If you follow me on the gram, you know my love for hot cocoa runs DEEP.
I’ve been basically drinking it every day, and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it. Because this isn’t your average sugary, processed (and let’s be honest bland) hot cocoa mix straight out of the packet.
This is rich, creamy, flavorful, deeply satisfying and superfood-stacked hot cocoa. More like a healing, anti-inflammatory tonic that feels so good and cozy to drink, and tastes good to boot.
And I want you to be able to get in on this action. Because it’s one of my favorite winter rituals to make the cold, dark days a little more warm and bright, which let’s be honest we could all probably use a bit more of right now.
So here are my hacks to making a healthy (and tasty AF) hot cocoa (+ 4 favorite recipes) —
+ Go Dark
Seriously, please skip the packets and go straight for the dark chocolate. Not only is it more flavorful, but it’s rich in powerful polyphenols that boost brain focus and memory, improve heart health, lower blood sugar and prevent against diseases like cancer.
I like to add 1 tbsp of cacao powder as well as a serving (typically a square or two) of cacao-rich clean dark chocolate like Hu Kitchen or Eating Evolved.
+ Go Nuts
Literally, add some nuts to your hot cocoa. I like to use one of my house-made nut milk blends for the liquid as well as stir in a heaping dollop of Ground Up’s nut butter.
This is what really elevates the taste and satiating factor of the hot cocoa, as the healthy fats help keep me full until my next meal, and they also make the hot cocoa taste so rich and creamy. Ground Up is my go-to as not only are the flavors insane (hi coconut cardamom and cinnamon snickerdoodle) but the company is a not-for-profit employing women to help them overcome adversity. So you can feel good on multiple levels about consuming this brand. PS — Use code “SOFRESH15” to save 15% off your first purchase.
+ Get Spicy
Adding spices is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to elevate your hot cocoa. Cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves are rich in anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants that do everything from regulate blood sugar to optimize digestion.
+ Always Optimize
One of the reasons I think I love beverages so much is they’re such an easy vehicle to sneak in superfood boosters, without really impacting the taste (or on the flip side making it taste even better). Hot drinks work especially well with powder blends such as collagen (good for your gut), adaptogens (herbs and mushrooms like ashwaganda and reishi that help your body adapt to stress) or CBD oil (anti-inflammatory and can alleviate anxiety + reduce pain), which tend to dissolve right in.
+ Blend Baby, Blend
The last (and HIGHLY recommended) step before you get your hot cocoa fix on? Pulse it in your blender. This will mix everything together efficiently and make your drink super thick, creamy and frothy. Once you do it you won’t go back.
So now that you’ve got the healthy hot cocoa hacks down, it’s time to put them to use with these easy, nutrient-rich and tasty AF combos of CBD + Honey Lavender, Sea Salt + Hazelnut, Coconut Cardamom and Cinnamon Cookie Collagen. Try them out and let me know which one is your fave!
Healthy Hot Cocoa Combos -- CBD + Honey Lavender, Sea Salt + Hazelnut, Coconut Cardamom + Cinnamon Cookie Collagen
Ditch the sugary, processed (and let's be honest bland) hot cocoa packets for these rich, creamy, flavorful, deeply satisfying and superfood-stacked hot cocoa recipes. Learn the hacks that elevate both taste and health benefits, as well as four combos sure to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way.
For The Base:
- 12 oz non-dairy milk such as cashew, macadamia, Brazil nut, almond, hemp or oat
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1-2 dates, pitted and chopped
- Optional 1-2 squares clean dark chocolate such as Hu Kitchen, Eating Evolved or Honey Mama's to make super chocolatey
For The CBD Honey Lavender:
- 1 tbsp Ground Up's Honey Lavender Nut Butter (use code SOFRESH15 to save 15% off your first purchase)
- 1 serving high-quality, consciously sourced CBD oil such as Soul Addict
- Optional 1-2 drops pure therapeutic grade lavender essential oil (I like DoTerra)
For The Sea Salt + Hazelnut:
- 1 tbsp Ground Up's Hazelnut Butter (use code SOFRESH15 to save 15% off your first purchase)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Optional drizzle of maple syrup or adaptogen like reishi mushroom
For The Coconut Cardamom:
- 1 tbsp Ground Up's Coconut Cardamom Nut Butter (use code SOFRESH15 to save 15% off your first purchase)
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- Optional adaptogen like ashwaganda
For The Cinnamon Cookie Collagen:
- 1 tbsp Ground Up's Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Nut Butter (use code SOFRESH15 to save 15% off your first purchase)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 serving collagen powder (I love Vital Proteins)
Optional Boosters To Any Combo -- collagen powder, adaptogens, or CBD oil
- Heat a stovetop pot over medium heat and add in coconut oil and chocolate pieces until melted, then stir in cacao powder, forming a paste at the bottom of the pot.
- Once mixed add in nut milk, dates and the additional ingredients required for whatever flavor combo you're making.
- Let warm over the stove-top at medium heat for 5-10 minutes. You want it steaming, but not boiling.
- Once everything is warm and mixed, pour into a blender and pulse until creamy, frothy and smooth.
- Serve in your fave mug and enjoy!