One of the best feelings of growing up in Wisconsin during the winter was sledding and playing in the snow for hours then coming inside to find that my mom was making a some hot chocolate from scratch! I would quickly peel off my soggy boots and mittens then I would warm up my hands on the mug of hot chocolate. I would allow the glorious sweet liquid to thaw me out. She would even give me a few marshmallows to add on top. Every Kid’s dream!
Those were the days! I could go for a little snow here in Iowa. Brown grass isn’t fun to look at! Snow or not I can still enjoy some hot chocolate to put me in to the spirit. If we’re going to drink some hot chocolate why not make it a little bit healthier?
My Healthy Vegan Hot Chocolate has become my go to wintertime treat that I can feel good about. The ingredients I add help to give a boost of energy, immunity and are pretty tasty! The basic ingredients will give you a starting point. Dairy free milk (my fave is Toasted Coconut Almond Milk by Califia. Any unsweetened milk you prefer will do), cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar. Simple and tasty! Let’s mix it up and play with some healthy ingredients.
Health Benefits of Healthy Vegan Hot Chocolate:
Cocoa Powder: Cocoa is packed with antioxidants and minerals. If you want bonus points you can use cacao powder, which is unprocessed and raw. It retains more antioxidants and nutrients than cocoa powder.
Cinnamon: Helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Plus it tastes amazing!
Coconut Sugar: Lower on the glycemic index than refined white sugar. Plus you are in control of how sweet you make it, unlike those premixed hot chocolate packets. I prefer mine less sweet, to resemble dark chocolate.
Maca Powder: Packed with vitamins B, C and E and calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium! It promotes energy and helps to balance hormones. It has a malty taste that I think compliments chocolate nicely. It can be kind of pricey but is worth trying. I suggest shopping online for the best price.
Cayenne Pepper: Supports immune system and jump starts the metabolism. Be careful not to overdo it, a little goes a long way.
Dried Ginger: Supports immune system and promotes digestion.
Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory and packed with cancer fighting antioxidants!
Coconut oil: Turmeric is fat soluble, meaning that the body absorbs it’s nutrients only when it’s ingested with fat. A little healthy fat from coconut oil does the trick, especially needed if you are using low fat milk.
Peppermint Extract: Calming to the stomach and promotes digestion. Plus Peppermint extract and chocolate always!
I hope you enjoy this Healthy Vegan Hot Chocolate as much as I do! Mix and match and play around with the ingredients to find your favorite – you’ll never get bored with your hot chocolate again. It’s a nutrient dense treat that you can enjoy all winter long! Happy hot chocolate sipping!
- BASIC INGREDIENTS
- 1½ cups unsweetened plain almond milk (or other dairy free milk of choice)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder/cacao powder*
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract (can omit if your milk is vanilla flavored)
- 1 to 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon dried ginger
- ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon maca powder**
- pinch to ⅛th teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon coconut oil (I only use coconut oil if I am adding the turmeric to that my body absorbs the nutrients of the turmeric)
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- To a small pot add all of the ingredients you desire. Keep in mind that the optional ingredients are suggestions, they are not meant to be used all together because the flavors may not go well together. I would suggest starting with one or two combinations and playing with those.
- Turn the heat on medium high and whisk until all the ingredients come together and small bubbles begin to form. Immediately remove from the heat. Carefully taste test and adjust flavors as needed, such as more coconut sugar for more sweetness. Pour into a mug and enjoy immediately.
- You can easily double the ingredients to make 2 batches or more.
**I suggest buying maca powder on Amazon for the best price. I am not dedicated to any one brand yet but the only ingredient listed should be maca root. Organic is best when possible. Also know that a little goes a long way, my batch has lasted me a long time.
To add visual interest to the photo I topped this hot chocolate with coconut whipped cream. I normally don't drink this hot chocolate with the whipped cream, however it is an extra tasty treat. Here is the recipe if you want to make it.
The Nutrition information is based on the basic ingredients (only using 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar), and not including any of the optional ingredients. However, except for the coconut oil the optional ingredients should not add any fat or calories. The whipped cream that is pictured is not calculated because I usually don’t drink it with whipped cream. I think that the nutrition calculator is inaccurate. The Toasted Coconut Almond Milk by Califia that I use has only 1 gram of sugar and 2 grams of fat. Coconut sugar only has about 12 grams of sugar and 0 grams of fat per tablespoon. Keep in mind that the facts will vary depending on how much coconut sugar you do add and what type of milk you use.