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Healthy Hot Chocolate

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

No More Sugar Highs! Learn How to Make the Best Guilt-Free Hot Chocolate Ever. 🍫⛄☕


hot chocolate in holiday mugs

Hey there, fellow chocolate enthusiasts! I hope you're as excited about this recipe as I am! Sipping on this healthy hot chocolate is like giving yourself a warm, loving hug. As the winter chill sets in, there's nothing quite like cozying up with a mug of hot cocoa. But if you're like me, you might sometimes feel a twinge of guilt indulging in this sweet treat. Well, worry no more! In today's post, I'm thrilled to share a healthier hot chocolate recipe that's just as delicious as the classic version.


Crafted with nourishing ingredients like cacao powder, dairy-free milk, and the magical monk fruit sweetener, this recipe promises to keep you warm without the sugar spikes. I'll also dive into cacao vs. cocoa powder – their differences, health benefits, and more. Plus, we'll explore the role of cacao butter in enhancing your hot chocolate.


So grab your favorite mug, and let's get cookin'! Don't forget to share with your friends and family so they too can enjoy a healthier, happier winter.



Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe


Servings: 2

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


Ingredients:

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  1. 2 tablespoons cacao powder (raw, unsweetened)

  2. 1 tablespoon cacao butter

  3. 2 cups dairy-free milk

  4. 2-3 tablespoons monk fruit sugar substitute (adjust to taste)

  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  6. A pinch of sea salt (optional, enhances flavor)

Instructions:

  1. Melt the Cacao Butter: In a small saucepan, gently melt the cacao butter over low heat. Be careful not to overheat it.

  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a small bowl, mix together the cacao powder, monk fruit sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt if you're using it. This helps to prevent clumps.

  3. Warm the Dairy-Free Milk: In the same saucepan, add the milk to the melted cacao butter and warm it over medium heat. Do not boil; just warm it enough to steam.

  4. Combine Ingredients: Once the milk is warm, whisk in the dry ingredients mixture. Keep whisking until the mixture is completely smooth and well incorporated.

  5. Simmer: Let the mixture simmer for a couple of minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. This allows the flavors to meld together.

  6. Taste and Adjust: Taste the hot chocolate and adjust the sweetness if necessary. If you prefer it sweeter, you can add a little more monk fruit sugar.

  7. Serve: Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and sprinkle a little more cinnamon on top for garnish.


Optional Add-ins:

  • For a spicier kick, add a pinch of ginger or cayenne pepper.

  • A drop of vanilla extract can add depth to the flavor.

  • Top with whipped coconut cream for an extra indulgent touch.

  • Top with vegan mini marshmallows if you are okay with a little sugar.


Nutritional Benefits:

  • Cacao Powder: Rich in antioxidants and can boost serotonin levels for a better mood.

  • Cacao Butter: Provides healthy fats and a creamy texture.

  • Monk Fruit Sugar: A natural sweetener with zero calories and no impact on blood sugar levels.

  • Cinnamon: Adds not just flavor but also has anti-inflammatory properties.


Estimated Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: ~100 kcal

  • Total Fat: 7g

  • Saturated Fat: ~5g

  • Total Carbohydrates: 4g

  • Dietary Fiber: 2g

  • Sugars: 0g (monk fruit sugar is a non-caloric sweetener)

  • Protein: 1g

  • Sodium: Minimal (varies if sea salt is added)

  • Cholesterol: 0mg


What's the difference between Cacao & Cocoa Powder?


cacao powder

Cacao and cocoa powders are both derived from the cacao bean, but they differ in processing methods, which in turn affects their nutritional profiles and health benefits. While both cacao and cocoa powders are healthy choices, especially compared to processed chocolate products, cacao powder is superior in terms of nutritional value and health benefits. It's less processed, has higher levels of antioxidants, and retains more beneficial compounds. However, cocoa powder is still a good, more budget-friendly alternative with a milder taste, making it more versatile for various recipes. The choice between the two often comes down to personal preference in taste and desired health benefits.


Cacao Powder


  • Processing: Cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans. This process keeps the living enzymes in the cacao and removes the fat (cacao butter).

  • Flavor: It has a more bitter taste compared to cocoa powder.

  • Nutritional Profile: Higher in antioxidants, as the minimal processing preserves more nutrients, including flavonoids.

  • Health Benefits:

  • Rich in antioxidants, which can help in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.

  • Contains more magnesium, which is important for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including muscle and nerve function, and bone health.

  • Higher levels of other minerals like iron and calcium.

  • May improve mood and symptoms of depression due to higher levels of compounds like theobromine and phenylethylamine.

Cocoa Powder


  • Processing: Cocoa powder is made from cacao beans that have been roasted at high temperatures. The roasting process changes the molecular structure of the bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value.

  • Flavor: It has a milder, more palatable taste.

  • Nutritional Profile: Contains fewer nutrients and antioxidants compared to cacao powder, due to the roasting process.

  • Health Benefits:

  • Still a good source of antioxidants, but in lower amounts.

  • Can offer some of the benefits of dark chocolate, such as improving heart health and lowering blood pressure, but to a lesser degree than cacao.


What is Cacao butter?


cacao butter

Cacao butter adds a rich flavor and creamy texture to hot chocolate, making it a luxurious treat. The key is to balance its use with your overall dietary needs and preferences. Cacao butter can be part of a healthy diet when used in moderation.


  • Composition: Cacao butter is the fat derived from cacao beans. It's a natural, plant-based fat composed primarily of saturated and monounsaturated fats, similar to the fats found in olive oil and avocados.

  • Calories: It's calorie-dense, as all fats are high in calories. However, moderate consumption is key.

  • Health Benefits:

  • Contains some amount of antioxidants found in cacao beans.

  • Offers a source of healthy fats, which are important for various bodily functions, including the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

Considerations for Health


  1. Moderation: As with any high-fat food, moderation is important. Using a small amount to enhance flavor and creaminess is fine for most healthy diets.

  2. Balance: If your overall diet is balanced and healthy, incorporating natural fats like cacao butter can be part of a healthy eating pattern.

  3. Health Goals: If you have specific dietary restrictions or health goals (e.g., reducing calorie intake, following a low-fat diet), you might opt to use less cacao butter or omit it.


homemade hot chocolate

Whipping up some magic in the kitchen with a sprinkle of friendship and a whole lot of love! 🍫✨


There's nothing quite like sharing a cup of homemade hot chocolate with a friend. It's not just about savoring a sweet treat; it's about the joy of creating memories and inspiring each other to make kinder, healthier choices.


My friend Kymbia and I stirred up some delicious fun in the kitchen, proving that 'sharing is caring' especially applies when it comes to hot chocolate. She loved it so much, she's taking the recipe home! Cheers to health, happiness, and chocolatey adventures with friends and family!


If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment below to share your experience or any tweaks you made. Your feedback is what makes our Veginner community so wonderful. Use promo code SAVETHECOWS to get "Moo-Free Milks" for FREE, my holiday gift to YOU! 💝 Love, Cheryl


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