Nothing beats a cup of warm homemade hot chocolate on a cold winter night! This fast and easy recipe is all you need to make the BEST hot chocolate for yourself and your loved ones on a cozy night while watching your favorite show ❤️
Hot Chocolate should be creamy, rich, and chocolaty! In this post I will be sharing my favorite way to make Hot Chocolate and some suggestions to make it healthier or even Sugar-Free!
Can Hot Chocolate Be Healthy?
The short answer is yes ? The long answer is it depends! Hot chocolate is a mixture of chocolate chips and cocoa powder. It can be virtually a sugar and fat-loaded bomb or a very healthy, soothing, and cozy drink.
Cocoa is a naturally rich source of Polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that have been linked to several health benefits such as lower blood pressure, better blood flow, reduced inflammation, improved cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. (1,2)
The best part about making homemade hot chocolate is that it puts you in control of what goes in your drink so you can make it as healthy or unhealthy as possible (Pun intended ?)
Cocoa can make you happy!
Research suggests that Cocoa has also been related to a positive effect on mood by decreasing stress levels, improving calmness and psychological well-being! That’s why chocolate has always been a feel-good treat! (1,2,3)
Now that we got the benefits out of the way, and we all feel less guilty about drinking delicious and creamy Hot Chocolate. Let’s make some HOT CHOCOLATE!
Ingredients and Healthy substitutes
- Milk: I prefer 2% milk, but you can go for whole milk if you want a creamier texture. Healthier alternatives can be fat-free milk or dairy-free options such as unsweetened Almond or Soy Milk. I have tried them all, and they all taste great with a bit of difference in texture and flavor, of course.
- Unsweetened Cocoa: The darker the Cocoa, the more health benefits you get but, the more bitter it becomes.
- Chocolate chips: These Semisweet chocolate chips are my go-to; if you would like less sugar, go for bittersweet or dark chocolate, for a much sweeter taste; go with milk chocolate
- Sugar: I used regular white sugar, but a healthier substitute can be either no sugar, ¼ cup of honey, Stevia, or your choice of sugar substitute
- Vanilla extract
How to make homemade hot chocolate?
- Add milk, unsweetened cocoa, semisweet chocolate chips, sugar, and vanilla extract in a saucepan, and bring it to boil over medium heat.
- Pour into cups and add your favorite toppings!
Speaking of Toppings
We gotta live a little, right? And that’s what toppings are for! The options are endless when it comes to Hot Chocolate toppings and these are my favorites:
- Whipped Cream
- Mini Marshmallows
- Chocolate Chips
- Peppermint Extract
- Caramel sauce.