* Prices may differ from that shown
I have possibly got the world's biggest sweet tooth, but I am trying to be healthier of late because I know my diet has been bad. So options seemed like a reasonable way to help satisfy a sweet craving whenever one arose.
I chose the Belgian chocolate one as my other half was a big fan and highly recommended it because she has a sweet tooth as bad as mine.
I loved the creamy sweet taste and how you could feel your cravings melting away as you drank it. It was sweet enough to take the edge off and for only 60 calories that was what I needed.
The one problem I did have with it though is that it was always very hard to dissolve and I was often left with little powdery chocolate lumps in my lovely drink.
It was also quite expensive considering how much you get, £3.25 in my local Tesco is a bit much for me to have it on a regular basis.
I have started putting it in desserts now as a healthier alternative to cocoa.
I regularly buy the Options hot chocolate individual sachets to keep in my desk drawer at work. They are a handy little stash to have readily available for that mid morning or mid afternoon chocolate fix.
I started buying them a few years ago, and my initial purchase was purely based on the fact that they were on offer. The Options jars do represent better value for money, however the sachets are much more convenient for me at work. You can normally find the sachets on offer at one of the supermarkets, I do buy them at full price if I've ran out and can't be bothered hunting around for any on offer though, as they are only just over 30 pence each at full price. They are currently on offer in Sainsburys where you can buy 7 sachets for £1.50, so I've been stocking up.
I've tried all of the flavours over the years, and one of my favourite flavours is definitely the Belgian Chocolate flavour.
As the name would obviously suggest this is just hot chocolate, Belgian chocolate hot chocolate. This has a gorgeous rich and smooth chocolatey taste, a milk chocolate taste rather than a dark chocolate taste though. It's quite a sweet chocolate taste, but it's not too sweet or sickly sweet, it's just a rich and smooth chocolatey sweet. It's absolutely delicious and it really does satisfy my chocolate cravings, that's high praise indeed coming from someone who if left to their own devices would eat chocolate for every single meal! One of the reasons that I really like the Belgian Chocolate flavour is that this one doesn't taste like a low calorie hot chocolate drink - which the Options range is. I think that the Belgian Chocolate flavour is actually a very luxurious creamy tasting hot chocolate drink.
Each sachet of the Belgian Chocolate flavour contains just 40kcal per cup when made up with hot water, you can add a dash of milk to make the drink a little creamier, but I personally don't think that this flavour needs any milk, it's the perfect taste with just hot water. I suppose if you prefer you could also make up the drink entirely with hot milk.
We have a water cooler at work that also dispenses boiling hot water, so I just add the sachet to my travel mug, fill up with the boiling water from the water cooler, stir to dissolve the powder and that's it, a lovely chocolatey treat. Even now after years of buying and drinking these I'm still quite gobsmacked that they are low calorie, especially this one, it actually tastes like an indulgent treat. OK I'm not kidding myself it doesn't taste quite as good as a hot chocolate made with chunks of proper Belgian chocolate, but for just 40kcal and the fact that it's easily whipped up in seconds with hot water it's not actually a bad alternative at all.
I love having a hot chocolate at any time of year I find it keeps me going mid afternoon when I'm starting to flag or in danger of nibbling. I usually buy Cadburys Hi Lites but recently I've been trying Options hot chocolate as the flavours do sound lovely. My latest jar is Options Indulgence Belgian Chocolate which I bought from Tesco for £3.19.
My Belgian chocolate indulgence is sold in a chocolate brown curvy plastic jar with a simple screw top lid. The front has a pale blue oval with Options Indulgence written in it in gold writing. The appearance of the jar is designed to be indulgent and luxurious and to a certain extent it does. The front of the jar tells the customer that this is "a flirtatiously rich Belgian chocolate for real chocolate lovers". It also gives the calories which are 60 per serving which is given as 16g of chocolate powder and 200mls of water.
The back of the jar gives all the usual details such as ingredients, nutritional information and directions for making up a mug of the hot chocolate.
On opening the jar there is foil covering the chocolate powder to keep it nice and fresh. Once you break through this and take a sniff the chocolate smell is strong and sweet. The powder is a light brown colour and has a slightly grainy feel. I had a little taste of the powder and it tastes like it smells, chocolaty and sweet.
To make a drink with the Options the instructions state that you need to add 4 heaped teaspoons to a mug of slightly cooled boiled water and stir. Now personally I find 4 heaped teaspoons is far too much, I personally only use 2, making the jar go twice as far, but of course this is down to personal taste. The jar also states that for a more creamier hot chocolate drink you could make it with milk instead of water, I have never done this because I think the drink is creamy enough without the milk but once again its down to personal taste.
I really like this particular Options flavour, the drink is quite a dark colour and tastes just like liquid chocolate, its sweet, rich, creamy and as the jar says indulgent! My only problem with Options, and this applies to all the flavours I've tried is that it is hard to get a totally lump free drink. I have found the best way to make this is to put the Options powder in a mug and add a small amount of cold water, stir really well and then add your boiling water. This removes most of the lumps and also takes the temperature down slightly.
Lumps aside though I would certainly recommend the Options Indulgence Belgian Chocolate, it makes a really chocolaty drink. It fills a gap mid afternoon and gives me the chocolate fix I like. I also use the Options powder for cooking, added to butter icing it makes a nice chocolate topping for cakes and buns and we sometimes have it sprinkled over ice cream.
If you like hot chocolate drinks that are rich and full of flavour then I would recommend trying this one, its certainly one of the nicer Options hot chocolate drinks I've tried.
When I'm trying to lose weight I'm always on the look out for tasty treats that won't break the calorie bank and at 40 calories per serving (approx llg of product) Options would seem to fit the bill. I have used Options for many years on a now and then basis, but I have to admit that every time I buy some I feel disappointed. Hope apparently springs eternal for me.
I usually buy the tub rather than the sachets; as it's more economical at £2.84 (in all major supermarkets at the moment) for 220gms. The tub is sealed inside with a foiled seal; the powder itself is very fine and dissolves quite well when hot water is added, though a good stir is needed to ensure this.
Also buying it in the tub format allows me to adjust the amount of powder added to my mug more easily. I like this aspect as for me the recommended way of making up this drink leaves me with a watery brew with a tantalising hint of chocolate. It's not tantalising in a good way, but because no matter how much I close my eyes inhale deeply and try and imagine a chocolate burst in my mouth it just doesn't happen. There is an initial recognition of something chocolatey which dances away almost immediately like a will o the wisp. Leaving me with just enough of a hint of chocolate to make me crave it and go off and scoff a bar thus defeating the whole object of the exercise. The 'option' to adjust the amount of powder used to make up the drink is what makes this usable for me. I usually add half as much again as the recommended 3 teaspoons with hot water added. Even then it still tastes thin to me though I will drink it like this, though I often also add a couple of teaspoons of coffee whitener, and a small amount of sugar. Options isn't as bad as some diet chocolate drinks which are undrinkable without quite a lot of tinkering, but for me Options isn't worth drinking without some adjustment.
Obviously if you want to carry your Options with you to work or anywhere else then the sachets would work better, but as I work from home this isn't an issue.
In the mug the drink looks nice and chocolatey, more of a milk chocolate than dark, there is a slight white sheen on the top, a little like a very thin crema on coffee. This usually dissipates quickly and neither adds nor detracts from the drink. The aroma is quite appetising though to me there is something lacking which doesn't quite 'hit' the right area in the nose.
To me this isn't really a hot chocolate; it's more of a tease a hint of what it could be. The way I make it obviously increases the calorie content too and I take that into account. However to be honest I'd rather either have a 'proper' hot chocolate drink and allow for the calorie hit or simply do without altogether and get my chocolate fix in another format.
My daughter swears that options is delicious with a teaspoon of 'Camp' coffee added and a splash of milk (for her no sugar) and finds this a real treat, and I have to admit it is quite nice.
Because I'm not keen on this it doesn't mean it's not a great idea which works well for many people. Chocolate is a high calorie treat and if you love chocolate but don't *LOVE* it or prefer a lighter less rich taste you will probably enjoy this. My daughter likes the Options range very much and finds it a useful treat to keep the calorie wolf from the door, even if she isn't watching her weight she will often chose to have a mug of this rather than coffee, so like most things it is very much a matter of personal taste. If like me you are a chocolate addict and adore the slightly thick creaminess of a chocolate drink as well as just the smell and hint of chocolate taste then this is unlikely to satisfy your craving and may even lead to the messy business of binge chocolateing later on.
I have tried many hot chocolates, being such a fan of chocolate in general and liking it in any pretty much any form, solid, drink, gateau, mousse etc. I had tried Cadburys expecting much, but been quite disappointed. I have also tried Galaxy which is quite good actually but still the best is Options.
Admittedly I am basing my opinion on just this flavour, the Belgian one. They in fact have a huge range including mint, white chocolate, toffee, nut and many others. I would like to try them all. They most likely have some kind of special edition box with a sachet of each flavour that I would happily get as a gift.
This however, is the one that I always see on the supermarket shelf before any others and is probably the most traditional. You can get this drink in three forms, a 100g pot which I found in the 99p store the other day, the standard 220g pot which is about £3 in most supermarkets, and the little sachets designed for a one-time taste which of course work out very expensively.
The Options range is quite recognisable, this pot is light blue with an hourglass shape and then the rest of the pot is brown to match this flavour. Under the lid is a foil seal for freshness and security.
Each drink is just 37 calories so is the claim on the pot. This is based on the recommendation that you make it with water which is okay but I personally prefer to put a heaped spoon of powder in a mug, fill it with milk, stir it about a bit, then microwave it for two minutes. Obviously that ups the calorie count but it makes it a nicer creamier drink. If like me, you have squeezy cream in the house due to the festive period, you can even try squirting some on top.
I always find this a winner, it genuinely tastes of chocolate and made with milk is sufficiently creamy, the only downside is that it's hard to judge the amount of powder as 95% of the time, I am left with small lumps that take quite a bit of stirring to get rid off.
I am sticking with this but would like to try other ones in their range.
Before I go to bed at night I like a hot drink to warm me up and make me sleepy. Normally I have a cup of chamomile tea but as the weather's got colder and we slide into winter I decided to give some of the low calorie hot chocolate drinks a try.
A while ago I came across Options belgian chocolate drink, I debated buying a tub for about the £4 mark but then decided to buy some of the one drink sachets instead. The offer at the time was 4 sachets for £1 in Tescos so I chose 4 of the 11g sachets and one of the ones I liked the look of was the belgian chocolate one.
Each sachet contains enough for one drink, 39 calories and 0.9g of fat when made with boiling water only. To open you just rip the corner off the sachet and pour into a mug. Boil the kettle then let it cool slightly before adding water to the powder and giving it a good stir. If you want a creamier drink you can add a splash of milk but of course that will add to the calories a bit.
I tried this the other night when it was chilly and I wanted something warming before I went to bed. The 11g in the sachet is actually quite alot of powder and when I tried to mix it with hot water it didn't really mix particularly well and I found myself standing in the kitchen stirring frantically for several minutes before the powder had dissolved. On the plus side it did all dissolve though and there were no clumps at the bottom of the mug.
It looked quite strong once I'd mixed it and I decided to add a bit of milk, only semi-skimmed so nothing too creamy, but it just brought the colour of the drink to a more acceptable chocolate colour. That done I waited a few minutes for it to cool while I inhaled the lovely chocolate aroma before I took a sip.
Obviously at only 39 calories a mug this contains artificial sweetener, aspartame to be precise, so I was expecting it to be quite sweet. I wasn't expecting it to be as sweet as it was though and the first couple of mouthfuls had me wondering if I'd be able to finish the drink. If you don't have much of a sweet tooth, like me, this can come as quite a shock because it really is very, very sweet. It doesn't have the bitter aftertaste of artificial sweetener however.
I did manage to drink the hot chocolate but I can honestly say it was far too sweet for me and I'm glad I only got sachets now and not a tub that I would have wasted. I've already switched back to my normal cup of herbal tea with no sweetener in it and the other sachets I bought are in the kitchen on standby in case I ever get a yearning for something sweet, it doesn't happen often but occasionally does!
Although I wasn't keen on this I'm giving it 4 stars because it doesn't taste of artificial sweetener, does all mix given time and for chocolate lovers is probably very appealing especially at only 39 calories. It just wasn't for me as I don't have a sweet tooth.
Now that winter is approaching (in fact it feels as though it's already arrived in Berkshire), I'm on a mission to find the best hot chocolate drink, or more specifically, as I'm trying to lose a couple of pounds before Christmas, the diet ones at any rate.
So far, Chocolate Ovaltine Light is at the top of my list and way ahead of its nearest rival, Cadbury Highlight Dark Chocolate. In my quest, I picked up a jar of Options Belgian Chocolate whilst I was in Sainsburys to road test and see where it comes in my Top of the Chocs.
Price and availability:
Options is sold in most major supermarkets in sachets as well as jars. The 11g sachets are 30p each or currently for sale at 4 for £1 and the 220g jars are £2.73.
40 cals per serving (11g in 200ml of water)
6g Carbohydrate (5.7g sugar)
The ingredients are very similar to other hot chocolate drinks: Whey power, glucose syrup, vegetable fat, chocolate power, dried skimmed milk, salt, stabilisers, flavourings and sweetener (aspartame).
Options is suitable for vegetarians and as there isn't any mention of nuts on the packet, I assume this is also suitable for people with nut allergies.
Now I could just say "it looks and tastes like dishwater" and leave it there but with such brevity, I don't feel I would have earned my 300 points so I will elaborate further.
This drink is as easy to make as every other instant hot chocolate. The instructions say that "for a perfect mug of Options" put three teaspoons in a mug and pour on 200ml of boiling water. Well, I'm sorry but the makers of Options obviously have a rather different idea to me as to what constitutes perfection.
When the drink is made up as per the instructions, it's certainly chocolate brown in colour and even smells of chocolate, although a very sweet chocolate it must be said. However, on taking my first sip, it was immediately obvious that the look and smell was as close as I was going to get to real chocolate.
The consistency of the drink is very thin and watery. There's a recommendation on the sachet that it tastes even better with a dash of milk but I tried that, too, and it really didn't taste any better. I've drunk other diet hot chocolate drinks containing artificial sweeteners before, even some containing aspartame, and they didn't have the level of chemical sweetness that Options has.
A brief aside here about aspartame....
This is a very widely used sweetening agent, especially in diet foods and drinks, but the side effects are largely ignored by the food industry. Although still approved for use by the Food Standards Agency, they are currently conducting a pilot study on this additive and hope to publish their findings in 2011. There is a large body of medical opinion which claims aspartame is responsible for a wide range of unpleasant side effects so I, for one, try to limit my intake of this substance.
...Now back to my review of Options.
Not only did I find this drink overly sweet and with a chemical taste, but the consistency was so thin that there was absolutely no satisfaction to be had. Previously, I've found that taking smaller sips helps but I'm afraid it didn't with this product.
I was very surprised to see that Options is manufactured by Ovaltine, especially as I found this drink to be not even in the same league as any Ovaltine drink, either diet or otherwise.
Options comes in several other flavours besides Belgian Chocolate and it may be that some of these could be more palatable, but I certainly won't be trying to find out or drinking any more Options.
Top of the Chocs? I don't think so. I found this particular instant hot chocolate to be the worst of the lot, so far, so it's a big, (low) fat miss from me and I've now donated the remainder of the jar to my colleagues at work. My quest continues....
Do you remember having Coco Pops or Nesquik just to finish off the chocolate milk at the end? Or perhaps various chocolate milk drinks that we were given throughout our childhood? Perhaps this is why we associate chocolate with a positive feeling as, let's admit it, many parents use it as a reward! Maybe this is why so many of us are on the verge of a chocolate addiction!?
But as we get older and more self-aware, we realise what is good for us and what is not so and sadly chocolate falls into the less favourable category. *Insert sad face here!*
Options - product of Ovaltine UK - is one of many brands who have invented a compromise for the more health-conscious of us: Options Belgian Chocolate in a 220g tub, suitable for all the family.
I can see how this would offer a guilt-free option for parents to give to their children as a night-time drink. And I can certainly understand how people like me view it as an innocent treat. In fact, it has prevented me from quickly nipping to the local shop in the evening when I've been craving something sweet. It is, as the name would suggest, an alternative option.
The Taste Test
Contrary to popular opinion, I find Options Belgian chocolate rather watery. It's like an average vending machine hot chocolate, only with fewer calories. I guess I must expect this to a certain extent because the product is instant - but I kind of feel it would be worth putting in the extra time and attention in order to create a thicker, creamier treat, for instance, Cadbury's drinking chocolate.
Through a little experimentation I have found that using milk instead of water in this drink to be pretty advantageous. Skimmed milk works just as well, whilst saving on the calories and the drink is nice both hot and cold. When I had a sore throat I also tried the drinking chocolate with a little honey, which worked surprisingly well.
A tip that stood out in another review was having it with Baileys! Now, I can't exactly say that promotes healthy eating/drinking - but it does taste bloody good!
When I was at Slimming World I also used to mix the hot chocolate powder with natural yoghurt in order to create a healthy but quite sweet dessert. It's not amazing, but worth a try of you are serious about dieting.
In relation to the design, the first thing that strikes me is the skinny, twenty-something woman on both the front and back of the tub. If I'd had any doubt, I would now be feeling reassured that this product is aimed at women who want to lose weight! I guess it is (like most advertising) slightly deceiving because unless you regularly have high calorie chocolate drinks you are incredibly unlikely to lose weight because of this hot chocolate!
The tub itself is both light blue and brown, the latter being a fair representation of the colour you can expect your drink to be! I'm not convinced that these two colours actually go well at all together, but I guess what really sells it is the "only 40 calories a cup" label.
How to Make
It is a very easy drink to make. I did however find that it took longer than I would have liked to dissolve the powder and often there were still grains of powder left at the bottom of the cup, even after much stirring.
1. Boil water. It is advised to let it cool down a bit before pouring it into the cup.
2. Place three teaspoons of the instant chocolate powder in your mug.
3. Add the water and stir, stir, stir!
You can buy this particular product from most supermarkets, but mine specifically was purchased from a small Sainsbury's store in town for £2.49. I find this to be quite expensive, but it is actually on a par with many similar products.
I am a vegetarian and have drunk this on and off for the past couple of years. Therefore I was utterly shocked to discover that they are NOT actually suitable for vegetarians! The drink contains whey powder which is not always veggie and according to the website it certainly isn't vegetarian on this occasion. *Insert swear word here!*
If you're a meat muncher and are not put off by this then you might also like to know that Options is available in single packets (weighing 11g, the same as 3 teaspoonfuls) in Belgian chocolate, orange, banana, toffee, vanilla, hazelnut, white chocolate, coconut, choca mocha, double choc, Turkish delight and mint.
This specific item contains both milk and soya, but is gluten free.
- All the Options contain at least some real Belgian chocolate
- Each cup contains at least half the calories of a standard hot chocolate
- The hazelnut variety does not contain nuts, but the white chocolate does (go figure!?)
- The company makes some effort to come across as ethical, but there are many flaws and it is not registered as Fairtrade
They also have a pretty comprehensive website which can be found here: http://www.optionstreats.co.uk/
Upon learning more and more about Options, my opinion of it just fell lower and lower. I think it is pretty appalling that it is not vegetarian (although I realise it's not great that I haven't checked before now!).
The container is a nice shape and distinctive, so stands out in your cupboard, making it easier to find.
The product itself I found a letdown, but when you balance it against the fact that its low calorie, I forgive it a little for its shortcomings.
You may also be interested to know that a similar product is available in the Skinny Cow range in both chocolate and mint flavours at only 37 calories (but at a marginally higher price), so if Options isn't for you then I recommend trying that. I believe this one is vegetarian too!
I wouldn't particularly recommend Options Belgian Chocolate.
I love my hot chocolate and always have one before i go to bed every night so i wanted something very strong, warming and easy on the calories so finding the options range, especially belgian chocolate, was fantastic :)
I was so impressed with the initial range of flavours going right from belgian chocolate and white chocolate to mint and orange. Theres always a flavour to suit your mood at just 36 cals! The price was outstanding at just £2.27 from ASDA at the moment for a 220g tub which really does last months even with every day usage. Saved me alot of money compared to buying several small sachets.
The packaging is great, very informative of all the nutrional information with directions and a great effective design that instantly pulls you in with the chocolate! The lid is secure but easy to open which is great, only problem i would say is that it could maybe come with a small spoon for scooping.
As soon as you open the tub, you get an instant whiff of chocolate, its ever so strong so you know its going to taste good. I usually put 2/3 spoons of this in my cup but definetly i have found more is better as it enhances the flavour as it can be a little watery with just the two spoonfuls. However be careful, too much makes it extremely clumpy and gets stuck at the bottom of your mug! When putting in water id suggest stiring it at the same time as alot of bits rise to the top but if you stir well enough they dissapear really quick which is alot better than other hot chocolates ive tried.
The taste itself its so strong, but makes you feel ever so warm as its really creamy, smooth and tasty! You can't stop sipping it! The taste doesnt stop half way down either, doesnt clog at the bottom of your cup and doesnt stick too bad to the sides like other brands do. Only problem is leave it too long, and it will start rising to the top making abit of a mess and clumpy-ness!
I am a massive fan of hot chocolate... But this doesn't really fit in with my current diet plan! So when I heard about Options low cal instant chocolate, I had to get some and see whether it would be a worthy substitute for my beloved winter warmer.
I bought mine from Tescos in a 2 for £4 offer. Now, I found this quite expensive (440g of chocolate powder for £4 - ouch) but then I suppose in comparison to hot chocolates such as Whittards it's not to bad. It's normally £2.31 a jar in Tesco so not a massive saving, but a saving none the less. The jar is nice and simple, with a clear design and it proudly tells you that it's only 36 calories per drink. Perfect if you're watching your weight!
I set about making my hot chocolate, first by boiling the kettle. The calorie advice is based on making it with just water but if you're not that bothered, you can add a splash of milk to make it tastier according to the side; I haven't tried this though. I put 2 very generous spoonfuls in the bottom of my mug (it recommends 3 but I don't like my hot chocolate that strong!) and stirred the boiled water into it. I was initially a little concerned that it seemed to be clumping but after a lot of stirring most of the little blobs dissipated. The top appeared creamy and slightly frothy and it smelt ever so faintly of... Belgian chocolates!
On tasting, again I was initially a little disappointed as I immediately got a small lump of partially dissolved powder between my teeth. This was the only one and it seems to be a common thing to have just the one in my cups of hot chocolate, maybe I don't make it right?! After this though, it was creamy, smooth and tasted very sweet and chocolatey (if a little weak). I made a mental note to use more powder next time and sat back to enjoy the rest of the mug.
Whilst I don't think anyone would be hard pressed to separate this hot chocolate powder from a non instant brand, I think you would have to have pretty good taste buds to work out that it was low cal in a blind testing! It honestly tastes no different to various other instant hot chocolates I've had - and is a darn sight more low calorie than Tescos own brand 'reduced calorie' hot chocolate instant powder, which packs a punch of 137 calories per mug! There is very little that I can fault this product on, apart from maybe the value for money as it is a little expensive. Though I suppose if you're dieting seriously, it will be an occasional treat and so one or even two jars will last quite a while. I also picked up the Double Chocolate version of Options, which is equally good and has 4 calories less (but who's splitting hairs?). I would heartily recommend both for people who are watching their weight but still want a sugar/hot chocolate hit!
I bought this hot chocolate after reading a great review of it here on Dooyoo. I'm not trying to lose weight (I'm pregnant) and I usually steer well clear of "light" hot chocolates because they always seem watery and tasteless, however it had got sucha great review that I decided to give it a go.
This is an "instant" hot chocolate, which means you just add water to it. Most instant drinks like this are a total dissapointment in my opinion and require the addition of a lot of milk and sugar to make them drinkable. However in order to test this one I followed the instructions and used just 3 teaspoons of powder (I generally use at least 4 with things like this) and mixed up with hot water. It does say to make it creamier you can add a dash of milk but I thought I'd better test it "neat" first.
The powder didn't quite mix in properly and I was left with a few lumps floating on the top, which put me off to begin with. However it did smell nice and the consistency as I was stirring it appeared surprisingly thick. I then waited as it cooled down enough for me to try it, which took a while (a problem with instant drinks where you don't add milk).
While waiting for my drink to cool down I read the packaging and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that each cup of this hot chocolate contains only 37 calories. I am not calorie counting at the moment, but I will certainly remember this for when I am, as my sweet tooth really is my downfall when it comes to dieting. So this would make a fab treat for someone who is watching what they eat and will satisfy your sugar cravings without ruining your hard work.
When tasting this hot chocolate the first thing that hit me was how thick it is. I have never had an instant hot chocolate that's been thick like this and I have no idea how they've done it (I don't expect I would want to know!) but it is really lovely and makes it seem so indulgent.
The taste is delicious, really chocolatey and sweet but not artificially so. It is lovely and creamy made with just water, however if not watching your weight a splash of milk does make it even better.
A splash of Baileys is divine!
As a low calorie instant hot chocolate this definitely gets 5 stars and I will most certainly be buying it again.
My mother told me about Options Belgian Chocolate a few months ago when I was complaining that my chocolate cravings were getting in the way of any attempt I was making to diet. I wasn't too interested at first because I thought the flavour would be terrible given the low calorie count.
I finally broke down and got some of this last month and I'm so glad I did. It's my favourite treat now to have throughout the day. I generally have a big mug of it mid-morning and another one mid-afternoon. After drinking this I feel my chocolate cravings have been completely satisfied and I wouldn't even want to eat a kit-kat or what have you afterwards. So a great result!
What you do according to the packet directions is is add 3 teaspoons of the powder to your favourite mug, add boiling water, and stir. The size of the mug you're supposed to use isn't specified so their measurements are imprecise at best and I prefer just to wing it with drinks like these. I probably do add a bit more than 3 teaspoons to each surving of this but I like it extra thick and chocolately so this suits me perfectly.
I add a small amount of boiling water and mix it into a paste at first, then add the rest of the water to fill the mug. I feel this makes the resulting drink smoother and easier to stir.
The flavour of this hot chocolate is nothing short of excellent. It is very choloately and rich and every time I drink it I just can't believe how few calories it has for the taste. It only has 37 calories per serving although my servings of course have a few more than that as I add a bit extra. Still though, it's very light.
The texture of this is another great feature. I don't really know how they do it, but this drink comes out very thick so it feels really indulgent when you drink it.
You can add a splash of milk to this for an extra-rich flavour. Even better than milk, when you drink this in the evening, is to add a bit of Bailey's Irish Creme (or a less expensive substitute like the Queen Margot brand from Lidl's)! This adds substantially to the calorie count of course but my goodness it is worth it. The taste with added Bailey's is just heavenly.
I can't remember how much this costs exactly I'm afraid, but it's around the £3 mark. It's much better value to buy a big container than to get the individual sticks which are about 30p each or more. The container of Options makes 20 mugs (a few less the way I prepare it, though)
I love hot chocolate drinks, especially in the winter on a cold night, curled up in front of the television with my hands wrapped around a mug of steaming hot chocolate. I usually have a milky drink of hot chocolate before going to bed and use the traditional drinking chocolate powder for this. However, sometimes during the day at home or work , especially if it is cold, I fancy a hot chocolate and find the milky variety a bit heavy in the day so I usually keep a jar of Options Belgian Chocolate drink which is made up with hot water.
This drink is a low calorie alternative to the normal drinking chocolate and at only 37 calories per serving (made with 200ml water) you might expect it not to have as much flavour or creaminess as traditional drinks of this type. That is where you would be wrong ....... with the recommended 3 teaspoons full mixed with hot water it is really creamy and smooth and with a lovely chocolatey flavour. It really satisfies my thirst as well as my chocolate craving and even satisfies my hunger pangs at work, which stops me dipping into the biscuit tin! My tip for making the drink would be to mix the powder in the cup with a little cold water first and then add the hot water, stirring all the time. This seems to mix the drink better as pouring the hot water directly onto the powder causes some of the powder to float to the top and no amount of stirring seems to mix it in.
The plastic jar is an interesting shape with a wider bottom and top and a "waist" in the middle making it easy to grasp when undoing the screw top lid. The colours are blue and, of course, chocolate brown with curls of chocolate on the front.
On the front of the jar it says that each serving contains the following:
There are other flavours available, orange, mint, white chocolate, toffee, hazelnut, vanilla, Turkish delight, choca mocha, Caribbean coconut, cinnamon and banana. I have tried the mint one but wasn't keen, preferring my chocolate to be pure! However, white chocolate is on my list to try. Options can also be bought in individual sachets and Tesco currently have these on sale for 4 for £1, which obviously makes them a more expensive way of buying but would be good to try before investing in a jar.
At £2.39 per jar it may seem a little on the expensive side but as each jar contains 20 servings, that works out at just under 12p per cup, which doesn't seem bad to me.
I have tried various makes and own brand varieties of instant chocolate drinks but Options is the one I always come back to because of its rich creamy chocolate flavour. 5/5 from me.
I tend to drink quite a lot of tea and coffee throughout the day however at night time I try and lay off this after seven o'clock In the evening as the caffeine tends to keep me up half the night as well. After this time I tend to stick to herbal drinks, horlicks and if I am feeling particularly cold tired and miserable hot chocolate. I have tried a number of versions of this drink over the years which have considerably varied in taste and ease of preparation. I was in my local supermarket and they had an offer on a tub of the options hot chocolate drinks. I hadn't actually tried this particular brand so I decided that I would give it a try.
The particular Options variety was "Options Choc". There were quite a few varieties included in the offer however I settled on this one as I simply adore Belgian chocolate. I purchased this for the bargain price of £1 delighted I have to say was I as most of the other instant chocolate drinks were around the £2 mark. The jar was 220 g however I also noticed that there were little sachets in different varieties for 35p. Normally I would try a sachet first to see if I liked the product before investing in a jar however the price was so low I figured that this would be a bit of a false economy.
The packaging is slightly different from the one featured in the picture above. The chocolate comes in an hourglass shaped plastic tub. It has a large screw cap which I am glad to say is easy to open. The added bonus with this product is that it has a wide span so you can refreshingly manage to get a large spoon inside the product without too much difficulty. The container and lid are powder blue in colour with a brown foreground which shows a picture of what I presume is Belgian chocolate curls on the front. The options logo is prominent with the wording Belgian choc. In addition the back of the tub lists the number of calories per drink and gives a spiel about the drink and provides directions for use and the usual nutritional information.
I opened this product and was greeted by a delicious chocolate smell. I would advise not sniffing to much though as I inhaled quite a lot of the fine powder within. I was surprised by this as in my experience hot chocolate powder tends to be quite thick. The colour of the powder was a light brown, which I was pleased to say was filled almost right up to the top of the tub. So often you open a product and it settles to almost half the package size. The manufacturers market this product as a delicious way to satisfy your sweet cravings, without ruining your good intentions to stay in shape. Well I have to confess that although this drink can be used as part of a calorie controlled diet I did not use it in this way. In my opinion if you are having hot chocolate you need a bar of chocolate as well. Or at least a choccie biscuit to dip in it!!
To make this product is simple. This is what I call a lazy hot chocolate in that you only have to boil a kettle to make it and there is no fumbling about with boiling milk, pans and hobs, which of course makes for less washing up. You put three heaped teaspoons into a mug and wait for a few minutes after the kettle has boiled and then pour it into the powder. You then simply stir to ensure that the chocolate powder is free from lumps and thoroughly mixed in. To make it slightly creamier you can add a little bit of cold milk which also makes the liquid frothier too (with additional stirring). I don't tend to do this however I do add chocolate flakes which I received in a shaker for Christmas and I sprinkle them all over the top of the mug. (sadly my mini marshmallows are long since finished).
This hot chocolate tastes absolutely divine. It is sweet but not too sweet. The chocolate is simply delicious and the consistency is slightly thicker than normal liquid however extremely pleasant. It really is a comforting drink which serves its purpose of being the perfect nightime drink to relax you before bedtime. I would imagine that this is what the chocolate river tastes like in Willie Wonka's factory. Sometimes these drinks can leave you with a sickly feeling however not this one. I can honestly say that I really couldn't find fault with this product at all. I am extremely fussy and coming from me this is high praise indeed.
This product contains only 37 calories per serving which would make it suitable for those who are watching their weight. (I haven't got round to doing this yet). There are several options available in other flavours so something to suit all tastes. These include Outrageous orange, wicked white, tempting toffee, cracking hazelnut, ooh la la vanilla to name but a few. I would suggest taking a look at the options website to view the full range available. www.optionstreats.co.uk
Overall a highly recommended comfort drink which tastes delicious and is easy to make. There are twenty servings in each tub so I would suggest that it is also very good value for money. 5 stars.
Nutritional Content per 100g
Don't forget to phone 0845 600 9944 to get your free options hot chocolate scoop.
I'm sick & tired of drinking coffee & tea so last week when I was shipping in our local cut-price store I spied this Options Belgian Chocolate which looked very tempting & cost only £1.49 so I thought I'd give it a try.
The container is as shown in the photo but is more attractive - I usually pop hot chocolate etc in the cupboard but this one's nice enough to leave out on show.
It's 220g in weight & makes around 20 cups which makes it q good buy in my opinion. The container has a screw top lid & inside there's a peel off gold foil seal which keeps the powder fresh so, on opening it, there's a lovely smell of chocolate. Whether it's a Belgian chocolate smell I worldn't like to say as I'm not a choc expert - but yummy all the same!
The plastic jar is easy to hold because of it's curvy shape & all the ingredients, directions & nutritional values plus an address & phone no for suggestions or comments is clearly readable on the outside.
I won't list all the ingredients but just to let you know there are only 37 calories per mug & 0.9g of fat which makes it an OK hot drink for those, like me, who may be watching their weight.
Making a cup just couldn't be easier - they suggest 3 teaspoons of the powder for each cup & just add boiling water. I found you need to stir quite well & I added a little skimmed milk as the taste & colour was a little too strong for my liking - but then I am rather strange!
I've just made myself another cup & am drinking it as I write this review & it's going down a treat. I'm thinking that maybe if I make another whilst watching TV tonight it may satisfy my craving for something sweet- something that oddly only seems to occur in the evenings?
I'm just reaching the bottom of my mug now & there is quite a lot of residue at the bottom of my mug - I must remember to stir even more next time - but this is really the only negative thing I can say about the product.
The consistency is just right - some hot chocolates seem to be a bit watery but this Options one isn't. The taste is 'full on' chocolate but on the sweet rather than the bitter side & I'll definitely be buying it again at this price.
- attractive plastic bottle with clear directions, easy to read ingredients, nutritional values etc.
- easy to make - but remember to stir well.
- great consistency & very chocolatey taste.
- worth a try if you like hot choc & see it on offer?