With the holiday season in full force, it’s likely many of you are cozying up by the fire with a delicious cup of hot cocoa (possibly with a ton of those magical mini marshmallows on top). And, if you’re anything like me, you’re the adventurous type that likes to spice things up a bit with the toppings and mix-ins.

I’m always on the lookout for the best hot cocoa, which is why I asked our nutrition team to put together eight new and revamped recipes. Then, we had the iFit team put on their best ugly Christmas sweaters and choose their favorites.

 

The process:

Our nutrition team worked their magic in the kitchen developing a wide assortment of hot cocoa recipes. Between dark, milk, and white chocolates, they did their best to vary up the flavors while still staying true to a chocolate base. For each matchup, two competing hot cocoas were presented to the team. After a taste test, the winner was marked by each team member on their individual bracket. This process was repeated for all of the recipes.

 

 

The contenders:

  1. Gingerbread
  2. Indian Spiced
  3. iFit Nourish
  4. Coconut
  5. Cioccolata Calda
  6. Salted Caramel
  7. Amaretto
  8. Rum Cherry

 

And the results are…

 

Cioccolata Calda takes the prize! While the other contenders definitely put up a strong fight, it was this rich Italian classic that took the cake. Customarily eaten with a spoon and served in a small shot-sized glass, this treat is a true indulgence. You only need a little, but just a small amount will leave you beyond satisfied. This one pairs especially well with some fresh berries!

Do yourself a favor and try this recipe! Trust me, you’ll be so glad you did.

 

Which recipes would we make again?

While the Cioccolata Calda was mind-blowingly outstanding, we had to give some of the other contenders some credit and strong seals of approval. Click the links to find out how you can make them at home.

Our Nourish hot cocoa recipe is the perfect choice for those days you want to indulge but still want to make a health-conscious decision. As we drank this creamy beverage, we had to keep reminding ourselves that it was, in fact, healthy. Doesn’t expand the waistline AND tastes like molten chocolate lava? Count us in.

The Amaretto Hot Chocolate is the perfect choice for kids and milk chocolate lovers. The velvetiness of the chocolate mixed with the warm flavors of amaretto extract (no alcohol in this one!), make for the perfect cozy cup for your winter night in. Add some mini marshmallows on top, and you’re in business!

For you fans of the salty/sweet combination, look no further than our Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. The sea salt brings out the richness and flavor of the chocolate, and caramel just makes everything taste better. Pair this one with a crispy biscotti and a good book for the perfect winter evening.

And last, but certainly not least, our Indian Spiced Hot Chocolate is perfect for those of you who are looking to switch things up a bit. This white chocolate hot cocoa is paired with warm Indian spices for an indulgent, yet lighter version of the classic hot chocolate. Don’t be scared, give this a try!