10 Healthier Ways to Spruce Up Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is a great alternative to coffee or tea for warming up on a cold winter day. It isn’t, however, always that great for you. So if you’ve gotta have the sweet stuff, consider adding some different ingredients to make it unique and provide some health value.

Any of these 10 spices, fruits and other mix-ins are sure to tickle your taste buds and break the routine of boring old hot chocolate:

  1. Cinnamon- add a dash of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick to make yourself a Mexican hot chocolate. This sweet spice adds a flavorful kick to the traditional drink.
  2. Ginger- homemade hot chocolate flavored with zingy ginger makes for a healthier twist on the classic 
  3. Cayenne- if you like spicy foods, odds are you’ll dig this new take on a drink that puts the hot in hot chocolate. Adding red pepper flakes can amplify flavors or brown sugar can mellow things out a bit too.
  4. Peppermint- peppermint hot chocolate is not an uncommon find anymore, but adding a little peppermint oil to your drink can soothe bodily aches and even remedy bad breath.
  5. Vanilla- adding raw vanilla or a little vanilla extract to your mug brings a balance of flavors for people who can’t choose between chocolate and vanilla.
  6. Almond- a bit of almond extract or some unsalted, unflavored almonds brings new life to any plain Jane hot chocolate. You can even replace marshmallows with almonds!
  7. Coconut- sprinkle raw coconut shavings or coconut milk into your hot chocolate to reap the benefits of this unique food.
  8. Honey- a spoonful of honey sweetens the deal on your usual hot chocolate. Just bear in mind the consistency changes the more you add.
  9. Espresso- facing a caffeine shortage? Add an espresso shot to your mug to make an easy cafe mocha.
  10. Banana- chop up some delicious raw banana or add dried bananas right to your hot chocolate. It tastes like you’ve covered the fruit in Nutella or chocolate frosting!

How do you take your hot cocoa and what do you like to add to it? Tell us in the comments below!

Photo credit: Gail

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  1. Cocoa has many flavanoids with great benefits. Many cocoas are produced using “Dutch process” which removes most of the flavanoids and most of the chocolate flavor. Make sure that you don’t purchase cocoa that is Dutch processed.

    I make my cocoa with vanilla sugar. Slice a vanilla bean and store it in a jar of sugar. After a few weeks, the sugar will pick-up the vanilla flavor.

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