Healthy Hot Chocolate: Classic, Peppermint or Mexican Spice


This healthy hot chocolate is another fun, helpful, shortcut recipe that I created for Growing Naturals. As a holiday special, they are offering Go Dairy Free viewers a 40% discount on their Dairy-Free Rice Milk Powder, now through December 4th – yes today is the LAST DAY!!! Use the following coupon code when adding the product to your cart: DAIRYFREE40.

Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe (Low-sugar, Dairy-free, Gluten-free) with Classic, Peppermint and Mexican Spice Options

The cold weather and snow has finally set in here, and we’re celebrating by guzzling gallons of nourishing, hot beverages! Though I tend to be cold, and love, love, love hot, dry weather, there is something special about snuggling up with a warm drink when it’s cold outside. This ritual keeps me sane and happy as our temperatures suddenly drop from 70ºF to 35ºF – we never really get fall here, just a quick leaf falling and a speedy transition from shorts to fleece-lined pants.

Lately, in case you can’t tell, chocolate has been my addiction. And in my pursuit of the perfect delivery mode, I’ve been testing out this healthy hot chocolate recipe (oh yes, many tests!).

What makes this healthy hot chocolate so wonderful? Well aside from being super-simple and quick, I use a vegan, top allergen-free rice milk powder that rivals dairy milk in nutrients, but is sweeter and more delicious. That said, it’s also very low sugar, so I’m able to customize a healthy hot chocolate with just a few grams of sugars, no dairy, no soy, and no gluten! The touch of coconut cream gives it that luxurious touch, and a hint of healthy fat to help in nutrient absorption, so I don’t recommend omitting it.

Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe (Low-sugar, Dairy-free, Gluten-free) with Classic, Peppermint and Mexican Spice Options

Special Diet Notes: Healthy Hot Chocolate

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.

We’re sharing this post on Gluten-Free Wednesdays at Gluten Free Easily and Allergy-Free Wednesdays at Whole New Mom!

Healthy Hot Chocolate: Classic, Peppermint or Mexican Spice
Prep time
Total time
To keep it simple, yet healthy, I use a dairy-free milk powder that is very low in sugar, but has a nutrient profile (such as protein) that comes pretty close to dairy milk.
Serves: 1 serving
  1. Place the rice milk powder(s), cocoa, coconut cream, and maple syrup in a mug.
  2. Pour in the hot water, and stir until all ingredients are dissolved.
  3. Optional: Serve topped with marshmallows (we used vegan Dandies!), coconut whip, or try one of my variations below.
Mexican Spice Healthy Hot Chocolate Variation: Add ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne for extra warmth in flavor. If you are feeling fancy, use a cinnamon stick for stirring!
Peppermint Healthy Hot Chocolate Variation: Add 3 to 4 drops of peppermint extract to your beverage. Peppermint can be very intense, so add just a drop at a time and taste-test along the way. Around the holidays, you can alternately use a candy cane for a stir stick to add some sweet peppermint flavor.
Coconut Cream Note: If you don't have coconut cream handy, let a can of full-fat coconut milk settle (chill in the refrigerator if needed to help it set up) and skim the thick coconut cream from it to use in this recipe. Alternately, you can simply use canned coconut milk (light or original).

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.