Vegan Hot Chocolate
This super rich and creamy hot chocolate is vegan and paleo. Skip the mix packets and make healthier homemade hot chocolate yourself with just a few pure ingredients from nature.
I had so many recipes I wanted to shoot and share for December. But life has a way of throwing off our plans at times. The Thomas Fire, which is currently burning in the Santa Barbara hills, and already destroyed many homes in Ventura, completely changed all our plans for the week. The air quality is so unsafe to breathe that we can’t go outside without wearing masks, and school has been cancelled until after the holiday break. The sky is an ominous orange-brown that makes shooting in natural light nearly impossible. And since I work on the blog mostly when the girls are at school, and in the wee hours of the morning, my recipe calendar is getting ignored. Please bare with me if I take little breaks the rest of this month. I also want to say that I’m thinking of all my friends who have been evacuated and worried about their homes, and give my gratitude to all the firefighters and firefighter families out there who are sacrificing their holidays to help. Now on to the hot chocolate!
I’m so pleased to get to share this comforting holiday (or anytime, really) treat with you. Have you ever had real Italian or French hot chocolate? It is worlds beyond hot chocolate mix packets. It’s so thick you’re tempted to eat it with a spoon and absolutely delicious. I’ve been craving a thick, rich, and creamy hot chocolate lately, and this recipe completely scratched that itch. This super creamy vegan and paleo hot chocolate is made with pure and simple secret ingredients. Want to know what they are? It might sound weird at first, but trust me on this one.
The secret ingredient to this creamy vegan hot chocolate is… cashews! I continue to be amazed by the things cashews can do. When blended they become so incredibly creamy they can make the creamiest dairy-free “cheese” and vegan paleo cheesecakes. The trick to creamy cashew based treats that don’t taste nutty is to use raw cashews rather than roasted. I first saw Unbelievably Good Cashew Coffee on Pinch of Yum and was intrigued. To make the loveliest creamy “latte” all you need to do is toss some cashews into a blender with your coffee and give it a whirl. I tried it, and it was indeed amazing.
It makes perfect sense, if you think about it. Cashew milk is incredibly popular as a plant based milk and ice cream base. When you blend cashews with coffee or water then, you’re really just making cashew milk. Unlike making almond milk, cashews don’t need any straining, and don’t produce any meal to be discarded. The whole nut gets blended into creaminess in a matter of seconds. While I usually soak cashews for things like vegan cheesecakes, in this recipe I toss them straight into my Vitamix. If you don’t have a high powered blender like a Blendtec or Vitamix, you may want to give them a soak in hot water for an hour first.
This paleo + vegan hot chocolate recipe takes just a minute to prepare. All the ingredients jump in the blender and get blended. Please be extra careful blending hot liquids! You can make yourself a decadent mocha latte the same way! Just swap the water out for coffee. Winter just got a little tastier with this vegan hot chocolate!
Vegan Paleo Hot Chocolate
- heaping 1/2 cup cashews (I used raw unsalted)
- 2 cups hot filtered water
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cacao (I used Trader Joe’s organic cacao)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup or coconut sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of pink or sea salt
- Place all ingredients into the blender. Cover, but leave a very small vent. Cover the lid with a towel and blend, starting on low speed and increasing to medium-high. Be very careful blending hot liquids! Blend for about 40 seconds until very smooth.
- Pour into a saucepan over very low heat. Stir constantly until hot chocolate has reached your desired temperature. Taste and add more sweetener if desired. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cacao.
Make it a mocha latte by swapping coffee for the water! Oh yes! This recipe thickens as it cools and is also great served cold.