metabolic disturbances that drive increases in appetite, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and more.”
I highly suggest checking out the rest of Dr. Hyman’s article for the real science on high fructose corn syrup. It’s worth the five minutes it will take you to read it.
Furthermore, chocolate syrup is a product that is directly marketed toward children. Check out the commercial below….
This makes my blood boil. Stir up a smile? Really? How about stir up some diabetes? Hershey’s chocolate syrup and many other products such as breakfast cereals composed of mostly marshmallows are just a couple of food-like products that are directly targeted toward our youth. Why? Because parents will buy them, and because they know that if they get the kids at a young age, they have a customer for life. This is plain wrong and it needs to stop. I encourage you to vote with your dollars. #Moneytalks.
There are some better store-bought options, and I completely understand that sometimes, better is good enough! We don’t aim for food perfection in our home. We just try to make the best choices we can at the time, and sometimes that means organic chocolate syrup. My local health food store carries a brand called AH!Laska. Of course it has sugar in it. It has too. But it’s organic cane syrup, not high fructose corn syrup. You can find it on Amazon HERE. Or, you can find it for a discounted price at one of my favorite new real food suppliers, Thrive Market.
Thrive Market is like an online Whole Foods and Costco mashed up into one. You purchase a $60 membership, and you have access to thousands of organic, natural, Non-GMO, real food options, all at significantly reduced prices. But the best part is that with every membership purchased, Thrive Market donates one membership to a low-income family. This is awesome-sauce people. It is SO important that we do what we can to help make real, quality food accessible to all! Oh! And you get free shipping for all orders over $49. Bonus!
Check out Thrive Market HERE.
But you’re here because I promised a recipe for Homemade Chocolate Syrup! Ready for it? It’s a bit too easy I think. The base is just two ingredients: cocoa and honey. You know I had to include some sort of sweetener, and honey is generally my sweetener of choice. Raw, organic and local is preferable when it comes to honey. While it’s still sugar, raw honey comes with some great health benefits, so that’s what I use. For more info on the health benefits of raw honey, check out THIS POST from my friend, Nadia, at Body Unburdened. On with it..
- vanilla extract
- peppermint or orange essential oil. *Note- If you choose to add in essential oils, use ONLY the highest quality essential oils. I use and trust Young Living Essential Oils, and they are the only kind I would use. Period. Check them out HERE.
- Dump all of the ingredients in a blender and whirl it up.
- Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.
- Enjoy in a glass of raw milk, Date Sweetened Coconut Milk, or over some yummy raw milk ice cream
In good health,
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