A creamy, cozy blender-made mug-full of healthy vegan hot chocolate that is extra rich extra sweet thanks to a special caramel candy-like fruit addition!
Sometimes it feels like December is really just code for Make All The Cookies Month. But lately it seems hot chocolate recipes have been popping up at almost the same crazy-fast rate as cookies!
I’ve seen spiced and espresso-spiked recipes, frozen and fruity recipes, superfood-infused and marshmallow-filled recipes. I’ve seen mugs doubling as snowman hot tubs and cozy homes for cookie people. I’ve even seen a few unexpected additions like peanut butter or pumpkin or protein or peppermint. The food blogger world is nothing if not incredibly hot cocoa creative!
But all of them have been missing one particular ingredient that is practically essential for MY perfect cup of hot chocolate. And if you have been a reader here for a while you probably already know what I am talking about. Dates. I may be a bit fruity biased and feel that dates are a much needed addition to lots of things, but they were practically made for hot chocolate. Blending a few dates into a creamy, cozy, warm cocoa mix makes it extra thick, extra creamy, and extra sweet. Extra all the things hot chocolate should be!
Besides dates, chocolate is obviously a must. I opted for cacao powder over cocoa powder as I do in most recipes because of the naturally sweeter flavor. I guess that means it can’t technically be called “hot cocoa” anymore, but I’ve never been one to call this warm chocolate beverage hot cocoa anyways it’s always hot chocolate to me. Hot cocoa or hot chocolate, what do you call it? Cocoa powder is fine too of course, whatever you have/prefer.
Milk of some sort is another obvious essential. While any nondairy milk will be okay, I do have a couple of top picks. In the video I used homemade almond milk, which is so much richer and more flavorful than the water-y stuff from the carton. 4 cups water + 1 cup almonds, blend for a couple of minutes on high, strain, done. Or if you don’t mind a hint of coconut flavor in your hot chocolate, light canned coconut milk is another awesome choice. Deliciously rich and a little extra coconut-sweet! Or you can just keep it simple and lower fat with good old almond milk or soy milk or any milk you like. The dates will still make for a thick creamy mug of cocoa.
Now onto the fun extra additions! Cinnamon for a bit of holiday spice. Vanilla bean powder because what chocolatey treat isn’t better with it’s sweet sidekick vanilla? And a sneaky spoonful of chocolate chips that will melt right in and make this mug even more rich!
The easiest, fastest, frothiest way to make a mug of this Creamy Cozy Date-Sweetened Hot Chocolate is simply to bring the nondairy milk to a boil (microwave or stovetop), add it to a blender with all the other ingredients, and blend. Be sure to blend a little longer than seems necessary for that extra froth on top! I topped mine with a dollop (or two!) of Cocowhip, chocolate chips, and cinnamon, but marshmallows would be perfect too.
Creamy Cozy Date-Sweetened Hot Chocolate
- 1 cup boiling non-dairy milk see post above for suggestions
- 2-3 pitted Medjool dates
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder
- 1 tbsp vegan chocolate chips
- Coconut whipped cream Cocowhip, or marshmallows for topping
Bring the non-dairy milk to a boil in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender.
Blend on high for approximately 1 minute. The longer blending time will make it more frothy.
Pour into a mug, top with coconut whipped cream or marshmallows, chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.