This hot chocolate recipe is always a winner with my boys! With temperatures falling, a hot and cozy beverage is just what’s called for, but without the added sugar!
My kids absolutely love the Swiss Miss brand of hot chocolate but ever since we started eating better and reading labels, the whopping 7 teaspoons of sugar per cup is hard to swallow. And so, I set about creating a healthier, more nutrient dense hot cocoa for them. Here’s how I make it:
Cacao or cocoa powder
Be careful of the “a” and “o” placement or you’ll miss the difference!
The chocolate in the hot chocolate can come from either unsweetened cocoa powder, which is more processed than the nutrient dense cacao powder. If you want the medicinal properties of the cacao bean then opt for magnesium rich cacao powder. There is a difference in taste. Cocoa powder tends to be less intense and slightly sweeter than cacao so if you do decide to use one or the other, do adjust according to your preference.
How to make hot chocolate
Start by heating up the milk. I have used whole and plant based milks ( almond, cashew) but my boys prefer whole milk as it results in a creamier beverage.
Once the milk starts to form small bubbles on the sides and is heated through, add the cacao and your sweetener of choice as well as the vanilla extract. Stir everything together and serve topped with marshmallows or whipped cream.
Hot cocoa ingredients
- Milk – I use whole milk as the kids prefer it to plant based milk which will result in a thinner beverage. I use A2 milk. It is shown to be easier on the digestion than regular milk that contains the A1 protein.
- Cacao – Preferably organic. I use Volupta Cacao Powder (affiliate link)
- Sweetener – Maple syrup works really well here and is a healthier option to regular table sugar.
- Vanilla extract
Tips and variations
- The hot chocolate can be made creamier if you do use plant based milk by using a frother.
- Make a peppermint mocha hot chocolate by adding a drop of two of peppermint essential oil.
- If you prefer to use sugar, use, coconut sugar if available. It is less processed than table sugar and lower on the glycemic index. Add the sugar when heating the milk so that it dissolves as it heats. You can even use Stevia drops to keep it low carb.
More warm and cozy beverages to try
If you try this recipe, I’d appreciate it so much if you would rate it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️! And let me know in the comments how it worked out for you. I love hearing feedback and the recipe rating helps others find this recipe!
Healthier Hot Chocolate
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2-4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small sauce pan, on medium high heat, heat the milk.
- Once the milk is heated through, you will see small bubbles form around the sides of the saucepan, add the cocoa and whisk to mix.
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Pour and enjoy topped with marshmallows or a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Always try to get organic, non-GMO, ingredients when you can to upgrade your recipes!
- The range for the sweetener is wide because my boys prefer it sweeter while I prefer 1 tablespoon per serving for myself. You can adjust it as per your preference.