Comforting, healthy Oat Milk Hot Chocolate that is made of superfood ingredients for a healthy mug of hot cocoa. Only three ingredients in under 5 minutes, for the creamiest, dreamiest superfood hot chocolate! (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar Free)
Store bought hot cocoa mixes can sometimes sneak in dried milk powder or other non-vegan/dairy-free ingredients. Instead, by making your own healthy hot chocolate you can make it as chocolatey as you’d like!
Making your own hot chocolate makes that warm mug not only healthier, but also a personalized experience. Keep it decadent or keep it lighter! Either way, because this superfood hot chocolate calls for cacao powder (or substitute for cocoa powder), it’s a nutrient-packed cup of deliciousness.
I remember growing up, my sister and I would love making our hot chocolates once the weather cooled. Because we always lived in hot places, that time was very limited!
We would beg our mom for hot cocoa mixes - especially the ones with mini marshmallows!
Now, with a healthier lifestyle, this dairy free hot chocolate recipe is our new go-to that gives us happy hearts and happy bellies!
Highlights of this Recipe
This recipe is:
- Refined Sugar Free
- Vegan / Dairy Free
- Creamy and Warming
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Cacao Powder - A great superfood that gives the chocolate flavor. Substitute with unsweetened cocoa powder. Aim for cocoa or cacao powder with no added sugar.
- Oat Milk - Use your favorite oat milk. Substitute for any other non dairy milk alternative like almond milk, cashew milk or coconut milk. For an even chocolatier experience, try chocolate oat milk!
- Maple Syrup - Substitute for honey or coconut sugar.
Cocoa Powder vs. Cacao Powder
While cocoa and cacao sound similar, they are very different! You can use them interchangeably in recipes, but it’s great to know the benefits of both!
Cacao is the purest form of chocolate - it is raw and less processed than cocoa powder or even chocolate bars. Raw cacao powder, known as a superfood, also contains more nutrients from the cacao beans than cocoa powder, meaning there’s more fiber, vitamins and protein!
Cocoa is the heated form of cacao. It is still good for you, and less expensive. If you use cocoa powder, make sure there is no added sugar. Cocoa powder is also lower in calories.
Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
This is a cocoa powder that’s been processed even further to create a richer taste.
Best Oat Milk to Use
So, what is the cleanest oat milk brand? There are quite a few clean oat milks out there. Look for oat milks that have:
- Few ingredients (think: oats, water and salt - the fewer the better)
- No gums (like xanthan gum)
- No oils (like canola oil, rapeseed oil)
- Glyphosate* free oats or organic oats or gluten free oats
*Glyphosate (an ingredient in pesticides that is toxic to plants) is found in non-organic ingredients. Wheats and grains can have higher levels of glyphosate and are better if purchased as glyphosate free, organic or gluten free.
Is Oat Milk Gluten Free?
Oats are not intrinsically gluten free.
Oat milk can be sometimes contaminated with gluten as they are processed in facilities with gluten. If you are celiac or have a stronger gluten intolerance, look for gluten-free certified oats.
Look for glyphosate free oats or gluten-free certified oats.
First, you are going to add all ingredients to a pot on the stove.
Whisk to combine well and then turn heat on to medium.
Heat for 2-5 minutes, until the oat milk is hot enough to your liking. Continue to stir every few minutes to combine the ingredients well.
Once hot enough, remove from heat and pour into a mug.
Drink as is, with coconut whipped cream, or with marshmallows on top!
Okay, the best way to do this is to simmer the oat milk hot chocolate in a small saucepan. However, the old-school way to make hot cocoa is zapping it in the microwave!
Add all ingredients in your mug, stir and microwave for 60-seconds. Stir to combine again and microwave for an additional 30-60 seconds, until hot enough for preference.
Best Vegan Hot Chocolate Toppings + Variations
My favorite way to top an oat milk hot chocolate is some coconut whipped cream! But there’s so many different things you can use if you’re looking for a way to make a more decadent experience:
- Vegan whipped cream
- Vegan marshmallows
- Raw cacao nibs
- Ground cinnamon
- Chopped or whole chocolate chips
- Chocolate syrup
- Ground nutmeg
- Crushed nuts
- Raw chocolate shavings
- Crushed peppermint / candy canes
- Vegan Salted Caramel
Peppermint Hot Cocoa: add peppermint extract
Mexican Hot Chocolate: add a pinch of cayenne pepper
Vegan Caramel: add a drizzle of vegan salted caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt
Nut Butter Hot Chocolate: add a scoop of almond butter, peanut butter or cashew butter and a sprinkle of chopped nuts
Vanilla Hot Cocoa: add a teaspoon of vanilla extract
How to Reheat Hot Cocoa
Stovetop - Pour back into stovetop pot and heat for 2-3 minutes, until hot enough for preference.
Microwave - Stir to combine and microwave for 60-seconds. Stir again and microwave again for 30-60 seconds, until hot enough for preference.
Frequently Asked Questions
Typically, most hot cocoas use dairy milk and some store-bought hot chocolate mixes have milk powder in them and can be non-dairy.
Hot chocolate typically does not have caffeine.
I love using oat milk for this hot cocoa recipe as I find it the creamiest. You can use almond milk, cashew milk, pumpkin seed milk, coconut milk, or whatever other non dairy milk you prefer!
I would not advise swapping for a store-bought hot cocoa mix, because they often have dairy and also a lot of added sugar. Instead, a better substitute would be cocoa powder.
Other Hot Dairy-Free Drinks
- Pumpkin Chai Latte (Dairy Free)
- London Fog Tea Latte (Dairy-Free)
- Rose Tea Latte (Caffeine Free, Dairy Free)
Creamy Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
- 1 ¼ cup oat milk
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 pinch salt
Add all ingredients to a pot on the stove.1 ¼ cup oat milk, 1 tablespoon cacao powder, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, 1 pinch salt
- Whisk to combine ingredients well and then turn heat on to medium-heat.
- Let simmer for 2-5 minutes, until the oat milk is hot enough to your liking. Do not let the hot chocolate boil over!
- Continue to stir every few minutes to combine the ingredients well.
- Once oat milk hot chocolate is warm enough, remove from heat and pour into a mug.
- Drink as is, with coconut whipped cream, or with marshmallows on top!