Friday, May 8, 2015

Loco For Hot Cocoa

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned below were provided complimentary for the purpose of an honest review. The opinions stated here are based upon my personal experience with the product(s) and are entirely my own. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I feel would benefit my readers.

I know it's been a little warm out to be thinking about Hot Cocoa, but this beverage is still a childhood favorite of mine. You can most often find me drinking Hot Cocoa in the Winter time. Christmas and snow are entirely more bearable when you have Hot Cocoa to drink. My second most favorite time to drink it is after going swimming in the Summer at my family' cottage on the lake, to help warm up. My kids have grown-up being lovers of Hot Cocoa too, because really, what kid doesn't like to have permission to drink liquid chocolate? My biggest issue with Hot Cocoa is the fact that conventional brands do not have good-for-you ingredients in them. I started making my own homemade mix at home, because I was so disappointed in what was in the available options on the market. That wasn't as helpful when we used the Keurig though. Luckily, there is a brand that cares about ingredients and has made cups for Keurig brewers: Black Bear Market Premium Hot Chocolate.

Black Bear Market Premium Hot Chocolate was born when a family was disgusted by the ingredients in a drink that can easily be considered a classic. Reading the list of fake sweeteners and ingredients that cannot even be pronounced was disheartening and they decided to do something to change that. The family behind Black Bear Market created a Hot Chocolate that used only natural ingredients, with no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, and no artificial sweeteners. In fact, their ingredient list reads: pure cane sugar, non-fat dry milk, cocoa, whey, natural flavor, salt, locust bean gum and stevia. They sell a 24 pack of single serve cups for Keurig K-Cup type brewers. They are a small family owned and operated business that has stepped up the game to creating convenient yet health conscious beverages.

My biggest fear was that this Hot Cocoa would taste watered down. Most everything I put in the Keurig does, which is why I prefer to use the reusable cups that I can fill to my hearts content with whichever drink I am choosing to have. I used the smallest cup option to try and make it as concentrated as possible, however, it was still watered down. I used flavored creamer in it to give it some extra flavor and thicken it up, and that made it better. When I make hot cocoa I tend to use my homemade mix, and I warm it up on the stove-top with milk. Therefore, I am used to thick, creamy and very flavorful hot cocoa. If you are used to drinking hot cocoa from a Keurig, this will taste no different to you (I have tried a few brands, and they all taste watered down). The benefit here is that the Black Bear Premium Hot Chocolate is made with ingredients that you can pronounce, and are not concocted in a lab, making it, clearly, the better option.

If you have a Keurig type brewer and are looking for some Hot Chocolate with natural ingredients, you can purchase a 24-count of these for $15.95 HERE. I would love to see them make this in regular powder packets, or in bulk, because I think it would taste phenomenal!

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