Healthy Hot Chocolate & Cocoa Recipes

Find healthy, delicious hot chocolate and cocoa recipes including gluten-free and low-carb hot chocolate. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Healthy Hot Cacao

If you're looking for a warm, chocolaty treat that's also nutritious, try this healthy hot chocolate made with cacao powder. It's made from the same cacao beans as cocoa, but without roasting them before grinding. While proponents say skipping the heat processing preserves more nutrients, cacao and cocoa powders offer similar health benefits, including being rich in antioxidants, which may help improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure. They also contain minerals like iron and magnesium, and give you a bit of fiber, which helps to promote a healthy digestive system. Unlike many hot chocolate recipes, which are high in sugar, this flavorful treat is made with only a little bit of agave syrup for sweetness (you can also sub in honey, maple syrup or regular sugar if you don't have agave on hand). In addition to being wholesome and delicious, this recipe is very easy to make—and whips up in less than 5 minutes!
By Andrea Mathis, M.A., RDN, LD

Red-Wine Hot Chocolate

If you love red wine and you love chocolate, you'll love this rich, full-flavored red-wine hot chocolate. It's two of your favorite things together in one warm, cozy mug.

Chocolate de Agua (Mexican Hot Chocolate)

Dark, bittersweet hot chocolate--made with water, not milk--is enjoyed in Mexico City as an alternative to coffee. It's prepared with a special Mexican chocolate that usually contains cinnamon, ground almonds and vanilla. Look for high-quality brands, such as Taza, Hernán, Rancho Gordo or Seasons of My Heart, which are sold in hockey puck-size disks. To create the classic foam, you can use a blender, a whisk or a wooden instrument called a molinillo and a tall, heatproof pitcher, such as a chocolatera. Both are available online.

Healthy Hot Chocolate

This healthier cup of hot chocolate uses low-fat milk, natural cocoa powder and just enough sugar to sweeten things up without going overboard on calories. As an added bonus, the milk provides a healthy serving of protein and calcium, which you won't get from sugar-loaded powdered hot-chocolate mixes prepared using water. Spice it up with an add-in like orange zest, cinnamon or vanilla for a delicious twist on this classic treat.

Slow-Cooker Hot Chocolate

Rating: 5 stars
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Making hot chocolate in quantity in a slow-cooker is an easy make-ahead drink for parties. Once the hot chocolate is ready, you can use the "keep warm" setting to keep it hot throughout the gathering. Plus, take it to the next level by setting up a hot chocolate toppings bar with bowls of mini marshmallows, crushed peppermint candies, sprinkles, whipped cream and cinnamon sticks at the ready to stir into your cocoa.

Dark Chocolate-Coconut Hot Cocoa

This stovetop hot chocolate starts with a delicately sweet coconut beverage. The subtle hints of vanilla help blunt the bitter edge of dark chocolate, and a splash of maple syrup makes this warm drink sweet and comforting.

Hot Chocolate Bombs

What's fun, tasty and round all over? Hot chocolate bombs are the magical way to enjoy your favorite warming winter beverage. With a little practice, you can make them easily at home with this method.
By Casey Barber

Sea Salt & Caramel Hot Chocolate Bombs

Rich caramel, crunchy sea salt and luscious milk chocolate combine in this homemade hot chocolate bomb. If you love caramel truffles, you'll swoon for this treat.
By Casey Barber

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate Bombs

Make your holiday hot chocolate even more festive with these homemade hot chocolate bombs. They're fun to look at and even more fun (and tasty) to drink around a roaring fire!
By Casey Barber

Cinnamon-Spiced Hot Chocolate

The warm, spicy notes of cinnamon add interest to this made-from-scratch hot chocolate.

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix

Put together this tasty Peppermint Hot Cocoa mix in a festive jar for a stocking stuffer or fun holiday gift.

Boozy Hot Chocolate Board

Rating: 5 stars
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Come in from the cold to this fun and festive hot chocolate board! For the adults, spike this rich and decadent hot chocolate with your favorite sweet liqueur and garnish with your favorite toppings. For hands-off prep, make the hot chocolate in your slow cooker.
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