When our son started Kindergarten a few years back, we really noticed how much his attention span and behavior were becoming an issue. He was fidgety, always poking at his peers, and just could not focus. All of this led to behavior issues as he was becoming increasingly more anxious and frustrated at school, and the more he got in trouble the more he’d act out. We knew we had to do something, so we looked into cleaning up his diet first.
Now I know what you’re thinking, how in the world is a chocolate syrup tied into a clean diet-I’m getting there I promise!
We did a lot of research and decided that eliminating artificial flavorings, food dyes, and preservatives would be a great place to start. And you know what-it ACTUALLY helped! The hardest part of sticking with keeping our kids diet as clean as we can was to find ways to make all the ‘no list’ (as we refer to all the bad foods) things our kids loved in a cleaner version. Enter this chocolate syrup recipe…a lifesaver to a mother of a (then) kindergartener and toddler who have a deep love of all things chocolate and to appease my need to ‘keep it clean’.
This chocolate syrup is so stinking easy to make, and only 5 ingredients that you most likely have on hand anyway! Just sugar, water, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, and natural vanilla (as Ina Garten would say, use the good stuff!)
First you need to make your simple syrup. In a saucepan, add 1C water, 1C sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt and turn to high heat. Whisk until combined and bubbly.
Once you get a good boil going (it won’t take long!), let it boil for about a minute and then remove it from the heat. Set aside and let it cool for 10-15 minutes. This is usually when my kids notice what I’m doing and start begging for me to make them a glass of chocolate milk as soon as I’m done!
Once the mixture has cooled a bit (and once you’ve distracted your ravenous children), whisk in 1/2 C cocoa powder until combined. It may take some vigorous whisking to get all those little lumps out, but it’s worth it. Trust me. You’re almost in chocolate heaven!
Once the chocolate is all combined, add 1Tbsp vanilla. Or if your children have wandered back into the kitchen after smelling the warm sugar and chocolate, put them to work to add it for you. I won’t judge. Whisk the vanilla into the mixture and then pat yourself on the back, you’ve just made homemade chocolate sauce in less time that it would have taken to put on a bra and shoes to head to the store to buy some. Go ahead and lick the whisk, you’ve earned this win.
You can store this for up to 2 months in the fridge in a sealed container (not that it will last that long). And please don’t judge the horrible photo of this pour job…remember when you licked the whisk and I didn’t judge? This is a safe space, after all.
Boom. Now you’re the best mom ever and the kids will be none the wiser to the fact that they’re getting the clean version! Go ahead and enjoy this over ice cream or in some milk (or however you like your chocolate sauce-judgement free zone, remember?). I can verify however that it tastes the best with some milk in a donut mug, but that’s just how us Murphy’s do it.