This homemade healthy hot chocolate mix is made with real food wholesome ingredients, and you can adjust the amount and type of sugar to your preference. It’s rich & creamy, only takes 5 minutes to make and you just add boiling water for the perfect cup of cocoa. It’s also a wonderful DIY gift idea!
DIY Hot Chocolate Mix: A New Winter Staple
One of our favorite traditions during the holidays is enjoying a cozy cup of hot cocoa while we watch one of our many favorite Christmas movies. It’s also the perfect way to knock off the chill after a winter walk or after playing in the snow (I live in Alabama, but I can dream).
But I guess you could call our family hot chocolate snobs. We don’t like the Swiss Miss or whatever packets you can buy at the grocery store — plus they are filled with questionable ingredients like corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, dipotassium phosphate, flavors, etc.
Thus, I inevitably end up standing over the stove and making a pot of cocoa from scratch (which is pretty frequent during the holidays)!
I enjoy doing this. But sometimes, I wish I had an easier option I could just add to a mug with hot water. And now, I do!
Enter this make ahead hot chocolate mix with real food ingredients.
I know exactly what’s in it (I can even add upgrades to boost nutrition), my family loves it, and I can relax on the sofa and don’t miss a single minute of the movie!
Is instant hot chocolate healthy? What hot chocolate is good for you?
This instant hot chocolate mix is actually very healthy! The ingredients are detailed in the next section. Most importantly, it’s free from preservatives and cheap sweeteners you often find in store-bought mixes.
This mix is filled with calcium from the powdered milk and antioxidants and magnesium from the cacao.
It does contain sugar. But, it’s the holidays. And, you can use a whole sugar which has added minerals or and alternative sweetener of your choice if you prefer.
More cozy beverages to enjoy:
What is hot chocolate mix made of? Hot Cocoa Mix Ingredients
What I love most about this recipe is the simple and nutritious ingredients!
♥ Powdered milk.
You can use any type of powdered milk for this recipe, but whole milk gives it a creamier taste. We absolutely love this goat milk from Mt. Capra! It’s made with real goat milk from Dutch family farms in the Netherlands.
Goat milk is more soothing to the digestive tract than cow’s milk, and this premium brand contains no pesticides, growth hormones, or antibiotics. Many people can tolerate this better than cow’s milk. You can use my code HCH10 to save 10%.
I also found this brand of powdered goat milk at my local Wal-Mart, which would also be a good option.
♥ Cacao powder.
Cacao powder is the raw, unprocessed version of cocoa. You can definitely use traditional cocoa powder which is still rich in antioxidants. Plus, chocolate is rich in magnesium and copper among other minerals.
All the more reason to consume chocolate. Yay.
♥ Powdered sweetener of your choice.
This ingredient allows you to be as creative as you want to suit your personal preference for sweetener.
I love using a whole sugar like panela cane sugar or sucanat (evaporated cane juice). It contains more minerals than refined sugar. If you want a more traditional taste, you can use conventional white sugar.
Or, if you want to health-ify it even more, use something like coconut sugar, date sugar, monkfruit, or whatever granulated sweetener you prefer.
The key here is to make sure your sugar is powdered. All you need to do is pulse the sweetener in a high speed blender or coffee grinder until it’s in powdered form. This is key to ensure easy mixing into hot liquid later.
The taste profile of this recipe is slightly less sweet than store bought mixes, which is what our family likes. You can add more sugar if you like it sweeter, or less if you prefer a low sugar hot chocolate.
♥ Chopped chocolate pieces.
This adds a depth and richness to your hot chocolate mix that is absolutely delicious! You can use whatever type of chocolate you prefer. I love Belgian dark pieces, but you could also use milk or white chocolate.
It’s also an optional ingredient if you’d rather omit it. The melted chocolate can leave a sediment in the bottom of the mug, which we don’t mind.
♥ Extra Add-Ins.
There are several “extras” you could add to make this hot cocoa mix even healthier! Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- Collagen powder for a protein boost and joint, skin, hair, nail health (use my code HEALTHY10 for a discount on my favorite Perfect Supplements brand)
- Colostrum powder which not only tastes vanilla-y but supports a healthy immune system and contains growth factors, nutrients, and digestive enzymes
- Vanilla bean powder or cinnamon for extra flavor and more benefits
How to Make Homemade Healthy Hot Chocolate Mix
This homemade cocoa mix is so easy! It only takes 5 minutes from start to finish.
To a large bowl, add 2 1/2 cups of your powdered milk of choice. (I highly recommend the goat milk from Mt. Capra for optimal nutrition — use code HCH10!)
Next, add 1 cup unsweetened cacao powder. I recommend sifting this through a strainer to eliminate any possible lumps.
After that, add 2 cups of powdered sweetener of your choice. It’s a good idea to sift this, too, unless it’s freshly ground. Remember, if you’re not using conventional powdered sugar, you can make any sweetener powdered by pulsing it in a high speed blender or coffee grinder first.
Next, chop your chocolate pieces. You want to chop them pretty fine so they melt easily into your hot chocolate later.
Finally, you can add any “extras” if you want them such as collagen or colostrum powder, vanilla bean powder, or cinnamon.
If you plan on storing this cocoa mix for more than a month, it’s a good idea to add an anti-caking agent. If you want to do this, you can use 2 teaspoons of arrowroot powder or cornstarch.
Once all your ingredients are added to the bowl, mix everything thoroughly with a whisk until fully combined.
Store in an airtight jar. It’s shelf stable for 6 months up to a year! Just check the expiration date of the powdered milk you used to determine how long your mix will stay fresh.
Making a Cup of Cocoa with the Mix (it’s easy!)
To make a cup of decadent cocoa, just add 1/3 cup of cocoa mix to 8 ounces of hot water or hot milk. Milk gives it a richer flavor and more nutrients, but hot water is perfectly sufficient since we are using whole milk powder which makes it creamy.
Stir thoroughly with a spoon. Some of the melted chocolate pieces may settle a bit in the bottom of your mug, which is fine, but you may need to stir it a bit more.
For the ultimate cup of hot chocolate, top with my homemade whipped cream, marshmallows, and/or crushed peppermint pieces!
How to Package the Hot Chocolate Mix for Gifting (free gift tags)
This healthy hot cocoa is an amazing homemade gift idea!
For individual servings, add 1/3 cup cocoa mix to a mini 4 oz. mason jar with added marshmallows on top.
For a larger gift, add 1 1/3 cup cocoa mix to a pint size mason jar. This is enough for 4 servings.
To make it even easier, I made some free cute gift tags with cocoa mix instructions. You can just tie them onto your jar with a bit of ribbon for the perfect gift! Great for friends, teachers, neighbors, etc.
Just click below to print them out! Tip: The tags are sturdier if you print on cardstock.
Hot cocoa variations & substitutions
- Add hot milk instead of water for a super rich, creamy, decadent beverage.
- You can omit the chocolate pieces if desired.
- Experiment with different types of sweeteners — just make sure it’s powdered.
- Top with marshmallows, whipped cream, and/or crushed peppermint.
Store the cocoa mix in a jar or airtight container, up to 6 months or even a year. Just check the expiration date on the powdered milk you used to get a more accurate date.
This homemade healthy hot chocolate mix is made with real food wholesome ingredients, and you can adjust the amount and type of sugar to your preference. It's rich & creamy, only takes 5 minutes to make and you just add boiling water for the perfect cup of cocoa. It's also a wonderful DIY gift idea!
- 2 1/2 cups powdered whole milk (I prefer goat milk from Mt. Capra) *
- 1 cup cacao powder, unsweetened
- 2 cups sugar ground into powder, such as panela cane or coconut sugar (or regular powdered sugar)
- 1 cup quality chocolate pieces, finely chopped (dark, milk, or white), optional
- 2 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder, optional (if storing long-term)
1. Add dry milk powder to a large bowl.
2. Sift cacao powder and powdered sweetener of choice to ensure there are no lumps. Add to bowl. Add cornstarch or arrowroot powder, if using.
3. Chop chocolate finely and add to mixture.
4. Whisk everything together thoroughly. Store in an airtight jar.
5. To reconstitute: Add 1/3 cup hot chocolate mixture to a mug along with 8 oz. hot water or hot milk.
6. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired. Enjoy!
* Alternatively, you could use regular powdered cow's milk or powdered coconut milk
** Optional healthy add-ins: collagen powder, colostrum powder, vanilla bean powder, or cinnamon
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 232Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 68mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 6g