A cup of hot chocolate is like comfort in a mug. Who doesn’t love cocoa – creamy, chocolatey goodness, with melty marshmallows on top? Yes, please! Sign us up for that! Hot chocolate is a welcome treat on any snow day – or even just a chilly day.
But try finding a vegan version… it’s not so simple.
It’s easy to make, though. All you really need are five basic ingredients to mix up your own hot chocolate powder, and from there, you can personalize with other flavors! The only slightly tricky ingredient is the non-dairy milk powder. Going dairy-free means soy milk powder or rice milk powder, and both are available! Better Than Milk offers both rice and soy varieties that are vegan and gluten-free. You can find them at Whole Foods Markets and on Amazon.com
As far as cocoa, it’s always good to look for fair trade. Which means a brand of cocoa powder that isn’t Hershey’s. Companies like Equal Exchange, Rapunzel, Dagoba and Nativas Naturals all offer cocoa powder. For ethical sugar, we like Florida Crystals, Wholesome Sweetners, Sugar in the Raw and Woodstock. All of these sugars are also vegan, meaning they aren’t processed with animal bones. We have found most of these items at local grocers, natural foods stores and large chains like Whole Foods. Trader Joe’s also has options for ethical, vegan cocoa powder and sugar.
Need those marshmallows? Try Dandies or Sweet & Sara. These are insanely tasty vegan/gluten-free marshmallows! Both are available in larger grocers or online. What about whipped topping? Try our recipe for vegan coconut whip here. Want to buy – go with So Delicious vegan whipped topping (it’s like Cool Whip) or Soyatoo Rice Whip or Soy Whip in a can (it’s like ReddiWhip). Both are widely available in groceries and Whole Foods.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cup non-dairy milk powder (we prefer soy)
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (we used Enjoy Life)
- Add sugar, cocoa powder, non-dairy milk powder, salt and chocolate chips to a large bowl. Stir to combine. Fill two pint jars with cocoa powder mix and store for up to six months in a dry location - like a kitchen cabinet, office desk drawer or dorm room! You can even take this mix on vacation in a zip-top bag and enjoy it while skiing!
- To make hot chocolate, add two or three heaping tablespoons of mix to a mug. Fill mug with hot water and stir until chocolate is melted and texture is smooth and creamy. You can also mix it with warm non-dairy milk, if you want a creamier flavor. Top as desired with marshmallows or whipped topping.
- Ready to personalize this cocoa mix? Add instant coffee powder for a mocha flavor. Love spicy? Pop in a pinch of chili powder or cayenne - or both. Maybe you're more into exotic chai; just add in a bit of chai style flavor, like cardamom, fennel, ginger, cinnamon and white pepper. Do you like to chill with peppermint? Open a bag of mint tea and add that to the original mix for a smooth and cool flavor.
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