Recipe for Vegan Hot Chocolate – Looking for hot chocolate to enjoy this season while maintaining a clean eating diet? We’ve got you covered! This Recipe for Vegan Hot Chocolate is smooth, creamy, and full of rich chocolatey flavor! The best part? This recipe calls for only 7 clean ingredients, and is totally vegan and refined-sugar free.
This Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe is a warm and cozy, healthy treat for the holiday season everyone will love! Ready to learn how to make this easy drink on your own? Keep reading for all the details!
A Recipe for Vegan Hot Chocolate
Most people associate chocolate with indulgent junk food, and rightfully so! Most chocolate out there is not exactly in alignment with clean eating. However, this has nothing to do with the chocolate itself, but instead, the processing and additives within the chocolate. Think about it…strawberries are incredibly healthy until you add ice cream, milk, and refined sugar and blend it into a strawberry milkshake. Chocolate is the same way.
Chocolate in its rawest form, cacao, is actually a superfood! This is because of its incredible anti-inflammatory properties, high antioxidant levels, and the vitamins and minerals it provides.
Alongside cacao is a very similar term we often see on store shelves and in ingredient lists, cocoa. Close in spelling, cacao and cocoa are very different from one another, with cacao coming out on top! Here are the differences:
What is Cacao?
Cacao is the minimally processed product of cacao beans. This results in a highly nutrient-dense, rich powder. To achieve a high percentage of nutrients, cacao is cold-pressed to remove the cacao butter, and roasted at low temperatures.
Raw cacao contains up to four times the antioxidants of traditional cacao powder! This makes it a food with the highest antioxidant value.
What is Cocoa?
Unfortunately, the more commonly available chocolate is the highly processed form called cocoa. This is the most common type of chocolate, which you can find in many pre-made desserts and in canisters in grocery stores.
While cocoa does maintain some of its original nutrients, it is not nearly as beneficial as its unprocessed counterpart; cacao.
How to a Make Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe
Making this Recipe for Vegan Hot Chocolate is actually quite simple, and requires only 7 easily sourced ingredients. Because hot chocolate is such a simple concept, there are not too many swaps that you need to make this recipe healthy.
Here is exactly what we did to clean up this classic recipe…
Swap Milk for Coconut Cream
Here at Clean Cuisine, we strongly believe that milk does not to the body any good. While one can argue that milk offers some health benefits, in our eyes, the benefits do not outweigh the anti-inflammatory and damaging effects dairy can have on the body. Plus, when there are so many delicious dairy-free alternatives out there, there’s simply no need to sacrifice flavor, or your health. It really is a win-win by choosing dairy-free alternatives!
In this recipe, we opted for an emulsifier free coconut cream for a creamy and delicious hot chocolate base. And whether or not you’re a big fan of the flavor of coconut, it’s hardly noticeable when combined with all of the chocolatey goodness in this recipe.
Swap Refined Sugar for Maple Syrup
You’re sure to find loads of refined sugar in most cups of hot chocolate, but ours uses only natural sweeteners instead! With a combination of creamy medjool dates and pure maple syrup, this recipe is oh-so-sweet and delicious, without the harmful effects of refined sugars. Feel free to swap the maple syrup for honey if you prefer!
Swap Cocoa for Cacao
Like mentioned above, cocoa without any additives is not inherently bad, but its simply not nearly beneficial as raw cacao powder. We opted for cacao powder in this recipe for the highest quality, most nutrient-dense, and flavorful chocolate!
Adult Recipe for Vegan Hot Chocolate
If you want something a bit more grown up, you could omit both the almond extract and mint leaves and add a splash of amaretto (Disaronno is my favorite).
If you go with the adult version you’ll want to add the amaretto once your hot chocolate has already been heated, just before serving. Speaking of grown-up beverages, be sure to check out my clean holiday cocktails too!
Ready for the full recipe? Let’s get into all of the details of how to make the PERFECT Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe…
Recipe for Vegan Hot Chocolate
This Recipe for Vegan Hot Chocolate is smooth, creamy, and full of rich chocolatey flavor! The best part? You only need 7 clean ingredients!
- Prep Time: 7 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 minutes
- Total Time: 9 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- 1/2 cup coconut “cream” (see notes below)
- 3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract or 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 3 pitted medjool dates
- 3/4 cup plus 1/4 cup warm water, divided
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Pinch of unrefined sea salt
- Optional: Homemade Marshmallows or Whipped Coconut Cream to top
- Add the coconut cream, almond extract (or chopped fresh mint), cacao powder, dates, 3/4 cup water, maple syrup and pinch of unrefined sea salt to a high-speed blender, and process on high for 1 full minute, or until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and stir in 1/4 cup water if you want it a bit thinner.
- Heat the chocolate mixture, stirring consistently, over low heat until warm, about 2 minutes.
- Pour into cups, and top with Homemade Marshmallows or Whipped Coconut Cream if desired.
- Serve warm, and enjoy!
Coconut “Cream” is the thick, rich and non-watery part of canned coconut milk. To get the “cream” you need to refrigerate your coconut milk for 5 or 6 hours or pop it in the freezer for at least an hour. Once the coconut milk is cold, carefully remove the top with a can opener and use a spoon to scoop out the hardened coconut “cream” off the top. The “cream” is what you will be using for the Hot Chocolate Recipe.You can reserve the liquid water for smoothies.
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