Q: Kris – Thanks so much for providing such a great cookbook/guide book. I have been severely lactose intolerant for the last 2 years, and have had a mild case before that for about 8 years. Do you have any ideas for hot chocolate that is dairy-free? It is something I just love.
A: Alisa – Ah yes, the weather is cooling off and it is about time for those hot beverage cravings. For an easy homemade version of hot chocolate, I recommend that you use the recipe for Hot Double Chocolate on p167 in Go Dairy Free the book. That recipe includes spiced, mocha, and peppermint options, and there is a Carob Cocoa recipe on the same page for a little variety. For an extra-rich beverage, you can even use light cashew cream (Nutty Light Cream on p129) or half coconut milk / half water in place of the milk alternative.
If you prefer store bought, then there are still several brands to choose from …
The following are a couple of brands that I have personally sampled. They are excerpted straight from the No Dairy Product Lists.
|Ghirardelli||Ghirardelli Premium Hot Cocoa||Chocolate Hazelnut, Chocolate Mocha, Double Chocolate, Sweet Ground Chocolate, White Mocha||www.ghirardelli.com|
|The Hain Celestial Group||AH!LASKA Organic Hot Cocoa||Non-Dairy Chocolate||www.ahlaska.com|
There are many more brands of dairy-free hot chocolate / hot cocoa mix in the No Dairy Product Lists (including natural, organic, AND mainstream varieties), but they aren’t ones I have sampled as of yet, so I hesitate to recommend them upfront.
That said, store-bought hot chocolate mix can be expensive, especially for those made with good quality ingredients. Don’t hesitate to experiment with your own homemade version. Start with some cocoa powder (I like about 1 tablespoon per cup), add hot liquid, and your favorite sweetener to taste. The richness will depend on the liquid you use. I like to use coconut milk beverage for something that is light, but still slightly rich (it is similar to 2% milk), or I simply add a little regular coconut milk or cashew cream to a water base. Nonetheless, feel free to use your favorite milk alternative. If you can’t do nuts or coconut, use dark or semi-sweet chocolate (or even use it in place of the cocoa powder). The cocoa butter from the chocolate will help to add a touch of luxury.
Alisa Fleming is the founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. In addition to her own dairy-free lifestyle, Alisa has experience in catering to the needs of various special diets, including gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, vegan, and multiple food allergies.