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Homemade Hot Chocolate (with dairy-free options)

homemade hot chocolate dairy-free hot chocolate paleo hot chocolate

There is nothing more relaxing than snuggling up on the couch on a cold winter evening, with a good book and a warm cup of homemade hot chocolate. This recipe makes for a decadent, creamy and satisfying treat.

This recipe makes enough homemade hot chocolate for 2-3 people. It does call for quite a bit of coconut sugar. This is because coconut sugar doesn’t taste as sweet as cane sugar, so you need a little bit more to get the right flavor. Although data is limited, coconut sugar is also thought to be rich in nutrients, most notably the minerals, iron, zinc, calcium and potassium. (BONUS: Coconut sugar is sustainable.)

You can top this homemade hot chocolate with my Honey Whipped Cream or for a dairy-free (i.e. Paleo) version, you can try my Coconut Whipped Cream. Both of these recipes only take 30 seconds to whip up!

Homemade Hot Chocolate: With Dairy-Free Options

Homemade Hot Chocolate: The Players

Homemade Hot Chocolate: The How-To

  1. Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat. I like to heat the milk up slowly to avoid scorching it.
  2. Then add the cacao powder, palm sugar and vanilla. Whisk vigorously.
  3. Once all the cacao has blended in with your milk mixture, add the pinch of sea salt and cayenne. Keep whisking.
  4. Continue to heat the mixture until it is warm, but not too hot to drink.
  5. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!
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Arsy Vartanian is the founder of the Paleo recipe and lifestyle blog, Rubies and Radishes and she is also the author of the cookbook, The Paleo Slow Cooker. In an effort to achieve optimal health and wellness, she discovered the Paleo diet in 2008. Arsy started feeling better than ever and was eventually able to recover from health issues that she had struggled with for almost a decade. Arsy is also a home cook, that deeply enjoys spending time in her kitchen creating healthy, grain-free recipes for her family and her blog readers. She resides in a quaint beach town in California with her husband and daughter.

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9 Responses to Homemade Hot Chocolate (with dairy-free options)
  1. Dawn Shatto via Facebook
    January 22, 2014 | 12:23 pm

    I’m dairy free!

  2. Andrea Rekus via Facebook
    January 22, 2014 | 1:56 pm


  3. Tara Pantera
    January 22, 2014 | 6:41 pm

    I use a combo of homemade almond milk and canned coconut milk…ratio depends on how thick I like it. It is absolutely the BEST cocoa.

    • Penelope
      January 23, 2014 | 12:20 pm


  4. Tricia Lee
    January 23, 2014 | 11:39 am

    Yum! The dairy-free version sounds like it will be very creamy! Sounds delicious even in California with our even 65 degree forecasts throughout January :)

  5. Bekah
    January 23, 2014 | 1:57 pm

    This sounds delicious and creamy. Alternatively, if you like more chocolate and less other stuff, my daily morning drink is dark chocolate melted in hot water, with a bit of maple syrup (or honey, or…). The chocolate I have is just finely ground/milled cacao, almonds, and cinnamon sticks that I had processed for me when I was in Oaxaca; when it’s gone, I’ll try unsweetened baking chocolate with almond extract and ground cinnamon, or see if I can grind up cacao nibs, etc. with home equipment well enough to make it melt. Anyway, I shave the chocolate with a sharp knife, dissolve it in boiling water, add the maple syrup, and froth it with a molinillo — but you could also use a handheld blender or a whisk.

  6. Bekah
    January 23, 2014 | 1:58 pm

    I forgot to say, I melt about a tablespoon (1/2-oz.) of chocolate in a big (perhaps 14-16 oz.?) mug of boiling water. This makes a very rich hot chocolate con agua. You could also add a little chile powder if you like some spice.

  7. Gloria Latta
    January 23, 2014 | 6:58 pm

    As a diabetic, the most important information for me about any recipe is: will it spike my blood sugar? What’s the glycemic index? Maybe I’m not clear on the purpose of this recipe. It contains sugar and dairy. What’s left out that makes it so healthy that it’s worth searching out specialized ingredients?

  8. Arsy Vartanian
    January 27, 2014 | 11:42 pm

    Hi Gloria – This recipe is intended to be a treat without all the junk that you will find in pre-packaged varieties. I have offered a dairy-free alternative for those that don’t tolerate dairy or choose not to include it in their diets. As far as health benefits, both the dairy and dairy-free versions are packed with healthy fats and the cacao is a potent antioxidant. I hope that helps answer your questions.

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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