Would someone tell me why there is so much rainy weather in Arizona in January? I just don’t understand it. The only advantage it has for me is an increased enjoyment of such life’s comforts as warm hats and hot chocolate. Truly ideal timing for Steven Meyers from Boulevards to send me over some of their dairy-free, sugar-free hot chocolate. In existence since just 2005, Boulevards has a line of hot chocolate mixes (with cold mixes coming in the spring) designed to present this pleasurable beverage with quality ingredients that stay on the healthy side.
Hence all the labels and logos on the container: USDA Organic, dairy-free, sugar-free, Kosher, and no whey or rice fillers. It can all be a little heavy if you aren’t asking for all these qualities, but it was the cat that got more of my attention. Maybe I’m just a sucker for animals, but he has that spark of naughtiness in his open-mouthed smile that makes him a worthy mascot. Turn the container around and you’ll find the brief ingredients list: organic erythritol, organic cocoa, organic maltodextrin, organic guar gum. Erythritol is the naturally-occurring sweetener used in place of sugar.
Peeling off the lid, the mix is a rough powder with little sugar-look-alike crystals. It smells something like Ovaltine, if my memory serves correctly, a sweeter cocoa powder smell. The directions instruct one tablespoon per cup (making 20 servings). I filled my mug to what I guessed was about a cup, but the tablespoon didn’t seem enough, so being too lazy to get a second spoon, I just poured a little more mix in. And then I chided my laziness when too much powder fell into the cup, worried that I had ruined my tasting. Yet I had no reason to fear. Being prone to add extra mix to my hot chocolate, this excess ended up the right amount.
The mix has a tendency to clump up as you stir it in, yet a small layer of welcoming foam forms on top after it’s all mixed. The taste is creamy, light on chocolate. This is the mild-flavored one, though; there are also dark versions. The erythritol gives it, to me, a slight odd smell and taste, but it’s preferable to stevia, not so strong as that. This chocolate feels good to drink, in the end. No sugar/sweet rush, no chocolate overkill if that’s something you avoid.
So it works. A standard hot chocolate that will meet your not-so-standard needs or wants with at least one of those numerous labels.