Cocoa Powder For Your Preps

Benefits Of Cocoa

The benefits of having cocoa in your food preps (and your regular consumption) are many.

While advancing your overall food storage inventory, consider supplementing your food-staples with a variety beyond just the basics. Spicy or sweet foods, herbs, powders, etc., will provide flavors to satisfy the pallet.

A particularly good choice for the ‘sweet tooth’ (and your health) is COCOA.

How about a nice steaming cup of HOT CHOCOLATE…

Chocolate or Cocoa comes from the cacao bean (pronounced, cah-cow), which are the dried seeds of a South American evergreen tree (Theobroma cacao). It is also referred to as the cocoa bean.

Cocoa has more phenols and flavenoids attributing to about twice the antioxidants of red wine, three times those found in green tea, and twelve times as much as blueberries, according to Cornell University food scientists and research published in American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

US Department of Agriculture researchers measured the antioxidant power of cocoa to be an incredible 80,933 (ORAC) units, (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). ORAC is a method developed by scientists at the National Institutes of Health. Foods higher on the ORAC scale are better at neutralizing free radicals (free radical damage contributes to age-related degeneration, cancer and disease).

Top-100 High Orac Antioxidant Foods

A Harvard research study found that an Indian tribe in Panama that drank up to 40 cups a week of a traditionally prepared hot cocoa had 90% less cancer, heart disease and diabetes than neighboring tribes that did not consume hot cocoa.


Health Benefits of Cocoa

According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, drinking hot chocolate can help you think better. The flavonoids increase the blood flow and oxygen to the brain.

Dilates arteries and improves blood flow.

Reduced tendency to form damaging clots.

Lowers blood pressure.

Helps detoxify the liver.

Promotes positive feelings and fights depression.

Promotes mental alertness.

Appetite-suppressant properties.

Be aware that commercial instant hot cocoa mixes are usually NOT as good for you, compared to the real thing… For example, one popular hot chocolate mix lists cocoa fifth on the list of ingredients, beneath the higher-level ingredients of sugar, corn syrup and a medley of vegetable oils.

To get the full benefits of cocoa powder with the highest ORAC score, you should search for pure organic cocoa powder that has not been roasted or processed at high temperatures. Epicatechins (key flavanols found in cocoa powder) are often removed from commercial cocoas because they tend to have a bitter taste.



Shelf Life Of Cocoa

If cocoa is stored properly it does not really go bad, but the flavor and quality do decrease over time (several years). If the cocoa has remained dry and looks fine, then your sense of taste is the best way to tell if it is still good. When cocoa is no longer good, the chocolate taste in the powder disappears.

Proper food storage is the key to extending the shelf life of any food.

Cocoa should be kept in a cool dry place like the pantry. The original container is fine, as long as it is properly re-sealed after each use. Like most other foods, it is susceptible to oxidation so the less it is exposed to air the better. Also remember to use a clean spoon or pour your powder into your cup to avoid cross contamination.


  1. I spent many decades working with youth, young adults, and adults of all ages. I can tell you that if you drink a cup of hot cocoa with any of those folks, and sincerely and nonjudgmentally listen to them, that they’ll pour their heart out and discuss their hopes, dreams, and fears.

    That’s a critically important aspect of community life in a natural setting, for under our artificial postmodern experience, people are dreadfully lonely and don’t actually talk to one another.

    Under collapse conditions, drinking hot cocoa is a way of maintaining normalcy. As such it’s a natural way of destressing your tribe. I cannot explain how important this is.

    If you had cocoa six months after a collapse, it would be a HUGE trade item. By then, the little things will be a big deal again, and people will be thrilled as they were as children to have a cup.

    I’m glad that Ken pointed out the many health benefits. Since cardiovascular issues are so prevalent in our society, and cocoa has a very high medicinal value, then you may wish to research that. I think you’ll be surprised how much evidence there is for this. Post-collapse, this and hibiscus (which is common in gardens) will be the tools we have.

    Look for the healthier forms of cocoa as they have higher ORAC ratings.

  2. My mom used to make a big batch of instant cocoa for us kids to use up during the winter. I’m not exactly sure of the recipe, but she would add five or six tins of cocoa with several boxes of carnation instant milk in a Kroger bag. We would dip some out and add hot water, half a cup of hot milk and a spoon or two of white sugar when we came in from playing outside in the snow. it kept seven kids content all winter long.

    1. Here is the recipe If you want it coffe flavored (for mocha) leave in the instant coffee, if you want plain hot cocoa, take it out:

      Swiss Mocha Coffee Mix

      a.. 1/2 cup instant coffee

      b.. 1 cup sugar

      c.. 1 cup instant dry milk powder

      d.. 1/4 cup powdered coffee creamer

      e.. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

      f.. 1/4 cup vanilla flavored instant pudding mix (optional, but very good)

      Measure all of the ingredients into a clean, dry bowl. Use a fork to
      combine everything evenly or even better put it all together in a blender. Transfer the mixture to a resealable container, or a pretty jar.

      To Prepare: Measure 3 or 4 tablespoons into a coffee cup. Fill it up with
      hot water (about 3/4 cup) and stir to dissolve.

  3. “Reduced tendency to form damaging clots.”
    Thank you, Ken, for adding another tool to my box for my health issues.

  4. I have Cocoa in my Scout Bag along with single coffee servings and teas. These are my “comfort” items that I carry with me when ever I venture out of my house. Nothing better than a hot cup of something to lift your spirits and make you feel better even if your not having a great day.

  5. Many a time while on guard duty I would take the cocoa powder, instant coffee, creamer and the sugar packet from my C-Ration box and mix it all together in my canteen cup with hot water from melted snow. Instant pick me up. After a while I had the whole squad doing it and the nice thing many of the younger troops Considered these a nuisance and gave them to us.

  6. I can’t stand coffee with the powdered creamer but big difference with cocoa added with it. Since fresh milk or cream may not be available when SHTF I added much more cocoa than I originally had in my preps.

  7. I have been storing cocoa powder up for a couple years now. Not only for hot chocolate, making chocolate, but also as a comfort barter item in a collapse situation. Cocoa is becoming scarce as predicted and will be in a major shortage by 2020 according to Nestle, etc.

    I use sterilized quart or pint jars…this is for long term. Fill them 3/4 full with cocoa powder and use the attachment for jars that you can get for the Foodsaver vacuum sealer. You can seal up these jars and have it for a very long time. The reason for 3/4 full is to keep the powder from pulling up into the seal of the lid. If you fill it too much, you will not get a seal, or it will unseal eventually. No problems since I started filling them not as full. Also, the Wide-Mouth jars are the way to go with this Foodsaver attachment. The regular mouth does not work very well at all for some reason. I also seal up baking soda, baking powder, corn starch, small crackers such as Cheez-Its, small pastas such as elbow macaroni, Stove Top stuffing, etc. Put them on your storage shelf, and rest at ease.

    Also be aware that there is a predicted coffee shortage in the next 3 years. I would recommend buying freeze-dried bricks where you can, or also storing coffee beans in vacuum-sealed bags for long term. Whole beans will last way longer for long term storage. Just make sure you get a coffee bean grinder for when the SHTF. This will also come in handy for grinding up herbs grown in the garden.

  8. I canned 25kg of cocoa about 8 years ago and I use it regularly in home-made hot chocolate, chili, and other recipes. I canned it with oxygen absorbers and it tastes as good today as it did when we canned it. This makes sense because cocoa has natural antioxidants which give it a long shelf-life without any special handling. My initial canning project was so successful that I just ordered 1 Metric Ton of cocoa from China which some friends and I are going to pack it in mylar. Packed price will be less than $2/lb! I’ll report back in July with details so anyone interested can organize a similar project.

    PS: Easy delicious hot chocolate: microwave 1/2 C milk, add 2 t Cocoa powder, 1 t sugar, mix with a frother.

  9. can i can cocoa in mason jars doing the dry canning method like i did my flour and cornmeal ,rice ,beans

    1. betty jo
      Good question, not something I have ever tried. Those food items that are of a light material (spices) I put in jars with a lid lightly screwed on then place in a vacuum seal bag to process.
      I stopped putting those foods in the plastic bags by themselves as years went by the food had a different smell reason for the glass jar process.

    2. Sure you can. It’s a dry powder, and cocoa is not going to go ‘bad’. I’ve had some for quite some time. No problems when I dip into it for consumption.

  10. Good article, and I liked the comment by HOPEFUL NOT HOPELESS. However, cocoa is second to coffee for polyphenols. To my knowledge there is nothing stronger in those than coffee. As some have suggested, they also make a nice combination. But if you have kids, store cocoa for them if not yourself. Besides which, it goes in so many mixes, both drinks and deserts (with something other than sucrose–like stevia or xylitol. Thanks for the article.

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