This healthy hot chocolate is so rich, creamy, flavorful and absolutely delicious. And comes with all the goodness of walnuts and cocoa.
Healthy Hot Chocolate
Have you come across hot cocoa mixes with a zillion ingredients that you do not recognize? And they are most likely even bad for you. One can easily make a delicious cafe style hot chocolate at home without those mixes or a ton of heavy cream.
I sometimes make this rich walnut hot cocoa, where I start with plain milk, but increase its richness and creaminess with the addition of walnuts and blend it at high speed in my Vitamix. So rich and luxurious! It is like adding heavy cream to your hot beverage.
Just pure bliss. And you are getting healthy omega 3 fats and other nutrients, while enjoying a creamy cafe style beverage!
Milk, Walnuts, Cocoa Powder, Chocolate Chips or Bar, Sweetener, Flavor, Salt
Milk: You can choose whole milk or reduced fat. Read further below for non dairy options.
Walnuts: These nuts give a really creamy result. But you may opt for other nuts too.
Cocoa Powder: A combination of cocoa and chocolate makes this super flavorful. Choose high quality unsweetened cocoa for good taste.
Chocolate Chips: I like to use high quality dark chocolate chips, that I keep in a container next to my cocoa powder in the cabinet. But you can also use milk chocolate chips. If you use a chocolate bar, it requires chopping, so the chips are a more convenient option.
Sweetener: I use honey or maple syrup. But other sweeteners are ok too.
Flavors: Here I am using vanilla. But you can also try other flavors — cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg, orange zest or flavor, peppermint extract, a hint of almond flavor, cardamom, ginger or caramel sauce. Add instant coffee or espresso for a change.
Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the sweetness and flavor.
How To Make Healthy Hot Chocolate
Below is a brief overview. Full recipe is at the end of post.
- Blend milk and walnuts in a high speed blender to a smooth consistency. Strain it through cheesecloth.
- Cook cocoa with some walnut milk at medium low heat.
- Add remaining walnut milk, salt, honey and chocolate chips. Heat it over medium setting.
- Add flavor of your choice. Top with hot foamed milk (using milk frother) and cocoa.
This healthy hot chocolate recipe is gluten free, vegetarian, egg free and soy free.
Dairy Free/Vegan: Use any nut based milk or coconut milk instead of dairy milk. If the plant based milk is too thin, then add some full-fat coconut milk to it.
Nut Free: Use sunflower seed butter, tahini or coconut butter/cream instead of walnuts. But these options may impart a flavor to the milk.
Flavor: Add a dollop of dalgona coffee on the top. Plus check the flavors mentioned under ingredients above.
Richer: Top with whipped cream, to enjoy it on special occassions.
Prepare plenty of walnut milk. Add salt, sweetener and store it in the refrigerator. This way you can make this delicious drink quickly at anytime.
Simply heat some walnut milk with cocoa. Add remaining milk and stir in chocolate chips. Now you have a delicious and nourishing beverage ready. Change up the flavors each time.
Storage and Reheating
Refrigerate the leftover beverage for up to 3 days. Reheat at medium setting on the stove, without bringing it to a boil.
Walnuts are nutrient dense and a source of healthy fats — monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Being a good source of fats, fiber and protein, walnuts provide satisfaction and fullness. The effective role of walnuts in weight loss has been confirmed through research studies.
Through its effects on LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, walnuts may lower the risk of heart disease. These nuts are also a good source of certain minerals — copper, manganese, magnesium.
More Chocolate Based Recipes
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Healthy Hot Chocolate with Walnut Milk
- 2 cups milk reduced fat or whole
- 4 tablespoons walnuts or 1½ tablespoons nut butter
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder dutch process, extra 1 tablespoon if not using chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey, adjust to taste
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips or bar, chopped, optional
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract or flavor of choice
- In a saucepan, whisk together ¼ cup walnut milk and the cocoa powder, at medium low heat, till cocoa is dissolved (do not let it boil).
- Add the remaining walnut milk, maple syrup, salt and stir. Then add chocolate chips. Heat over medium, whisking until chocolate is melted and well combined (but not boiling).
- Add vanilla and adjust sweetener to taste. Pour into a mug and top with hot foamed milk (using milk frother), cocoa powder or marshmallows.
- You may melt chocolate in a microwave before adding it into the milk.
- You can use smooth nut butter instead of walnuts (watch video).
- If you use sweeter chocolate chips, then adjust sweetener as per taste.
- Prepare plenty of walnut milk. Add salt, sweetener and store in refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Use it to make hot chocolate anytime.
- Refrigerate leftover hot chocolate up to 3 days. Reheat at medium on the stove, without boiling.
This post was first published on May 6th 2016 and has been updated with video, process pictures, recipe formatting, tips, and additional enhancements.