Dairy Free Hot Cocoa

I've never been much of a holiday baker other than when I make my grandmother's spritz cookie recipe. I'm really not the most precise when it comes to measuring! I prefer to add a pinch of this and a splash of that until it tastes just right. That's how I came up with this hot cocoa recipe. 

Have you been looking for a hot cocoa recipe thats flexible and modifiable to your dietary needs and tastebuds? Look no further! I have created a dairy-free option for those with lactose intolerance, but don't worry because in my opinion, its much creamier than cocoa with regular milk! Because my husband is hispanic, I like to add a bit of heat with cayenne pepper to give a latin flare. It really warms you from the inside out!

You could put your own spin on it by adding your favorite toppings, sweeteners, or your favorite type of chocolate bar! I prefer organic, fair trade dark chocolate because the flavor is so deep and rich. Let me know if you give it a try! 

Some of you know that I'm pretty choosy when it comes to the ingredients I use in my recipes. I like to show people that healthy food can be delicious and nourishing!

For those of you that are curious, I use sprouted almond milk on occasion because when the almonds have been germinated through the sprouting process, a naturally occuring anti-nutrient called phytic acid is broken down and then makes the almond nutrients more bioavailable to the body to be absorbed. Who knew that our bodies spend a lot of time and energy just trying to digest an anti-nutrient! Read more about phytic acid here.

I use coconut products like coconut cream, coconut palm sugar, coconut oil and flour because it has a lower glycemic index which means that it doesn't give our bodies a sugar rush or crash like conventional sugars. Coconut products are also lower in carbs, higher in fiber and have an enormous about of anti-inflammatory properties! Read more about inflammatory foods here.

I choose to eat organic, fair-trade dark chocolate because it has less sugar, more antioxidants, more natural flavor, and it supports small businesses and other cultures!

Raw cacao powder is loaded with antioxidants and is actually classified as a superfood! Since it contains no sugar and hasn't been heavily processed with artificial coloring like dutch processed cocoa, it's a delicious alternative when baking.

Traditional iodized table salt has virtually no nutritional value because it has been completely stripped and depleted of its natural mineral properties. That's why I've switched to himalayan pink salt. It is rich in minerals and does not undergo heavy processing so I know my body can benefit from it! Read more about it here.

Here are the links to these brands of ingredients: 

Malk Organics Sprouted Almond Milk

Thai Kitchen Coconut Cream

Madécasse Direct Trade Chocolate 

Sunfood Superfoods Cacao Powder

Redmond Real Himalayan Salt

Most of the unconventional ingredients that I purchase come from Vitacost.com where they ship it right to my door in 2 business days! It has been a lifesaver for me since I have certain dietary restrictions and cooking preferences. Try it out and let me know how you love it!

Without further ado, I give you my cozy hot cocoa recipe. Enjoy and Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

IngredientsServes 2

 1 can coconut milk or cream (full fat)

2/3 cup almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

1/4 tsp himalayan salt

1/2 bar fair trade dark chocolate (7-8oz bar) crushed



 In a small saucepan, heat almond milk on low to medium heat, stirring in the vanilla, chocolate and salt.

Add only the thick, white coconut cream at the top of the can, excluding the coconut water. (This thins out the cocoa but it can be added if you want yours thinner.)

Whisk in the cinnamon, cayenne, and cacao powder.

Do not boil. Lightly simmer until chocolate and coconut cream have melted and cocoa starts to bubble.

Serve in your favorite mugs and top with marshmallows!

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