I’ve never been a skiier, so I don’t have memories of tumbling indoors after a long day on the slopes, cheeks pink, ready to hunker down by the fire with a steaming cup of hot chocolate to warm my numb fingers.
I am, however, no stranger to hot chocolate. On cold wintry days after playing in the snow with my head-to-toe snowsuit and thick boots, little Sondi would boil up a kettle of water and pour it over hot chocolate mix – which sometimes had those chewy, dried marshmallows, and sometimes not. Hot chocolate mix and water is deeply unsatisfying, unless you spoon about 4 times the amount of dry mix the container says you should. Or simply eat it off the spoon, skipping the water entirely.
For the grownups who want a grownup cup of hot chocolate, it’s very easy to make your own dairy-free and vegan hot chocolate mix at home. It serves as an amazing edible gift, too, and can be customized based on your preferences and tastes.
The recipe below is basic: cacao powder and coconut sugar. I use raw cacao because it is a powerhouse of antioxidants, magnesium and iron. If you use cocoa powder, you may not need to use as much sweetener because roasting the cacao produces a sweetness you won’t find in the raw, which is much more bitter.
Some flavour ideas include:
- vanilla powder
- peppermint tea leaves
- lavender leaves
- cinnamon and chili powder or cayenne pepper
- freeze dried raspberries, ground into a powder
- shredded coconut, ground into a powder
- Dandy blend (a herbal coffee alternative) or ground coffee beans
I took an extra step and blended the cacao and coconut sugar in my spice grinder to mimic the finer texture found in hot chocolate mixes, but you can easily just use a whisk and a little wrist action.
And if you’re looking for more edible holiday gift ideas, check out my latest column for Food Bloggers of Canada.
- ⅔ cup raw cacao powder
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- Blend the cacao and sugar together in a spice grinder, or whisk well.
- Store in a mason jar or airtight container.
- To use, whisk 1 tbsp of the mix with 1 cup of non-dairy milk. Heat and serve.
What flavour combo did I miss? Please share in the comments!