Kids Cook: Dairy Free Hot Chocolate (Nutritious too!)
Updated: Feb 9, 2021
It's winter, your kids just came in from the snow and want to cozy by the fire with hot cocoa. Or, if you're in San Diego like me, your crazy 14 year old just went surfing in 54 degree water and needs to warm up.
This cocoa recipe is gluten and dairy free (of course) and also has NO REFINED SUGAR and all the great health benefits of raw cacao powder.
Geek out on these health benefits. "Cacao powder is packed with flavonoids . These nutrients that have been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and aid in preventing blood clots."(WebMD) It also has iron, magnesium, protein, potassium and fiber which are big words that say it helps your overall health by putting good nutrients in your body. Iron specifically helps your body carry oxygen through your whole body. Your whole body needs oxygen for survival. So basically this hot chocolate is helping you survive. It's true, because it's medical science.
Parents, all kidding aside, don't forget to share these benefits with your kids. We joke that kids just want to eat junk all day. But the truth is, when we educate kids and teens on what foods are healthy and the specific things these foods are doing for their bodies they will choose the healthy foods most of the time. I don't think we give kids enough credit and enough independence to choose the right foods. Give them the knowledge and the training to cook and eat, then watch them create healthy meals right in your kitchen.
Do you only have cocoa powder, not cacao powder? What's the difference anyway? Cocoa powder is less bitter than cacao, but it loses some of its nutritional value during processing. However, don't let perfect be the enemy of done. In other words, if all you have on hand is cocoa powder then use that! We're not looking for perfection, we just want some yummy hot chocolate that our dairy free kids can enjoy and parents can feel good about.
Step by step directions with pictures! So kids, follow the steps on your own, no help needed.
1. Gather your ingredients: dairy free milk (We like oat, almond or a mix of the two), cacao or cocoa powder, maple syrup or honey, salt. You also need a mug and a small whisk or fork.
2. Fill (but not too full) your mug with dairy free milk of your choice. (Almond and oat are our favorites) This also works with dairy milk.
3. Add 1 teaspoon of cacao powder to cup
4. Add 1 Tablespoon of maple syrup (or honey if you don't have maple) to cup
5. Add a pinch (a little bit) of salt
6. Stir with the little whisk or a fork. A whisk is easier, but a fork works fine too. It won't be totally mixed, but that's ok.
7. Warm it up the microwave for 60 seconds. Stir more until it's combined.
8. Chef's tip! Taste it! Is it too bitter? Add more maple syrup. Too sweet? Add more cacao. Just add a little at a time because you can always add more, but you can't take it out once you've put it in.
9. If you want it hotter warm it up 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between.
10. Put away everything you got out and wipe off the counter. (That will make your parents happy and more willing to let you cook again next time!)
Enjoy your cocoa!
Please comment and let me know how this recipe worked for you!