December 11, 2020

Healthy Hot Chocolate

This homemade healthy hot chocolate is perfectly creamy and absolutely delicious! Made with simple real food ingredients like pure maple syrup, almond milk, and coconut milk, it is a healthier version of everyone’s favorite winter drink. 

hot chocolate in white mugs

The Best Healthy Homemade Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is everyone’s favorite winter drink. It is warm, cozy, chocolatey, and personally I don’t think I could go through an entire holiday season without a creamy cup of hot chocolate.

If you have ever wanted to try making hot chocolate from scratch, this healthy homemade version is perfect for you! It is so simple to make, only takes a few ingredients (most of which you probably already have!), dairy-free, vegan, and comes together in just a few minutes.

What I love most about making my own hot chocolate at home is that I can easily tweak the ingredients to suite my tastebuds. Like a little extra sweetness, add more maple syrup! Want a peppermint hot chocolate? Add in a few drops of peppermint extract! The options really are endless.

This easy base recipe is delicious in it’s own right, but as always feel free to get creative and make it your own!

Is Hot Chocolate Healthy?

Traditional hot chocolate is made with refined sugar and, if you buy the pre-made packets, other preservatives that may not be the healthiest option for you. This healthier version of traditional hot chocolate is made with better for you, real food ingredients. While it is made with healthier ingredients, this hot cocoa is still delicious and does not compromise on flavor.

hot chocolate ingredients

Delicious Hot Cocoa Ingredients

Full fat coconut milk: full fat coconut milk adds a delicious rich creaminess to just about everything it’s in, including this hot chocolate. A little bit goes a long way in this recipe and I found that it does not make the hot chocolate taste like coconut.

Almond milk: the other milk of choice in this drink is almond milk. It has a thinner consistency than the full fat coconut milk and a pretty neutral flavor. Use an unsweetened, plain almond milk for the best results.

Cocoa powder: this is an obvious and must-have ingredient. Be sure to use a delicious rich cocoa powder that you really love.

Maple syrup: this gives just the right amount of sweetness to the hot chocolate. If you prefer, you could use honey instead although it may change the flavor of the hot chocolate just a bit.

Vanilla extract: my secret ingredient to a delicious hot chocolate is vanilla extract. It adds the most delicious flavor to the hot chocolate.

Pinch of sea salt: a little salt works to balance all of the sweet.

milk in saucepan with cocoa powder

How to Make Dairy Free Hot Chocolate

Step One: Add the almond milk and coconut milk to a small saucepan or pot and heat over medium-low heat.

Step Two: Once the milk is warmed through, whisk in the cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt until well combined and there are no remaining lumps of cocoa powder. This is also a great time to add in any optional ingredients that you plan on using like collagen protein, ground cinnamon, or peppermint extract. 

Step Three: Once the milk is warmed and everything is well combined, pour the hot chocolate into mugs and serve. Top with whipped cream, marshmallows, or chocolate shavings. Crushed peppermint candies would also be great addition if you like peppermint hot chocolate. Sip and enjoy while watching your favorite movie!

hot chocolate being poured into mug

Tips and Tricks for the Best Hot Cocoa

  • Don’t overheat the milk. You want the milk to be just hot enough. There is no need to boil or even really simmer the milk.
  • Use a whisk to incorporate the cocoa powder. Trust me, it will make the entire process much easier.
  • If you want an extra chocolatey hot chocolate, feel free to add an extra half tablespoon of cocoa powder to the recipe.
  • Be sure to get an unsweetened, dark cocoa powder. You don’t want any extra added sugar in your cocoa powder.

Can I Use One Milk Instead of Two?

The combination of full fat coconut milk and almond milk gives this hot chocolate just the right amount of creaminess so I highly recommend using both. However, if you want to use just one milk, I would go with almond milk.

I do not recommend using only full-fat coconut milk in this recipe as the hot chocolate will be a bit too thick and rich.

Other Dairy Free Milk Options

I tested this recipe with a combination of homemade cashew milk and coconut milk and did not love the results. The cashew milk thickened as it was heated and made the hot chocolate a bit too rich for my personal tastes.

If you need to make a nut-free version of this hot chocolate, or if you do not have almond milk, you could try using oat milk instead.

Can I Use Dairy Milk?

Yes! If you do not have any concerns about making this a dairy free recipe, you could always use your choice of dairy milk. I haven’t tested it but I think that whole milk would probably work best.

Optional Recipe Variations

  • Add in a little peppermint extract for a delicious peppermint hot chocolate.
  • Add a dash of cinnamon to the milk or a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
  • Top your hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
  • Add a few mini marshmallows on top.
  • Add a scoop of your favorite unflavored collagen powder to your hot chocolate for extra protein and nourishing health benefits.

hot chocolate in white mug

More Delicious Drink Recipes to Enjoy

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Gingerbread Latte

Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew Coffee

I hope you give this Healthy Hot Chocolate a try! It’s the perfect cozy drink to sip on all winter long.

If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on Instagram. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.

Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: Casey Colodny / THE MINDFUL HAPA

Print

Healthy Hot Chocolate

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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Scale:
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Method

  1. Add the milk to a small saucepan or pot and heat over medium-low heat.
  2. Once the milk is warmed through, whisk in the cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt until well combined and there are no lumps of cocoa powder.
  3. Once the milk is warmed and everything is well combined, pour the hot chocolate into mugs and serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Notes

!!

Feel free to add an extra half tablespoon of cocoa powder if you like your hot cocoa extra chocolatey

Keywords: hot chocolate, healthy hot chocolate, homemade hot chocolate, dairy free hot chocolate, vegan hot chocolate, paleo hot chocolate

 

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Recipe rating

    22 comments
  1. Absolutely decadent! I have been missing hot chocolate for YEARS bc I couldn’t figure out how to make it decent. This was WAY PAST DECENT! I dare say the best I’ve ever had. I reduced the syrup to 1T and it was plenty sweet for me. Thank you so much!

  2. Made this last night for an outdoor girls night to keep warm… everyone raved about it! “This is the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had!” Thank you!!

  3. So cozy and yummy! I stick to a dairy-free diet and have always made my hot chocolate with almond milk; it was always kind of watery and sad. I love that this recipe mixes the coconut milk with the almond milk, and the other flavors make it absolutely heavenly. I don’t quite remember what hot chocolate with real milk tasted like, but this has to be better!

  4. My husband and I made this the other night, so tasty! I love how cozy this cocoa makes me feel + it’s so easy.

  5. Oh my goodness. I write this while I sip pure joy out of my coffee mug. I love hot chocolate, but dairy and I don’t get along so I don’t drink much anymore. I gave up on the single serving ones years ago due to less than stellar ingredients and yeah… I have a Hot Cocoa sized hole in my heart. I love Ashlea and every recipe of hers I’ve made so I figured I’d give this one a whirl (and I had everything in my pantry!) and man oh man. I gave myself a spoonful at the stove and I yelled “OH THATS GOOD”. So yes, you could say this recipe is good. It’s heavenly. Make it and see for yourself!

  6. This hot chocolate recipe is wonderful! It’s so hard to duplicate that creaminess with dairy free options, but the coconut milk really works! We did sub Oatly oat milk for the almond milk and it turned out well! 🙂

  7. The healthy hot chocolate is so delicious! Love the coconut milk to make it. It is a perfect holiday treat or even an afternoon pick me up without caffeine. Yummm.

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