How to Make Better Chocolate Milk

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[Photos: Liz Gutman]

I always joke that I was raised by hippies.* All I ate for breakfast as a kid was shredded wheat or granola; and I always got weird stuff in my lunchbox, like hard-boiled eggs and fruit leather, that no one wanted to trade.

Accordingly, any kind of artificial/super-processed (read: delicious) stuff was out of bounds for us; no sugary cereal, no Cheetos, no snack cakes. A snack would be a piece of fruit or something similarly boring.

*my mom begs to differ: "I had a job, sweetie."

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Despite all this, chocolate milk mix somehow wedged its way into a permanent spot in our pantry. I suppose it's because milk is generally touted as being good for you, and the couple teaspoons (maybe more if Mom wasn't looking) of sugary brown powder that made its way into the glass wasn't as bad as, say, a donut. Or something.

I have to admit—I still love the already-cartoned, carrageenan-thickened, "chocolate flavor" style of chocolate milk quite a bit. But making it at home with cocoa powder will take you about 2.5 minutes (I timed myself) and is damn tasty. A fun chocolate-geek bonus of this recipe: adding the cocoa to the hot milk "blooms" it, actually enhancing the chocolate flavor (this is a trick used be many professional bakers and chefs to get the most chocolatey bang for their buck).

You also get to control how sweet it is, or even add a little something to kick it in the pants: a pinch of cinnamon, say, or a drop of orange extract. Me, I'll be over here with my Wild Turkey chocolate (hic) milk.**

**just kidding.

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Chocolate Milk from Scratch »

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