Recipes

healthy hot cocoa recipe | refined sugar free hot chocolate

Try Refined Sugar Free Hot Chocolate today with this rich, wholesome recipe made from scratch in minutes. It’s the perfect wintertime pick-me-up!

Refined sugar free hot chocolate is served in a mug on a cork plate with evergreen branches and chocolate chunks nearby.

The holidays may have passed us by, but it is still wintertime! It’s crazy to think that the winter season has only just begun. This means you’ll find me cozied up inside with some sort of warm drink to sip on at any given time. Whether that’s herbal tea, my morning coffee, or this delicious healthy hot cocoa recipe.

On days when I’m craving something a bit more decadent, I like to reach for this refined sugar free hot chocolate. It tastes rich, but it’s still made from wholesome, natural ingredients.

I can drink this without feeling like it’s too rich. Plus, I can enjoy it knowing my body hasn’t just downed an entire cup of sugar that will give me a headache later on. (That tends to happen when I have too much sugar on an empty stomach or without being paired with some protein and fiber.)

Thankfully, this healthy hot cocoa recipe uses lots of wholesome ingredients that keep me feeling my best. 

This recipe is well suited for those who love to spend their free time lounging with a good book, curled up with a pet, or bundled up in a knit throw blanket on a cool winter day. I will warn you, though. It is addicting. And you won’t even be able to tell it’s healthy…

Now, let’s get into this decadent refined sugar free hot chocolate recipe!

Refined sugar free hot chocolate is topped with whipped cream and is surrounded by evergreen branches and pine cones.

Refined Sugar Free Hot Chocolate | healthy hot cocoa recipe

What does refined sugar free mean?

Refined sugar free does not necessarily mean a recipe is free from any sugar. It just means the sugar is derived from more natural sources or whole foods. Benefits of using more natural sweeteners include more nutrients and fiber (which helps regulate blood sugar levels), and less inflammatory effects on the body. Diets high in refined sugars, on the other hand, can lead to chronic inflammation, which adds stress to the body and can eventually lead to disease.

Here are some examples of refined sugars:

White table sugar

Brown sugar

High fructose corn syrup

Here are some refined sugar free sweeteners to use instead:

Raw, local honey

Pure maple syrup

Fruit (mashed bananas, pureed dates, applesauce)

Syrups made from fruit or derived from other natural sources (date syrup, molasses, brown rice syrup)

Stevia

Coconut sugar

Benefits of this healthy hot cocoa recipe

  • Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, healthy fats, fiber, iron, & magnesium; low in sugar
  • Whole milk that’s full of healthy fats, calcium, protein, and Vitamin D
  • Honey that’s full of antioxidants 
  • Cocoa that is full of antioxidants and minerals
Healthy hot cocoa recipe is shown up close with whipped cream and chocolate chunks.

Tools You Will Need

Medium, deep pot

Whisk

Ladle

Measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients | Refined Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

Dark chocolate chips – Use dark chocolate chips for a richer flavor and all the health benefits they carry. Alternatively, you could chop up bars of chocolate into chunks to melt well in this recipe. Be sure it is refined sugar free by checking the labels. Not all dark chocolate is created equal. The higher the percentage of dark chocolate, the healthier. My favorite is 85%.

Cocoa powder – I recommend unsweetened cocoa powder for this healthy hot cocoa recipe.

Milk – Whole milk is best in this recipe because it adds a rich flavor that will have you forgetting all about the fact that it’s refined sugar free. 

Honey – I like to use raw, local honey in my recipe. This tends to have more health benefits, but you can use regular honey too.

Vanilla extract – I use a homebrewed vanilla extract I make, but any real, pure vanilla extract will work. 

Hot chocolate is filled into a mug and topped with whipped cream.

How to Make Refined Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

Start by adding the milk and chocolate chips/chunks to a pot on the stove. 

Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently, and stir in the honey.

As you reduce the heat to low, whisk in cocoa powder. 

Simmer and whisk until the cocoa is well combined and the dark chocolate has completely melted into the mixture. 

Last, add the vanilla extract and remove from heat before serving. 

Hot chocolate is served in a mug on a countertop.

Tips for success | Refined Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

Be sure to whisk the hot chocolate often as it simmers. Otherwise it may result in some clumping. 

For refined sugar free toppings, I recommend using any of the following: fresh whipped cream (beat heavy cream for five minutes with electric mixer and serve), dark chocolate shavings/chunks, cinnamon, chopped nuts, or refined sugar free sprinkles, marshmallows, or other candies/sauces.

More Healthy Recipe Inspiration

How to Roast Butternut Squash  

Heart Healthy Granola Recipe  

Vegan Miso Soup for the Soul  

Creamy, Healthy Avocado Dip  

Easy, Healthy Smoothie Recipes – 3 Ways

Refined Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

Try Refined Sugar Free Hot Chocolate today with this rich, wholesome recipe made from scratch in minutes. It’s the perfect wintertime pick-me-up!
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy hot chocolate, healthy hot cocoa, hot chocolate recipe, hot cocoa recipe, refined sugar free hot chocolate
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 325kcal

Equipment

  • Medium size deep pot
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • whisk
  • Ladle

Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks or chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Start by adding the milk and chocolate chips/chunks to a pot on the stove.
  • Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently, and stir in the honey.
  • As you reduce the heat to low, whisk in cocoa powder.
  • Simmer and whisk until the cocoa is well combined and the dark chocolate has completely melted into the mixture.
  • Last, add the vanilla extract and remove from heat before serving.

Notes

Be sure to whisk the hot chocolate often as it simmers. Otherwise it may result in some clumping. 
For refined sugar free toppings, I recommend using any of the following: fresh whipped cream (beat heavy cream for five minutes with electric mixer and serve), dark chocolate shavings/chunks, cinnamon, chopped nuts, or refined sugar free sprinkles, marshmallows, or other candies/sauces.


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