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Homemade “Natural” Hot Chocolate

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Homemade Natural Hot Chocolate

It’s funny how your childhood can shape your perceptions of food. For example, I used to think that croutons were symmetrical toasty cubes from a box. No idea that they were actually toasted bread, and that you could make them yourself. Same with salad dressing.

Some of you also identified with my mashed potato misconception – that flakes from a box mixed with water magically made potatoes.

Our path to eating real food has helped us bust some of these myths, and learn that there’s a real way to make many of these “ready-made” items. But apparently we still have a few left to bust. Until about a week ago, we thought hot chocolate meant “chocolatey sugary powder in a packet”.

I had actually resigned myself to giving up this drink altogether, since powder with unidentified ingredients doesn’t mesh well with our eating philosophy…and getting accustomed to natural sweeteners makes overly sugary things taste a bit flat.

Thanks to Alex’s inspiration, we’ve found a way to enjoy hot chocolate without the powder – and without dairy or refined sugar!  Somehow, cocoa powder, soy milk and honey can be combined to make a delicious, chocolatey drink that tastes similar to the powdery variety, but a bit more…real. (You also can use milk if you have it on hand as well!)

Since it’s made of mostly pantry items, you can whip this up with little forethought. I know we’ll be doing so frequently in the cold months to come!

Homemade “Natural” Hot Chocolate
Serves two

Notes: To make larger quantity, double or triple the recipe as necessary, using a larger container for the microwave method. You also can use the stovetop method, which is easy for larger batches.

What You Need
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
2 cups soy milk (or milk)

What To Do

1  In glass 2-cup measuring cup, place 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (if using). Microwave on high for about 20 seconds. (Alternatively for the stovetop method, place these ingredients in a pan over medium heat.) Once they are heated, whisk the ingredients together until they form a smooth, chocolately slurry.

2  Add a bit of the soy milk and whisk it in to temper the hot mixture. Once it is incorporated, add the remainder of the 2 cups of milk.

3  Microwave for another 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until hot. For the stovetop method, heat the mixture over medium heat until hot, taking care that it does not boil.

Pour into mugs and enjoy!

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Comments 22

  1. Katy (KatySheCooks)

    Homemade hot chocolate is saving me from grain-based dessert cravings right now — I love it! I’ve been making a dairy-free version for me and my 5yo with coconut milk tonic — a coconut beverage made at home from a can of full-fat coconut milk. It’s a bit fattier than soy milk — a turn-off for some, but it makes it especially rich and dairy-like, and helpful for those who can’t have soy.

    It took me way too long to figure out you could use honey instead of sugar, I’m kinda slow that way ; )

  2. Alex

    Haha. Glad you have a solid holiday treat! Fortunately, honey floweth from Sonja’s every thought – so we hit on it pretty quickly! I was surprised that it didn’t alter the flavor at all :)

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  3. Heidi @ Food Doodles

    I know exactly what you mean about real food! A friend and I were talking about how as kids, cake(among other things of course) came from a box. And that’s not unusual at all, sadly. I’ve been thinking of making some hot chocolate – I haven’t had some in so long. Yours looks perfect :)

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      Sonja

      Aww, thanks! Yes, it is funny how to many in our generation, the “real” way seems like it should be from a box! It’s fun to learn about the REAL real way :) Let us know if you try it out!

  4. Tiffany {A Clove of Garlic}

    Brilliant. Like you said, I do have all of these ingredients on hand, so I can see if I like this easliy. And also like you, I have discovered the truth about croutons and salad dressing. Who knew? Not me, that’s for sure. But the more I know the more I can do — and keep my family healthy and my wallet plump.

  5. Cara

    too funny, yesterday I was randomly craving hot chocolate all day! We ended up going to the movies in the evening and I made a mug at home (with cocoa powder, unsweetened almond milk, stevia and a couple drops of peppermint extract) and snuck it in with me in my travel mug (yay for big purses!) It was awesome and totally hit the spot :)

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  6. Nikki

    My mother-in-law used coconut milk to stir into the Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa mix I made her while she was visiting. Although I used regular milk, she said it was just as delicious! I love your blast from the past commentary about potato flakes and croutons. My thoughts as a child…exactly! :)

  7. jaclyn kaiser

    love it! haven’t added honey before but i usually do 1/2 water and 1/2 coconut milk creamer. i’ll have to give the honey a shot!

  8. mimsi

    Just found out my Aldi hot chocolate had aspartame in it and threw that out… then looked for a natural alternative and I have to say this is really nice! And alot cheaper than buying the pre-made mixes :D

  9. Amy

    This was just what I was looking for. I’m new to all of this REAL food. I thought I was buying more REAL food, and I was, but didn’t realize some of the other foods I was buying and eating without thinking about it, have more ingredients that I can’t pronounce than I realized. I love hot chocolate and have been using the powder stuff, now it’s time to try something new and better for me and my family :)
    Thanks!

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      Sonja

      Wonderful! Loving REAL food is exactly why we created this recipe. Let us know if you try it out, and what you and your family think!

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