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Healthy Hot Cocoa

By Jennifer Kohler, MS, FNP-BC, CLC

Hot Cocoa is a classic treat as the temperature drops. Traditional Hot Cocoa, while delicious, packs quite a calorie and sugar punch! A small original hot chocolate from Dunkin’ will set you back 220 calories, 7 gms of fat, and 40 gms of carbs! Here is a healthier, gluten-free, nondairy option to try. This recipe makes 2 servings.


  • 2½ cups (20 ounces) unsweetened almond milk (OR unsweetened soy milk, oat milk, any other unsweetened nut milk, or unsweetened coconut milk)

  • 2½ tablespoons organic unsweetened cocoa powder (OR raw cacao powder) - Not baking cocoa – you can try dark cocoa powder too, or you can buy cacao powder or 70% cocoa powder.

  • 1 tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup (plus more to taste if needed) - you could use liquid stevia but may need to modify the amount

  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Warm the milk of your choice on the stove over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk to combine (1-2 minutes). Do not use the microwave for this.

  2. Heat another 1-2 minutes and serve immediately.

  3. Optional: add a small dash of cinnamon on top and serve.

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