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Hot Chocolate – 3 Ways

Who doesn’t love a bit of Hot Chocolate during cold, dreary, and winter-y months?! Sipping hot chocolate on a crisp, chilly day is one of my favorite pastimes, and with Spring just around the corner, I’ve only got a little time left!

BUT. ☝🏻 Have you ever wondered exactly what’s in those instant hot chocolate powder packets or dehydrated marshmallows?? ….{insert bug-eyed face here}…. Let’s not think about that too much.

Thankfully, there are creative bloggers and chefs who’ve put together hot chocolate recipes suitable for Real Food, Paleo, and Autoimmune Paleo diets. Praise be!! These recipes are delectable and soothing to the soul, AND are totally affordable. Here are 3 hot chocolate options to suit your real food diet and lifestyle.

Real Food Option

Homemade Honey-Sweetened Hot Chocolate

(Recipe adapted from Recipes to Nourish). Serves One.

Add milk to a medium-size saucepan over low heat. Let it warm for about 7 minutes, or until it reaches desired temperature. Meanwhile, combine fair-trade cocoa powder, honey (or maple syrup) and vanilla in a small bowl. Stir well to break up any lumps. Add the cocoa mixture to the warmed milk, and stir more. Pour into a mug and serve immediately.

Paleo Option

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Serves 2-3.

  • 13 oz coconut milk. If you can tolerate nuts, almond milk is another option, but is recommended in moderation on a Paleo diet.

  • 2.5 tablespoons cacao powder (NOT to be confused with cocoa powder. Cacao is raw, much less processed, and thought to be the highest source of antioxidants of all foods).

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons raw and/or local honey (depending on your preferred sweetness).

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 pinch of cayenne

  • 1 pinch of unrefined sea salt (really enhances the chocolate flavor!)

Heat milk in a medium saucepan on medium-low heat for several minutes. Add cacao, honey, cinnamon, pinch cayenne and sea salt. Whisk ingredients until no lumps and remove from heat when smooth. Pour into a favorite mug. Option: sprinkle another pinch of cacao on top or add a cinnamon stick for garnish.

Autoimmune Paleo Option

Hot “Chocolate”

(Recipe adapted from A Clean Plate). Serves 2.

  • 2 cups BPA free coconut milk OR filtered water.

  • 2 tablespoons carob powder

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons raw and/or local honey (can adjust based on your desired level of sweetness).

  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 vanilla bean (if using vanilla extract – be sure to heat the mixture for several minutes, so as to burn off the alcohol).

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 pinch sea salt

Simmer the coconut milk (or water) in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients and heat thoroughly, stirring constantly. If using vanilla extract, be sure to keep the hot chocolate on the stove for several minutes to burn off the alcohol, as it is not Autoimmune Paleo-approved. Serve in a mug and enjoy immediately.

If you wish to mix these recipes up, here are some fun extras you can add in to your hot chocolate.

  • Coconut oil or grass-fed butter, for added creaminess.

  • 1 drop of Peppermint essential oil.

  • Coconut cream as a whipped cream substitute – here’s a good recipe. Alternatively, just place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Before you serve your hot chocolate, turn the can upside down and open it. You should find a rich coconut cream ready to scoop.

Regardless of diet or lifestyle, there’s a recipe that suits everyone.