Creative Cocoa: 3 Ways to Upgrade Your Hot Chocolate

creative cocoa

As the temperatures get chillier, there’s nothing like a cup of hot cocoa to keep you warm and get you in the holiday mood! Powdered hot cocoa, however, is highly processed and loaded with sugar and corn syrup.

We turned to nutritionist Jennie Miremadi for real, whole-foods based hot cocoa recipes that will satisfy your cravings but keep you on the healthy-eating track this season! Read on for three ways to spice up your hot chocolate for holiday entertaining. Make a large batch of your favorite rendition for parties, or serve up different options in the form of a DIY hot chocolate bar!

Hazelnut Hot Cocoa

hazelnut hot cocoa

Homemade Hazelnut Milk Ingredients:
1 cup organic, raw hazelnuts
1 tsp. vanilla
Purified water
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Homemade Hazelnut Milk Directions:
1) Add hazelnuts to a bowl, cover with 2 cups purified water, place in refrigerator and soak overnight.
2) Drain water from hazelnuts and rinse with additional purified water.
3) Add soaked and rinsed hazelnuts, 4 cups purified water, vanilla and salt to Vitamix or other high speed blender, and blend until creamy and smooth.
4) Strain hazelnut milk through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth-lined strainer.
5) Refrigerate hazelnut milk and enjoy!

Makes approximately 32 oz.

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate Ingredients:
16 oz. homemade hazelnut milk
4 tbsp. raw cacao powder
2 tbsp. raw cacao nibs
2 tbsp. organic, raw hazelnuts
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
Vanilla stevia drops to taste

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate Directions:
1) Heat hazelnut milk with vanilla on stove over low heat and bring to a simmer. Allow hazelnut milk to simmer for two minutes and then turn off heat.
2)Transfer heated hazelnut milk to Vitamix or other high-speed blender and add remaining ingredients, blending until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and hot chocolate is steaming when blender lid is removed, about 3 minutes.
3) Adjust stevia to taste.
4) Pour hazelnut hot chocolate into two mugs.
5) Serve and enjoy!

Serves 2.

Spicy Cinnamon Hot Cocoa

spicy cinnamon hot cocoa

Spicy Cinnamon Hot Cocoa Ingredients:
1 cup of organic, full fat, coconut milk (canned, BPA-free, gum-free)
1 cup of purified, hot water
4 tbsp. raw cacao powder
2 tbsp. raw cacao nibs
1 tbsp. Ceylon cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
Vanilla stevia drops to taste
Cinnamon Marshmallows for top of spicy hot cocoa (optional)

Spicy Cinnamon Hot Cocoa Directions:
1) Blend all ingredients other than Cinnamon Marshmallows in Vitamix or other high-speed blender until ingredients are thoroughly combined and hot cocoa is steaming when blender lid is removed, about 3 minutes.
2) Adjust stevia to taste.
3) If your blender doesn’t heat hot cocoa sufficiently, transfer to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
4) Simmer for 2-3 minutes, turn off heat, and pour hot cocoa into two mugs.
5) Top hot cocoa with Cinnamon Marshmallows, if desired.
6) Serve and enjoy!

Serves 2.

Holiday Peppermint Hot Cocoa

peppermint hot cocoa

Holiday Peppermint Hot Cocoa Ingredients:
1 cup organic, full fat coconut milk (canned, BPA-free, gum-free)
1 cup purified, hot water
4 tbsp. raw cacao powder
2 tbsp. raw cacao nibs
1 tsp. peppermint spirits
Pinch of sea salt
Vanilla stevia drops to taste
Minty Marshmallows for top of Holiday Peppermint Hot Cocoa (optional)

Holiday Mint Hot Cocoa Directions:
1) Blend all ingredients other than Minty Marshmallows in Vitamix or other high-speed blender until ingredients are thoroughly combined and hot cocoa is steaming when blender lid is removed, about 3 minutes.
2) Adjust stevia to taste.
3) If your blender doesn’t heat hot cocoa sufficiently, transfer to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
4) Simmer for 2-3 minutes, turn off heat and pour hot cocoa into two mugs.
5) Top hot cocoa with Minty Marshmallows, if desired.
6) Serve and enjoy!

Serves 2.

What do you love sipping on this time of year?

Images via Valorie Darling Photography

Jennie is an integrative clinical nutritionist and wellness coach based in Los Angeles, California. Jennie's nutritional approach is based on integrative and functional nutrition, a scientific, evidence-based approach that considers a person's unique biochemical individuality together with mind, body, soul, lifestyle, and environmental factors impact health.

1 COMMENT
  • I was going to pick a favourite but I want to make all of these! Hazelnut, because who doesn’t love Ferrero Rocher? Spicy, because I love the kick! And peppermint… so right for Christmas.

    Charmaine Ng
    Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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