Tuesday, December 24, 2013

REVIEW: ConAgra Foods Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets Diet Hot Cocoa

During this time of year, it isn't odd for people to get a hankering for nice, piping-hot beverages.Whether shoveling the sidewalks or trekking through the troves of a winter wonderland, nothing caps off the cold day outside like a cup of hot chocolate. But for those who are watching their weight or just trying to eat healthier in general, hot cocoa is usually a hot no-go. It's just a bunch of liquid sugar and fat condensed into a small mug. And while instant packets of hot chocolate aren't nearly quite as horrific for your health as fancy coffee-shop blends with all the whipped cream and chocolate syrup and what-have-you, they still will most likely get some begrudging looks from the health-conscious because, really, who wants to spend as many calories on a drink as you would for a snack? Unless the drink is going to BE your snack, it really isn't worth it. But thankfully, there's diet hot cocoa for the healthy lifestyle, like these Swiss Miss packets from ConAgra Foods. These instant hot cocoa packets only contain 25 calories each, about 75% less than regular packaged hot chocolate. A 2.32 oz. box with eight 0.29 oz. envelopes costs around $1.89.

An 8g packet of cocoa contains 25 calories, 0 of them being from fat, 0g of total fat, 0g of saturated fat, 0g of trans fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 160mg of sodium, 200mg of potassium, 4g of total carbohydrates, less than 1g of dietary fiber, 2g of sugar, and 2g of protein. Also contains 30% of your daily calcium value.

Swiss Miss recommends using a cup of water for each packet of cocoa... or is it 3/4 cup of water? I dunno. Either way, I tried using the amount suggested for my first cup of cocoa and found it to be a rather small serving. I guess I like my cocoa real thin or something, because I swear my first try with this diet cocoa was half as small as all my usual cups. Anyway, I found using only one cup (or 3/4 cup, I forgot), made the cocoa a little TOO cocoa-y. I would use about twice to get the best flavor from your cocoa. Using the recommended amount of water just made the hot chocolate taste TOO condensed- TOO cocoa-y. I didn't like it.
But after using my preferred amount of water in my hot chocolate, I found it to turn out a lot tastier. For only 25 calories, this hot chocolate is surprisingly sweet and quite rich, but at the same time isn't quite as sweet or quite as rich enough. It's sweet and chocolately- but at the same time a little flat. It's thick and rich- but at the same time a little watery. I would actually suggest using a packet of sweetener or a touch of milk respectably to remedy either of these situations.
But anyway, for only 25 calories, this cocoa is unusually delicious and tastes almost as good as real instant hot chocolate. The taste of sweet chocolate is surprisingly quite prominent in each packet of cocoa, and I honestly couldn't get enough. In fact, I already used up the whole box! It doesn't help that this sensible hot chocolate also tastes incredibly delicious in coffee- the bitterness of the coffee brings out even more of the sweetness of the hot chocolate, making for a sweet, energizing morning drink. Why have boring, bland black coffee when you can have rich, sweet, amazing hot chocolate coffee? For only 25 calories too.
So, Swiss Miss' Diet Hot Cocoa isn't as great as real, full-bodied hot chocolate, but it serves as a great, low-calorie replacement that just needs a little sweetener or milk to be near-identical to the actual stuff. During the winter months, this is a must-have staple in the pantry.
I'd give ConAgra Foods' Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets Diet Hot Cocoa a 7.5/10.

What do YOU think of Swiss Miss Diet Hot Cocoa? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Till' then, this has been RiRi ri-porting!
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