10 Healthier Ways to Spruce Up Hot Chocolate

Julie Bitely

| 2 min read

hot cocoa variations
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.
  1. Ginger- homemade hot chocolate flavored with zingy ginger makes for a healthier twist on the classic.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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!
  1. Coconut- sprinkle raw coconut shavings or coconut milk into your hot chocolate to reap the benefits of this unique food.
  1. Honey- a spoonful of honey sweetens the deal on your usual hot chocolate. Just bear in mind the consistency changes the more you add.
  1. Espresso- facing a caffeine shortage? Add an espresso shot to your mug to make an easy cafe mocha.
  1. 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

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.