Warm Up With the Food of the Gods

— Written By

Hot chocolate with marshmallows

During the winter months, I love to drink hot chocolate. This drink, which we call cocoa, comes from the cacao bean. The Mayans called cacao “the food of the gods.” The cacao bean is native to South and Central America, but it is enjoyed throughout the world. Cocoa helps promote heart health, aids memory, has antioxidants called flavonoids, and according to the USDA, is a good source of iron and fiber.

When I make hot chocolate, sometimes, I add a peppermint stick or chocolate mint candy. Marshmallows are always wonderful, too! Hot chocolate is the perfect drink to warm the body and soothe the soul. I love to add cinnamon and cloves, which are common in the Caribbean. The spices give the cocoa a wonderful aroma and taste. Try this recipe for your family.

Hot Chocolate


Serves 10

  • 8 cups of water
  • 4 squares of from a block of bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 cans of evaporated milk
  • 4 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla


  1. In a pot bring the water, cinnamon, and cloves, sugar, salt, and chocolate to a boil on medium heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, to simmer for about 30 minutes.
  2. Turn off the stove and add the vanilla and both cans of milk. Stir well to mix. Remove the cloves and cinnamon sticks. Serve hot.

Written By

Cheri Bennett, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionCheri BennettNutrition Educator, Extension Program Assistant Call Cheri E-mail Cheri N.C. Cooperative Extension, Union County Center
Posted on Dec 22, 2020
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