A small café hot chocolate will cost you 220 calories and 27g of sugar... and that's before the marshmallows go on top! But what if you could make one yourself for a fraction of the calories, sugar and cost?
Enter Avalanche and Jarrah - two brands offering low-calorie, low-sugar alternatives. But how do they really compare?
Here are the nutrition stats taken from the labels of both brands, compared with a small café hot chocolate. Note that the Avalanche is prepared using 200mL of skim milk (included in the analysis).
Both brands are low in calories and sugars.
Both are easy to make, with Jarrah being the easiest - just add hot water!
Both brands are cheaper than a café equivalent, at just $0.30 per serve. Single-serve sachets are also available for both brands for about $0.50 per serve.
The addition of milk to Avalanche gives it a creamier flavour, more like a café hot chocolate.
The protein content of Avalanche is similar to a café version, helping you feel full for longer.
Neither brands has a particularly "chocolatey" flavour. Try adding a spoonful of pure cocoa (6 calories, 0g sugars) to give either brand a boost!
For some people, the sweeteners used to cut the sugar content can give the products an odd taste. Jarrah uses Sweetener 951 (Asparatame, most commonly found in Equal) while Avalanche uses a combination of Stevia (a plant-based sweetener) and Erythritol (a sugar alcohol).
The Jarrah, made on just boiling water, has a more watery consistency which can be less satisfying.
For instant hot chocolates, these brands rank among the best. They taste surprisingly pleasant and are very convenient. Being low in calories and sugars they are ideal for people needing to watch their weight or blood glucose levels. I will definitely be keeping a tub in my pantry this winter!
Tip: Go for the Avalanche if you are craving the creaminess of a café hot chocolate. Of if it's just something warm and sweet you are looking for, the Jarrah will fit the bill.