Clean Sipping Hot Chocolate
Is there anything more quintessentially “winter” than savoring a steaming cup of hot chocolate by the fireplace? Hot cocoa is a favorite holiday beverage for many, but making it from a pre-made mix doesn’t do the drink justice. Instead, it’s easy (and healthier) to make it from scratch.
There are endless ways to transform a basic cup of hot chocolate. Start with the basic single-serving recipe below, and then get creative! We’ll get you started with a few of our favorite versions, including Peppermint Mocha, Bananas Foster, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and more.
Once you’ve mastered this healthy twist on classic hot chocolate, double or quadruple the recipe to share with family and friends. Use this recipe as the foundation for the variations that follow.
Basic Hot Chocolate
Yields: 1 serving
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage or unsweetened almond milk
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. tsp raw honey or agave syrup
Bring coconut milk, cocoa powder, and honey (if desired) to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking frequently.
Pour into a large mug; serve immediately.
Hot Chocolate Variations:
1. Cinnamon Hot Chocolate
With two common spices, you can create a unique flavor for your hot cocoa that will really hit the spot during the holidays.
Directions: Add a pinch of cinnamon (up to ½ a teaspoon) and a dash of ginger (⅛ teaspoon) to a cup of hot chocolate. Ginger is more potent than cinnamon, so a dash should be plenty to create this festive flavor.
2. Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate
If you like your chocolate with an espresso buzz, this version is for you! The combination of mint and mocha is a good choice if you love coffee but find it unsettling to your digestive system, as peppermint can be used to soothe an upset stomach.
Directions: Add a shot of espresso and dash of peppermint extract to a cup of hot cocoa. Not a fan of extracts? Use a few leaves of fresh mint instead.
3. Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
Are you one of those people that just can’t get enough of the fall-favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte, even though October is long gone? Enjoy it year-round with this autumnal recipe. You’ll find that because pumpkin puree is thick, you’ll likely drink this slower than your typical PSL, meaning you’ll really savor the dessert worthy drink.
Directions: Whisk two tablespoons pumpkin puree into a mug of hot chocolate using a whisk or a fork. Then, add a pinch of pumpkin pie spice to give it that iconic fall flavor.
4. Bananas Foster Hot Chocolate
Chocolate and bananas are a sweet combination that works whether it’s in a smoothie, a campfire dessert, or hot chocolate. Instead of using chunks of a ripe banana as you would with the original Bananas Foster, use dried bananas. They’ll give your cocoa the same banana flavor and aroma without the banana chunks.
Directions: Place a few slices of dried banana in the bottom of a mug, then fill with piping hot chocolate.
5. Tahini Hot Chocolate
If you love the classic culinary union of chocolate and peanut butter, give this sophisticated and slightly exotic spin on hot cocoa a try. It might sound a little weird, but tahini (spreadable sesame paste) adds a nutty richness to an otherwise ordinary mug of warm cocoa. Add a pinch of sea salt, if desired, to accentuate the sweet and savory flavors even more. If you don’t have Tahini paste, simply use a nut butter of choice for a rich smooth peanut butter and chocolate mug of comfort.
Directions: Simply add one teaspoon of tahini paste (or nut butter of choice) into the basic recipe. You can buy tahini at most grocery stores by nut butter.
6. Mexican Hot Chocolate Cocktail
Whip up this Chile Mocha Hot Chocolate to keep you warm this winter.
Directions: Mix ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of Ancho chile powder to a mug of hot chocolate. If you want to turn it into a spiked Mexican hot chocolate, add a shot of tequila.
7. Hot Chocolate Martini
Apple and chocolate martinis might not be the thing to order at the bar these days, but that doesn’t mean they’re not delicious. Here’s how to enjoy a chocolate martini with less sugar.
Directions: Just add a shot of vodka to the basic recipe above. If you want a richer chocolate flavor, try a dash of chocolate extract. This is an awesome way to boost the taste of chocolate in a recipe without adding cocoa powder.
Don’t know which variation to try first? Have a hot chocolate tasting party and make mini cocoa portions so you can try them all!