Hot chocolate frequently contains dairy because it is made using milk. But many great non-dairy milk options make it easy to make dairy-free hot chocolate. Nothing is better than a steaming mug of hot chocolate on a cold day. It’s different from cocoa because it has melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder and is more prosperous than cocoa.
Also, you can’t make it from a mix like you can with cocoa. The regular version, made with dairy milk, is not safe for vegans to eat, so we made a secure version for everyone, no matter how you feel about milk. To make vegan hot chocolate, you must switch out the liquid for non-dairy milk.
The best way to make this hot chocolate is on the stove, and the recipe is easy to double or cut in half. It can also be made in a microwave. You’ll heat non-dairy milk until it’s hot, then add cocoa powder, chocolate chips, a pinch of salt, and sugar. Once the chips have melted and everything is steamed to perfection, you have a delicious vegan hot chocolate for two that is creamy and rich. If you want to try something different, add a dash of peppermint extract or a few shakes of cinnamon.
Once it’s hot, you can serve it as is or add vegan whipped cream or cinnamon on top, and it’s also great when stirred with a cinnamon stick.
- 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips
- One tablespoon of cocoa powder
- One tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Gather the ingredients.
- Put the nondairy milk in a small saucepan and heat it over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until it is boiling but not boiling.
- Turn down the heat to a low boil. Mix the chocolate chips, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir the mixture for about 2 minutes or until the chocolate is melted.
- Take the mixture off the heat and whisk it until it is well mixed and foamy.
- The hot chocolate should be put in two mugs and served right away.
Additional Recipe Tips
Most chocolate chips that are semisweet are vegan. Check the label for words that sound like dairy, like whey or milk solids. Guittard is our favorite vegan chocolate chip because it has a smooth texture. We used the semisweet version, which the label calls “baking chips.”
If you want to use what you have on hand, you can use any non-dairy milk. We like the texture of Whole Foods’ unsweetened almond milk because it’s not as watery as some other non-dairy milk.
Flavor this hot chocolate with any of the following:
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- One tablespoon of maple syrup instead of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Hot Chocolate Recipes
- Old-Fashioned Hot Chocolate
- Authentic Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe
- Viennese Hot Chocolate
- Classic Dutch Hot Chocolate Recipe
How to Make Hot Chocolate in the Microwave?
In a bowl that can go in the microwave, heat the milk for 1 1/2 minutes. Mix the chocolate chips, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir the mixture, then heat it for 30 seconds, stirring after each heating, until the chocolate is completely melted. Take medicine out of the microwave and whisk it until it’s well mixed and foamy.
Is Chocolate Vegan?
“it depends.” If that were all there was to it; chocolate would be vegan because it is made from cacao tree beans. Even so, it’s not usually the end of the story. Some added ingredients make it clear that a bar of chocolate is not vegan, while other elements can be more brutal to spot on the label. We’ll talk about how chocolate is made, break down common ingredients that aren’t vegan, and give you a list of tasty chocolate brands that are 100% vegan. So, you’ll know what to do if you want to eat a vegan chocolate bar or use it in a vegan chocolate recipe.
What is Chocolate Made from?
Mesoamericans were the first to grow and make chocolate since the cacao tree grows naturally near the equator. Here, it started as a vegan product, and the traditional recipe for Mexican chocolate is just roasted ground cacao beans and sugar. Still, when the Europeans arrived in Mesoamerica, they found chocolate and brought some back when they left. During this time in history, chocolate started to change from its original recipe, and soon milk chocolate came into being.
Vegan Chocolate vs. Non-Vegan Chocolate
First, you can learn a lot just by reading the label. If it says “milk chocolate” on the package, you can be sure it’s not vegan. In the same way, some brands label their chocolate vegan, so you don’t have to guess. Aside from these two cases, the best way to figure out if the chocolate you want to buy is vegan is to look at the list of ingredients.
Milk, milk solids, and milk fat are often found in foods that are not vegan. Sugar, vanilla, and soy lecithin, used as a binder, are also often found in vegan foods. Also, you might want to check to see if the chocolate factory also uses the same machines to make things that aren’t vegan. This should be made clear (usually near the list of ingredients) since people with allergies may be worried about it.
Besides reading the label and the list of ingredients, it’s good to find brands that people trust. Many cheap chocolate brands use fillers like food starch, additives like artificial flavors, and lower-quality ingredients. That doesn’t mean the chocolate isn’t vegan, but good brands usually care about where they get their chocolate, how they make it, and what they call it.
Vegan Chocolate Substitutes
Even among chocolate products, there are a lot of differences, so you might be able to switch one for the other. Want a vegan chocolate chip that is low in carbs? Cacao nibs could be the answer. You can also mix your hot chocolate with cacao or cocoa powder instead of buying one already made.
There is also carob, a legume that tastes similar to chocolate but is naturally sweeter. Carob is usually made by grinding and drying the pulp inside the pods and then selling it as a powder. Because of this, it can be used instead of cocoa powder or with it in recipes.
Where to Buy Vegan Chocolate?
There are a lot of chocolate brands that are “accidentally vegan” or vegan, so you don’t have to go to a lot of trouble to find one. There are probably some options at your local market, or you can look for a specialty chocolate shop if that’s your thing. Here are a few brands that we like:
“Accidentally Vegan” Chocolate:
- Chocolove—Dark Chocolate and Orange Peel
- Trader Joe’s—chocolate chips
- Newman’s Own—Sweet Dark Espresso and Sweet Dark Orange, regular and organic chocolate bars
- Ritter Sport—Chocolate Mint (light blue) and Marzipan (red)
- Green and Blacks Organic Chocolate—Dark Chocolate
- Organic Equal Exchange Chocolate—all flavors except for milk chocolate
- Fanny May—Dark 70% chocolate bars
Other Vegan Brands of Chocolate:
- Endangered Species Dark Chocolate—most, but not all flavors
- Sunspire and Tropical Source—chocolate chips and chocolate bars
- Whole Foods Brand—Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate, and Dark Chocolate with Almonds
- Plamil So Free Organic Chocolate (fair trade)
- Terra Nostra Rice Milk Choco Bars
- Sjaaks Organic Chocolates—everything is vegan, including their “milk” chocolate line.
Storage Vegan Chocolate
Since melted chocolate will harden when it cools, this is hard to make ahead of time. You can only put it in the fridge if you heat it until the chocolate melts again and stir it well.
There’s nothing special about how to store vegan chocolate, so keep it like any other chocolate. This means to wrap it tightly, put it in a jar that won’t let air in, and put it in a cool, dark place. Also, don’t put chocolate in the fridge because it can pick up the flavors of the food around it and get a white coating on the top called “sugar bloom.” This is safe but looks terrible and isn’t a good idea. Under the right conditions, vegan chocolate will last from 6 months to a year, just like almost all chocolate.
An Abridged History of Hot Chocolate
We all know hot chocolate as the warm, rich drink we drink on a cold night by the fire or after doing winter activities like ice skating or skiing. But have you ever thought about where this tasty drink came from? Hot chocolate has been around for a long time, and over the years, it has changed from cold and spicy to warm and sweet.
It Started in Mexico
As early as 500 BC, the Mayans drank chocolate from ground cocoa seeds, water, cornmeal, chili peppers, and other things. This was a very different version of hot chocolate than we drink today. They would pour the drink back and forth from a cup to a pot until there was a thick foam, and then they would drink it cold. The chocolate drink was available to everyone, but only the wealthy drank it out of large vessels with spouts later buried with them.
Then Made its Way to Europe
At the beginning of the 1500s, Cortez brought cocoa beans and the tools for making chocolate drinks to Europe. Even though the glass was still cold and bitter, it became popular and was drunk by the court of King Charles V and the upper class of Spain. After being brought to Spain, the drink started to be served hot, with sugar added, and without chili peppers. The Spanish were very proud of their new glass, and it took over a hundred years for the rest of Europe to find out about it.
When it got to London in the 1700s, places like coffee shops called “chocolate houses” became trendy, even though chocolate was very expensive at the time. In the late 1700s, Hans Sloane, president of the Royal College of Physicians, brought a recipe for mixing chocolate and milk from Jamaica, and he thought this made the drink taste better. Other people agreed, so the English began adding milk to their chocolate and drinking it after dinner.
Hot Chocolate Today
Before the 19th century, people drank hot chocolate and used it to treat stomach and liver diseases. Today, though, we drink this warm mixture as a drink to sip and enjoy. In the United States, hot chocolate is often made by mixing hot water with powder packets. However, you can find more authentic and gourmet varieties in restaurants and cafes. Other countries have versions, like Spain’s thick chocolate a la Taza, Latin America’s spiced chocolate para mesa, and Italy’s wide cioccolata calda.
In the United States, hot chocolate has become so popular that it can be bought from coffee vending machines. The powder is sold in packets and canisters, and coffee shops often offer richer, slightly thicker kinds.
The Evolution of Chocolate
Not until the middle of the 18th century did chocolate become more than just a drink. First, cocoa powder was made in Holland, where the Dutch were in almost all of the cocoa bean trade. Since cocoa powder mixes better with milk or water, it makes it possible to make more things. Next, cocoa butter and sugar were combined to make chocolate candy. In 1876, milk chocolate was made. Since then, people have liked chocolate more as a solid treat than as the drink it started.
As an antidepressant, people drink hot chocolate. As chocolate has serotonin, a neurotransmitter that acts as an antidepressant, a recommended dose of hot chocolate can help you feel better. It also causes the body to make endorphins, a hormone that makes you feel good and are a natural painkiller.