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Healthy Hot Chocolate [Vegan]

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    Alyssa Workman

This hot chocolate is rich, creamy, comforting, and only takes 5 minutes to make. The best part is that it’s healthier and tastes better than any store-bought packet you can find. This healthy hot chocolate is the perfect drink to warm up with on a cold winter day.

Two mugs of healthy hot chocolate on a tray.

If you have 5 minutes and want to make a delicious healthy hot chocolate then stick around. This is just the recipe for you! In just 5 minutes, you can make the best healthy hot chocolate that’s free from dairy and refined sugars using only a small saucepan and a whisk! So grab your slippers, turn on your favorite Christmas movie, and let’s get started!

You can enjoy the hot chocolate a number of ways. Drink it plain, add some whipped cream (I like coconut whipped cream for a dairy free option), shave some chocolate on top, or sift extra cacao powder on top. I go for it all - give me all the whipped cream and chocolate!

What is the difference between cocoa powder and cacao powder?

While they can be used interchangeably, cacao (pronounced kuh⋅kaw) powder is less processed than cocoa powder and has more nutritional value. Cocoa powder is made by roasting the cacao beans at high temperatures, which destroys the health benefits (think: magnesium, antioxidants, and selenium). Cacao powder, on the other hand, is made from cold-pressing raw cacao beans, which allows them to retain their superfood nutrients.

Almond milk and coconut milk heating on stove

What kind of almond milk and coconut milk should I buy?

Try to find coconut and almond milk with the simplest, shortest list of ingredients possible, especially if you are trying to be Paleo or Whole30 compliant. “Clean” canned coconut milk (only water and coconut) is a bit easier to find than clean almond milk. Watch out for additives like sugars, thickeners, and sulfites. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could make your own almond milk to use in this healthy hot chocolate so you know exactly what’s going into it.

What makes this hot chocolate healthy?

Have you ever looked at the ingredients on store-bought packets of hot chocolate mix? Chances are, the first ingredient is sugar, which is followed by a bunch of ingredients you don’t want in your body like artificial flavors, preservatives, and gums. This healthy hot chocolate uses whole food ingredients, is free from conventional sugars, and is vegan and paleo friendly! PLUS, it tastes way fresher.

Hands holding a mug of healthy hot chocolate.

How many people does this healthy hot chocolate serve?

This recipe serves 2-3 people, but you can easily double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe depending on how many people you need to serve.

What should I do with the leftover canned coconut milk? 

I usually put foil over the can to cover it and throw it in the fridge. It’ll keep just fine! When you’re ready to use it later, try adding it to smoothies, make my Fresh Herb Frittata recipe, or add it to a soup!

Two mugs of healthy hot chocolate.

What is the purpose of the salt?

Salt probably doesn’t come to mind when you think about hot chocolate, but the salt in this recipe adds an unbelievable flavor dimension! If you don’t believe me, give the hot chocolate a taste before and after adding the salt. My hubby and I tried this while testing the recipe and we couldn’t believe the difference it made. It brings out the yummy chocolate notes you would expect from a hot chocolate.


Prep Time: 0 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2


  • 2 c unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 c full fat coconut milk (canned)

  • ¼ c raw cacao powder

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • ¼ c maple syrup

  • 2-3 pinches of sea salt

Optional toppings:

  • Coconut whip

  • Chocolate chips (I like Lily’s or Enjoy Life brands)

  • Dusting of cacao powder


Note before starting: when using canned coconut milk that doesn’t contain stabilizers (preferred!), it is possible that the fat in your coconut milk has separated from the liquid, especially when temperatures are cooler. To avoid this, soak the can of coconut milk in warm water for about 10 minutes and then give the can a good shake before starting. 

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the almond milk and coconut milk, about 3-4 minutes. Be sure not to overheat or boil the milk, as that can change the texture/taste.

  2. Once heated, whisk in the remaining ingredients. Continue whisking until all ingredients are combined. Taste and add more salt or maple syrup if desired.

  3. Pour into mugs and add your favorite toppings!