Hot chocolate is one of my favorite winter treats after chilly morning chores or an afternoon of snow-day play. However, the sugar-ridden packets of hot cocoa mix probably aren’t an ideal way to enjoy the drink. Hence, the need for a healthier hot chocolate!
You’ll find a gamut of hot chocolate mix recipes on the internet, usually full of sugar and powdered milk. It’s nice to have something pre-made on occasion, but to me, it’s not all that much more convenient than making it fresh. (Besides, fresh just tastes better!)
Here’s the guilt-free recipe that I make for our family.
Healthier Hot Chocolate
(Makes about 2 cups.)
- 2 Cups whole milk
- 3-4 Tbsp cocoa powder, depending on how chocolatey you like it.
- 2 Tbsp real maple syrup or honey
- splash of vanilla
Warm the milk in a pan just until hot, and gently stir in cocoa powder, sweetener of choice, and vanilla. Sweet and simple- literally. (Though it would be beautiful with some real whipped cream on top!)
Note: 1) You can add more sweetener if you desire. I just like to limit my sugar intake whenever possible to make up for the fact that I’m secretly a chocoholic. 2) You can double or quadruple this recipe as needed.
Now, here are some things you should know. With such a simple recipe, each individual ingredient will significantly affect the flavor of the drink. In an ideal world, I would make this hot chocolate with whole-fat, raw milk, high-quality fair-trade cocoa, and only my home-tapped maple syrup.
But I don’t always live in an ideal world. I made the above cup with half raw goat milk, half storebought cow milk, and Hershey’s cocoa powder. So it is! I do use whatever we have on hand during my real-food journey. However, if you want to make this a really great cup of cocoa, invest in some quality ingredients.
Do make sure to enjoy your cup of healthier hot chocolate in a quiet corner, cozied up with a good book and your favorite blanket, and drink a cup for me while I clean up this hot chocolate “excavation” operation. 😉