Healthy Hot Cocoas

There are so many traditions we have during the holidays and drinking a mug of hot cocoa by the fire on a cold wintery day is definitely one of the favorites!   However, the old fashioned way of preparing this drink has faded over the years and been replaced with ripping open a bag of brown powder and white rocks, mixing it with some water and throwing it into the microwave… a minute later, voila! Hot cocoa and marshmallows! Well, kinda…    Convenient, yes… healthy, no! And honestly not even that yummy. I don’t stand for watered down/artificial things in any part of my life, not even my hot chocolate! I want the good stuff, and I want it healthy too!   Looking at the label of one of these instant hot cocoa mixes the other day, here’s what I found:   SUGAR, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, VEGETABLE OIL (PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COCONUT OR PALM KERNEL AND HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN), DAIRY PRODUCT SOLIDS, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, AND LESS THAN 2% OF CELLULOSE GUM, NONFAT MILK, SALT, SODIUM CASEINATE, SODIUM CITRATE, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM ALUMINOSILICATE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, GUAR GUM, ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS.   Yikes! I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want 90% of those ingredients in my body!!   So I am going to bring you back to the basics, to REAL ingredients that taste delicious and have nutritional benefits too. Yes, it may take a little more time to prepare (and by this, I mean maybe 2 more minutes) but you’ll have a hot cup of joy that will be good to your tastebuds and your body.   All of the following ingredients are gluten free, dairy free, no sugar added and 100% scrumptious! Each recipe makes one delicious mug of hot chocolate and all you have to do is multiply it by the # of people you have, throw all the ingredients into a pot over the stove and stir until it’s as hot as you like it. enJOY!!     OLD FASHIONED HOT CHOCOLATE This is a throwback with a little Holistically Fit twist. You’ll get the rich chocolatey flavor without all the sugar. You may think it’s too good to be true, until you taste it. IMG_9825 Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I like Trader Joe’s best)
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Cacao powder (any pure cocoa powder will do)
  • 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1/2 packet of powdered stevia or 8 drops of liquid stevia (you can use chocolate flavored Stevia too)

    COCONUT HOT COCOA Want to jazz up your drink a little? Who doesn’t like chocolate and coconut together? One of my favorite childhood candies was Almond Joy or Mounds… this reminds me of that flavor. It’s devine. IMG_9925  Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1/2 cup full-fat culinary coconut milk (shake well before opening can)
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Cacao powder (any pure cocoa powder will do)
  • 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1/2 packet powdered stevia or 8 drops liquid stevia (you can use coconut flavored stevia too)
  • 1/2 tsp all natural alcohol-free coconut flavoring (if you don’t use coconut flavored stevia) 
  • 1 tsp unsulphered coconut flakes for garnish 

    PEPPERMINT HOT COCOA This one is simple and sweet.  IMG_9906  Ingredients:  Make the recipe for Old Fashioned Hot Cocoa above & add 2-3 drops of all natural peppermint oil.  A little BPA free plastic candy cane is a cute touch for a stirring stick (when the cocoa isn’t too hot)      MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE A mug of this baby will spice up your life! Mexican hot chocolate is known for it’s thick and creamy texture and warm, spicy flavor. Perfect for a really chilly night, playing footsie by the fire. (Hint: chocolate and cayenne are aphrodisiacs)  IMG_9864 Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Cacao powder (any pure cocoa powder will do)
  • ¼ tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1/2 packet powdered stevia or 8 drops of liquid stevia (you can use cinnamon flavored stevia too)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (a little goes a long way)
  • Pinch arrowroot for thickening (optional)
  • Pinch Himalayan Sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate chips (optional) 

*Heat over stove until chocolate chips have melted and fully incorporated.      PUMPKIN SPICE HOT CHOCOLATE This is one of my favorites! It’s aromatic, creamy and indulgent. Pumpkin is rich in carotenoids which are beneficial for cell health and anti-aging, and cinnamon has been proven to help regulate blood sugar levels. Cheers to that! IMG_9838 copy Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Cacao powder (any pure cocoa powder will do)
  • 2 Tbsp organic pumpkin puree
  • ¼ tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1/2 packet powdered stevia or 8 drops of liquid stevia (you can use cinnamon flavored stevia too)
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)

    GINGERBREAD HOT COCOA A little pinch of this and a little pinch of that and before you know it, you have yourself a gingerbread treat! IMG_9893 Ingredients:  Whip up the Old Fashioned Hot Chocolate recipe above and then stir in:

  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 2 pinches ground ginger 
  • 1 pinch allspice 
  • 1 pinch nutmeg 
  • 1 pinch ground cloves 

  Of course any of these recipes could take a little Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! I challenge you to be in the moment with family and friends this year. Put down the phone, make eye contact, listen, laugh, love and make memories together over a cup of hot cocoa.    In Health and Happiness, Lauren McBride  

Do you like what you read? Want to get more of this goodness sent straight to your inbox?
Join the McBride Tribe + sign up below!!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *