Hot Cocoa! (No Dairy or Fructose)

Dairy & Fructose Free Instant Hot Cocoa cradlerockingmama

We’ve been snowed in since Friday. The way it looks now, we won’t be able to get out until Wednesday at the earliest.

This would be one of those “disadvantages” to rural living, in case you wondered.

Although, in some ways, it’s an advantage!

Even though my normal days involve staying in the house with the kids all day long, we don’t usually get to do it with Daddy around.

Daddy and Zac in the snow.

Daddy and Zac in the snow.

We also don’t usually get to do it with SNOW.

Jed being snowed on!

Jed being snowed on!

It’s like a non-stop party you can’t leave!

Zac falls down a lot in the snow!

Zac falls down a lot in the snow!

Friday was Zac’s first experience with snow in his whole life, and Jed’s first memorable experience. He was always too little to remember when he’d been in snow before.

My little snow bunny.

My little snow bunny.

He did know what snow was before he saw it, however, thanks to Thomas the Tank Engine movies! (Those trains are ALWAYS getting stuck in the snow!) And of course, on Friday, when we went out to play in the snow, he had to re-create those scenes with his own toy trains.

I enjoyed making a snow angel...until Jed dumped snow on my face!

I enjoyed making a snow angel…until Jed dumped snow on my face!

Saturday morning Darrel and I were jolted out of bed to Jed poking, bouncing, and otherwise forcing us awake as he exclaimed “We can go outside in the snow?! That sounds a good idea!”

This is totally adorable, of course, but not exactly something you’re prepared for when dragged from a deep sleep.

You’d think it was Christmas morning every  morning in our house since the snow came, since he’s repeated that particular wake-up routine every morning since.

Snow is SO MUCH FUN!!!

Snow is SO MUCH FUN!!!

For his part, Zac doesn’t quite know what to make of the snow. He’s kind of into it, but he can’t walk in it due to the fact that it comes up to mid-thigh on him and he’s bundled up like a stuffed sausage anyway.

Consequently, he falls down a lot; this is okay when he totters backwards, but when he goes down face first – look out! Zac does NOT like the “face first in the snow” sensation and he lets us know VERY LOUDLY!

Uh-oh...the crying is about to start!

Uh-oh…the crying is about to start!

Other than that, though, snow seems to be a hit with the boys.

So much fun!!

So much fun!!

Jed has to be forced inside when his face turns bright red and he visibly shakes from the pain of being so cold. Even then, he insists he wants to stay outside and play!

His nose is red. His cheeks are frozen. He's shivering from the cold and can hardly talk because his mouth is frozen. But does he want to come inside? NO!!

His nose is red. His cheeks are frozen. He’s shivering from the cold and can hardly talk because his mouth is frozen. But does he want to come inside? NO!!

One of the things that convinces him to come inside, though, is the promise of Hot Cocoa.

Two winters ago, I found a hot cocoa recipe that ROCKS the UNIVERSE. It is hands down one of the best hot cocoa’s I’ve ever drunk – and it’s dairy free! Jed never seemed to take to it; I think at 18 months old drinking a warm beverage was strange from his sippy cup.

Last winter we never really got any snow at all, and we’d learned by that point that Jed has FructMal, which meant my Rock the Universe Hot Cocoa had to be shelved: the main component of it was Coconut Milk.

With the onset of this lovely winter snow, I determined to find a Hot Cocoa that would be safe for Jed…and that’s not as easy as it sounds! Dairy free hot cocoa’s are almost always kind of crappy. They’re too thin and watery, not creamy enough, or they have some kind of weird ingredients that make you go “huh?”

So imagine my pleasure and surprise when I saw this recipe from Dianne at Delicious As It Looks!

While the boys were outside playing one day, I whipped up a batch of this instant hot cocoa mix and handed a cup to Jed when he came inside.

Ingredients in the jar...

Ingredients in the jar…

Shaken, not stirred!

Shaken, not stirred!


He’s drunk at least two cups per day ever since, and I’m thrilled that my boy finally discovered the joys of a hot cup of chocolate.

Yummy hot cocoa!!

Yummy hot cocoa!!

Darrel, on the other hand, isn’t as big a fan. He says it has a “funny aftertaste”. We did some experimenting, but couldn’t pinpoint where the “funny aftertaste” came from. He thinks it’s the dextrose, though.

That’s okay; Darrel drinks coffee – now Jed can have cocoa!

Still, I’m going to keep looking for a hot cocoa recipe that both the boys like.

In the meantime, Jed will enjoy Dianne’s creation; since I didn’t change A THING about her recipe, I’m not going to re-post it here (kind of tacky) but I encourage you to pop over and take a look – and try it for yourself!

The only things I do a little differently is to use boiling water for half the liquid and top it off with ice cold cashew milk. That seems to dissolve the mix just fine, then immediately lowers the temperature to a level my impatient toddler can tolerate drinking! Plus, it gives it some creaminess, since we’re dairy free. I also subbed arrowroot starch for the cornstarch, just because. 

Oh, and a little Zac update: Swiss Chard is a no-go (for now).

We aren’t sure if it is an FPIES ‘fail’ or a simple case of an undeveloped digestive tract having a rough time with the ‘roughage’ of a leafy green, but his little body is NOT handling it.

This time his symptoms were unusual. It started with hiccups Wednesday night. He never has hiccups, but he had them for about 2 hours then.

That was also the first night he really fought bedtime; he stayed awake another hour and a half until he finally pooped, and then he went right to sleep. That scenario has repeated itself every night since.

Thursday he fought naps, as well, but seemed much more low-key and less active than he had previously. Again, that has repeated every day, getting worse by the day.

His appetite dwindled, too. He went from eating 35-45 quinoa nuggets per day (!) down to eating only 12 of the quinoa & swiss chard nuggets on Saturday.

Saturday he had three poopy diapers in a row that had increased mucous and a deepening red, acidic diaper rash. Though it never broke open into blisters, it was troubling. He also had a loud burp that honestly had me looking for the vomit; it had ‘that sound’ to it.

The kicker was Sunday morning when he had his weekly weigh-in. The previous two weeks, he had gained a pound per week. This Sunday he had lost 1/5th of a pound. I didn’t expect him to continue gaining a pound a week, but losing weight…that’s not good for him.

So we pulled the Swiss Chard.

Sunday he ate almost 30 plain quinoa nuggets without chard. He was perkier, chattier, and his heinie started clearing up almost immediately.

Already today he’s eaten 27 quinoa nuggets at only 1:00 p.m. and just seems more himself.

Later on, when he’s got some more foods in his diet and doesn’t have such an undeveloped digestive system, we’ll re-try Swiss chard. But for now, it doesn’t agree with him and we can’t see the sense in making him miserable while forcing a food he isn’t quite ready for.

Now I get to hunt for a new food to trial for him. Again. I’ll keep you posted!

In the meantime, drink some hot cocoa and stay warm!!

What does your family do when you’re snowed in?

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2 Responses to Hot Cocoa! (No Dairy or Fructose)

  1. Pingback: Hot Cocoa – Rock the Universe Version - Cradle Rocking Mama

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