Healthified: Chocolate Holiday Beverages

“Healthified: Holiday Beverages” is a three-part series of Total Wellness Magazine.

“Chocolate Holiday Beverages” is the third article of the series.

Read Part 1: Healthified: Classic Holiday Beverages

Read Part 2: Healthified: Tea Latte Holiday Beverages

by Kristy Lin

Whether you are feeling nostalgic about your childhood, or just really love chocolate, these drink recipes are perfect for you. These recipes are a healthier alternative to traditional hot chocolate, using cocoa powder instead of sugar-loaded chocolate syrups and artificial flavors that are typically found in mainstream coffee stores. In fact, a 2017 study found that cocoa powder is rich in polyphenol, a chemical with demonstrated benefits to cardiovascular health. So while the weather is still chilly outside, snuggle up and enjoy a cup of hot chocolatey goodness, delicious and overall better for you!

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Hot Chocolate

traditional hot chocolate

Equipment Involved: saucepan + stove


  • 1 cup milk of choice (dairy or unsweetened almond milk recommended)

  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ½ tbsp dark chocolate chips or bar (chopped)

  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup

  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

  • Pinch of sea salt

  • Optional Toppings: Regular or dairy-free whipped cream and mini marshmallows


  1. Heat milk in a saucepan over high heat, and add cocoa powder, dark chocolate, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.

  2. Stir while heating to break up any clumps. Keep stirring until smooth, then pour into a mug and serve!

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frozen hot chocolate

Equipment Involved: saucepan + stove, blender


  • 1.25 ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces

  • 1/16 cup agave nectar or maple syrup

  • 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup dairy milk (or unsweetened almond milk)

  • 1 cup ice

  • Optional Toppings: Regular or dairy-free whipped cream and mini marshmallows


  1. Place the chocolate, agave nectar or maple syrup, cocoa powder, and 1/4 cup milk in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat and stir until the chocolate has melted into the milk. Once smooth, remove from heat.

  2. Pour the chocolate mixture into a blender. Add the remaining milk to the blender, along with the vanilla extract and ice. Blend until very smooth.

  3. Pour into cup to serve and add whipped cream and marshmallows if desired!

Superfood Hot Chocolate

Turmeric is a spice that contains a notable compound called curcumin, which has been reported to have significant antioxidant properties and protection against mercury intoxication. Maca powder is derived from the maca plant and is characterized by its nutty and earthy flavor, making it a popular addition to baked goods and smoothies that involve chocolate. While these superfoods may not be the first things that come to mind when thinking about hot chocolate, they sure do spice up your classic recipe for hot chocolate.

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superfood hot chocolate

Equipment Involved: saucepan + stove


  • 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice (I used coconut but hemp or almond are great)

  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ½  tsp maca powder

  • ⅛  tsp ground turmeric

  • ¼  tsp of ground cinnamon

  • ½ tbsp honey or agave nectar or maple syrup

  • ½ tbsp coconut oil (for thicker texture)


  1. Add milk of choice to a medium-sized sauce pot and bring to a boil.

  2. Lower to a simmer and add cacao powder and stir.

  3. Add in maca powder, turmeric and cinnamon and continue to stir.

  4. Stir in honey/agave nectar/maple syrup until well combined.

  5. Add coconut oil and whip in until all chunks are melted and mixture becomes thick.

  6. Pour in mug and enjoy!

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