Hillside® Beverages Self Heating Hot Chocolate

My mom has been raving about a product that she truly loves and has begged me to try. She has fallen in love with the Hillside® Self Heating beverages and soups. What are they? They're cans of coffee, tea, cocoa, and soup that self heat the product inside.

My mom raved about how great of an invention it is because she can have a hot meal or drink even when she can't get to the microwaves at work. She thought they'd be great for hubby who works out in the cold half the year eating cold sandwiches on the job site.

I was a little skeptical at first, but my curiosity got the best of me. When hubby and I made a trip to Lowes tonight (where I saw a couple Kohler sinks I loved) I asked him to swing by Walmart. As of right now Walmart seems to be the only store around here carrying the Hillside® products.

I didn't want to buy a lot of them in case we didn't like it, so I purchased one of the Rich Chocolate Hot Cocoas. The price was fairly decent at around $2 each considering what these cans are supposed to do. Each can is 9.5 fl oz even though it looks larger. You have to take into consideration the heating element located separately but inside of the middle of the can.

I wish I had thought to take photos of the heating process, but I didn't. The process from cold to hot drink only takes 3 steps and 5-8 minutes though. That's fairly longer than it takes to heat a cup of hot chocolate in the microwave, but it's very useful in situations where you can't get to another heating source.

The heating is done by a chemical process when water mixes with crushed limestone. The reaction takes place inside a container that is placed in the middle of the container, so it never comes in contact with the beverage or soup.

Step 1- Turn the container upside down, and pull off the seal on the bottom of the can. This exposes a button and green water (colored with food coloring to make it visible).

Step 2- Sit the container upside down on a flat surface, and press down on the button until the water drains. You do have to press down rather hard. It took me a couple minutes to get the water to drain, but I think I'll have much better luck next time. Wait 10 seconds, then turn the can upright.

Step 3- Place the container on a flat surface, but remember that the bottom of the can will get hot, so it's best to make sure you place it somewhere that's heat resistant. Wait 5-8 minutes for the pink circle to turn white.

When the circle changes colors, turn the plastic cover on the top counterclockwise, and pop the top like any other normal can.

How does it taste? It's actually really good! I expected it to taste a little weird, and I don't know why.

I will definitely be buying a lot more of these. Not only will they be great for hubby to take to work, but I've already decided I need to stock up on some of them for camping and mountain bike trips so we don't have to ride an extra hour to find a place to have lunch. It's also a great way to keep something around that can be used during power outages or placed in emergency kits if you live in an area prone to natural disasters.

The Hillside Beverages website says these cans will keep your beverage or soup hot for 30 minutes and warm for up to an hour. My can stayed pretty hot for about 45 minutes, and even though I finished the hot chocolate about 30 minutes ago, the can is still warm. I can see the can keeping a beverage or soup at a warm in a room temperature climate for at least an 1-1/2 hours.

If you want a little more information on these products, you can check out OnTech, the company behind the product, and Hillside Beverages. There's a great video here that will show you exactly how the process works.

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