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Overhead shot of a mug of hot chocolate with cacao powder, topped with whipped cream.
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Healthy Hot Chocolate with Cacao Powder

This quick homemade hot chocolate with cacao powder is made with milk, honey and a touch of vanilla.  Let me assure you that it’s nearly as easy to make as a powdered mix, but it’s even more delicious and much more nutritious. For a vegan version, use canned coconut milk in place of the regular milk and swap out the honey for maple syrup.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time7 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy hot chocolate recipe, hot chocolate wtih cacao powder, vegan hot chocolate recipe
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk (preferably 2% or whole milk)
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch sea salt

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, combine the milk, cacao powder, honey to taste (a teaspoon or two should do you), vanilla and a pinch of salt (sometimes I also add a pinch of cinnamon or even cayenne, if I’m feeling racy). Whisk until smooth.
  • Place saucepan over medium heat, and bring the milk to a simmer, whisking often. Give the hot chocolate a taste—if you prefer it sweeter whisk in a bit more honey. Serve warm.

Notes

Do Ahead: The hot chocolate can be transferred to a jar and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Shake or stir it before serving (you can drink it cold or reheat it!).
Tips:
  • The best hot chocolate is made with cacao powder, which you can find at many grocery stores or online! Raw cacao powder is healthier and richer in flavor than regular cocoa powder. However, you can use a good quality cocoa powder in its place. 
  • It’s important to whisk the cacao powder into the milk before heating it up (it will take a bit of whisking to dissolve). If you add the cacao powder to hot milk it can clump up.
  • I love this small saucepan and mini whisk for making hot chocolate, as well as for oatmeal and sauces.
  • For a vegan version, use canned coconut milk in place of the regular milk (I don’t love the flavor of nut milk in this recipe, but that’s subjective) and swap out the honey for maple syrup.
  • A pinch of salt helps to amplify all of the flavors. 
  • For a Mexican-inspired hot chocolate, add cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Refrigerate any leftover hot chocolate for a healthy chocolate milk! 😊