Many nutritionists and doctors claim that high fructose corn syrup will be the death of us. Dr. Oz, a nationally syndicated columnist and television host specializing in health, says that the average American ingests a whopping 70 pounds of added sugars each year.
That is more than one and 1/3 extra pounds per week. I admit that I do often indulge in sweets after a long, stressful week, but overall, I cannot imagine myself taking in that much extra sugar. Sugar in moderation is supposed to be beneficial to the human body, but an increasing number of studies are suggesting that more so than natural sugar, high fructose corn syrup contributes to obesity, diabetes, dangerous organ fat build-up, and many more health risks. It’s a fine example of how even too much of a good thing can turn sour.
After becoming disgusted by the fact that artificial sweeteners are horrible for our health, I took the initiative to see just where those 70 pounds of extra sugar are coming from. I took precaution when cooking and carefully examined the products I buy. I was that girl in the super market, standing in the aisles and stopping the flow of traffic to read every last ingredient on every last bottle.
And I was stunned by what I found. Today, for example, I was shopping for Hershey’s chocolate syrup to use in my homemade chocolate milkshakes, and I was flabbergasted by the amount of high fructose corn syrup and additives that were in the bottle. I looked to the “Lite” version and again found nothing but preservatives and fake sugars (which research suggests could be even worse for you than the real thing). Needless to say, I left the super market without chocolate syrup and with the fear of never having a proper chocolate milkshake again.
However, I could not let my craving for a chocolate milkshake go unsatisfied. So from the lovely blog 52 Kitchen Adventures, I found a great recipe for homemade chocolate syrup. And when I say “great,” what I really mean is “drink-out-of-the-bottle-and-forget-all-your-worries wonderful.”
The chocolate syrup is much richer and has a more distinct chocolate taste than Hershey’s chocolate syrup. With only five simple ingredients, it is unbelievably easy to whip up and takes no time at all to make. It adds a rich flavor to any chocolate milkshake and will keep you coming back for more.
This might be a contributor to the extra 70 pounds of sugar you’ll eat this year, but this treat, at least, is completely worth it. Enjoy the delicious flavor of this syrup and the peace of mind knowing that by making your chocolate syrup yourself, you’re eating one less artificial, processed food.
Delicious Do-It-Yourself Chocolate Syrup
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Whisk together sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder in a medium sauce pan until the lumps are gone.
- Add water and salt to the sauce pan.
- Cook over medium heat, and stir frequently.
- Once the mixture reaches a boil, continue to cook over medium-low heat.
- Cook until the mixture has thickened. Be careful not to overcook the mixture and to continue stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
The chocolate syrup should be stored in air tight container in the refrigerator. It stays fresh for up to four weeks, but I assure you, this syrup is so delicious that it will be gone long before then.
For more information, the original recipe can be found here.