In under 5 minutes you'll have a smooth and creamy healthy hot chocolate. This dairy free, vegan and refined sugar free drink will warm you up and impress everyone with a few special (but simple) ingredients.
Why I love making my own hot chocolate: you know EXACTLY what goes in it and you choose how chocolatey it is. I love that it takes only a few minutes and a few wholesome ingredients.
What is the healthiest hot chocolate?
To me the healthiest hot chocolate is one made with real ingredients at home so you can control the amount of sweetener and types of ingredients used, like dairy free milk. This healthy hot chocolate is some of the best! It's rich, creamy and so easy to make.
Is it bad to drink hot chocolate every day? Although this is a healthy hot chocolate recipe, it might not something you want to drink every single day, like most things, it's great in moderation. If you follow a paleo, dairy free or keto diet, it's a great option for cold nights by the cozy fire.
- Full fat canned coconut milk: this is what gives the hot chocolate such a thick and creamy texture. It's similar in consistency to heavy creamy, but it's dairy free (part of what makes this a great vegan hot chocolate!) I don't like when a recipe calls for only part of the can so I started with the full can and based the rest of the ratios off that.
- Unsweetened milk: some of my favorites are oat milk, coconut milk, almond milk or cashew. All work great in this recipe and help thin out the coconut milk.
- Dark chocolate: You could use a dark chocolate bar or 3 ounces of dark chocolate chips. I like to use Lily's Dark chocolate because it's sweetened with Stevia. This gives the healthy hot chocolate a deep, rich flavor.
- Cocoa powder: the combo of dark chocolate and cocoa powder is what really makes this so rich and chocolatey.
- Sea salt: this might seem odd, but who doesn't love chocolate and sea salt? Salt's job in any recipe is to bring out the flavors and that's what it does here!
- Pure maple syrup: sweeten it naturally with pure maple syrup. I like 2 tablespoons, but if you want it sweeter you could add one more.
- Pure vanilla extract: what isn't better with vanilla? This adds another dimension of flavor.
- Almond extract: there's just barely enough almond extract in this to make people notice. It isn't overpowering at all but it will make people ask, "what's in this recipe?!"
- Keto: swap out the maple syrup for 1-2 teaspoons of your favorite low carb sweetener, like stevia or monk fruit and swap out the dark chocolate baking bar for 1 more tablespoon of cocoa powder. Carbs in one serving: 4 g
- Spiced Thai: add 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Mexican hot chocolate: add 1/8 teaspoon of chili powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Peanut butter hot chocolate: add 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter or PB2.
- Irish: add a splash of Bailey's Irish cream before serving.
What to serve with hot chocolate:
This smooth and creamy hot chocolate is so good on it's own, but add some fun toppings to make it even more fun and festive:
- Whipped cream: I like the dairy free almond milk whipped cream or make your own coconut whipped cream.
- Mini marshmallows: marshmallows were made for hot chocolate! If you wan't a vegan version, check out Dandie's vegan marshmallows.
- Shaved chocolate: use a potato peeler to shave the side of a chocolate bar over the top of the mallows.
- Chopped peppermint bark: if it's the holidays (or not!) and you're feeling festive, give it a try!
- Candy cane: the candy cane starts to melt in the healthy hot chocolate and gives this cozy drink the best flavor.
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More drinks you'll love:
How to make healthy hot chocolate [watch the video below!]
Creamy Healthy Hot Chocolate
- 1 can (about 1 2/3 cups) full fat coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cups dairy free unsweetened milk (i.e. unsweetened almond or oat milk)
- 3 oz dark chocolate baking bar chopped (I like Lily’s chocolate)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (plus more if you want it sweeter)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract optional
- Heat the coconut milk and dairy free milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Once it’s warm, add the chopped dark chocolate, cocoa powder, pure maple syrup and salt and whisk together until melted and combined. Bring to a light boil then remove from the pot the heat and add the vanilla and almond extract.
- Carefully taste it and add more maple syrup if you want it sweeter. Serve with whipped cream or marshmallows. See the recipe post above for more topping ideas.