Sometimes, I would indulge my taste buds by pouring some Hershey's Chocolate Syrup into a glass of milk.
That's the best dessert anyone can make in under a minute.
However, once I got serious about eliminating artificial ingredients from the family diet, my fave chocolate syrup had to go.
Here's why: Sugar, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Salt, Mono- and Diglycerides, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 60, Vanillin, and Artificial Flavor.
If you're a chemist or a nutritionist, you might know what those ingredients are. I'm just an amateur nutritionist, but I do know that Xanthan gum is a type of sugar made from a bacteria through a process of fermentation.
The FDA considers it generally safe which actually means some may be "sensitive" to it. If you're the unfortunate person who is sensitive, Xanthan gum can cause bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea. (So does guar gum which is in just about everything that's supposed to be thickened.)
So I started making my own using this Cocoa Syrup Recipe which I'll share below. You can skip down to the recipe if you don't want to read the scoop on common ingredients that have found their way into our food.
First, I want to talk about Hershey's Simply 5 Chocolate Syrup, a new product with only 5 ingredients that are labeled Non-GMO. Those ingredients are sugar, organic invert syrup, water, cocoa, and natural vanilla flavor.
That sounds good, but I wondered what invert syrup was. I looked it up.
An ingredient used as a sweetener in foods, just as table sugar, maple syrup, or high fructose corn syrup is used. It's derived from table sugar, scientifically known as sucrose.
Sucrose is a disaccharide, meaning it's made of 2 different individual sugar molecules attached together. Sucrose has glucose and fructose attached together.
Invert sugar is made by breaking the bonds between the glucose and fructose through a chemical reaction called hydrolysis. That results in a solution that is half free glucose and half free fructose.
The part that bothers me is the hydrolysis. The past tense of hydrolysis is hydrolyzed as in hydrolized vegetable protein, hydrolyzed yeast, and other hydrolyzed ingredients in food.
(Some hydrolyzed ingredients result in a "second cousin of MSG." I'm allergic to MSG so I don't want it or its cousin in anything I eat.)
This hydrolysis of sucrose results in a solution of half free glucose and half free fructose. The chemical reaction uses water (for the hydrogen) along with heat, enzymes, or acids. It's considered generally safe.
I was tempted to try the Simply 5 chocolate syrup, but in the end, I decided an ingredient created in a lab isn't something I want in my food if I can avoid it. So I'll stick with my recipe for chocolate syrup.
Homemade Chocolate Syrup
|mug-2597167_1280_by StockSnap, Pixabay|
- 1 1/2 cups of water at room temperature
- 3 cups of sugar
- 1 1/2 cups of Hershey Cocoa Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup, i.e., white Karo Syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- In a saucepan, mix the water and the sugar. Bring to a boil.
- Using a whisk, mix in the cocoa powder,stirring well until the powder is dissolved.
- Add the salt and corn syrup, whisking well until everything is combined.
- Lower the heat, add the vanilla, and simmer the mixture until the sauce reduces. It should thicken slightly.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Pour into a glass jar with a lid or pour into a squeeze bottle. Regardless of the bottle you use, store it in the refrigerator.
Perfect for adding to milk or serving over ice cream. More importantly to me, it doesn't have questionable ingredients.
Join me every Saturday when I share a recipe, a household or organizational tip, or a short cut to make life easier for you! Enjoy your weekend.