You guys, it’s cold. I mean, seriously cold.
We may have narrowly escaped the polar vortex but I’m still feeling its aftermath. Most days John and I hunker down inside next to space heaters. But when I just can’t kick a chill – or am having a serious chocolate craving – I make my favorite 5 minute (or less) vegan hot cocoa.
It’s such a simple recipe it’s almost a non-recipe. But I asked Facebook fans if they’d be interested and the answer was a resounding ‘yes.’ So, here it is – my go-to homemade hot chocolate that’s way better (and healthier) than any packaged or boxed mix you’ll find.
Origins of Hot Chocolate
Chocolate may date as far back as the Olmecs who were the earliest known Mesoamerican civilization. But it’s been grown and made into a drink since at least the 9th century. Mayans made a drink with cacao, water, cornmeal, chili peppers, and other spices (source). It didn’t have any added sweetener so it was quite bitter.
By the 16th century, Spanish explorers learned about the drink. They brought the concept to Spain and began adding sugar. By the 18th century, it was introduced in the US. And the rest is history!
How to Make Vegan Hot Cocoa
It starts with simple ingredients:
Unsweetened vanilla or plain almond milk (or make your own!)
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Dairy-free semisweet or dark chocolate
Raw sugar or stevia
You can make this in the microwave in a big mug – I use my big yellow cereal mug that I’ve had since high school and have carried with me like an adult blankie. Or, if you’re not into the microwave or would rather go old school, simply add ingredients to a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and whisk away. Creamy perfection is just 5 minutes away.
Next I like to add a little extract. I know everyone usually recommends adding vanilla to “bring out the flavor of the chocolate” or something like that. But I’ve been on a chocolate peppermint kick for the last few months, so I put in a drop or two of peppermint extract and it sends my tastebuds straight to heaven.
The last element? Coconut whipped cream. I mean, hubba hubba. Also, WHY NOT? It really does put the finishing touch on the cocoa and gives it that luscious, creamy effect I just adore.
And there you have it! My 5-Minute Vegan Hot Cocoa. I hope you make it a lot this winter to keep warm. And if you do, Instagram me a photo – it’s kind of my favorite. Then we can be warm together via internet.
5-Minute Vegan Hot Cocoa
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dairy-free semisweet chocolate (chips or bar // chopped)
- Sweetener of choice (I prefer 1 Tbsp raw sugar or 1/2 packet powdered stevia per mug)
- 1/8 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
- Coconut whipped cream (optional // for topping)
- Add almond milk to a large mug and microwave for 1 minute. Alternatively, add to a saucepan over medium heat.
- Once milk is warm, add cocoa powder, chocolate and sweetener and whisk to combine.
- Put back in microwave or continue cooking on stovetop until completely combined and has reached your preferred temperature.
- Taste and adjust sweetness as needed.
- Lastly, add in your extract of choice – I think peppermint is truly unbeatable. Stir, and top with coconut whipped cream.
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