Healthiest Cup of Creamy & Thick Hot Chocolate, Dairy Free

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Healthiest Cup of Hot Cocoa Ever - Dairy Free

Here is a recipe born of a mama’s desire to fulfill her kiddos chocolately dreams.

Come winter, my kids lust after the stuff, so creating a hot chocolate that was more of a nutritious boost rather than a straight cup of sugar was my job.

On a recent December day, we decided to brave our outdoor family pictures  (Thank you Haley Graham!) that had already been rescheduled THREE times.  Sure, it was cold, and YES it was rainy, and it was quite windy to boot: but I was so sick and tired of rescheduling, I decided we would brave it come hell or high water.

“Come on kids…lets find our winter coats, hats, and gloves!”  Meanwhile, in the back of my head I am not really accepting that our pictures will in be our bundled up attire…..oh no…we have loads of cute clothes on ready for those Kodak moments.

Well…let’s just say there is ONE thing I did right on this outing:  I planned for hot cocoa.  And here you see a little window into our family’s outing…with this very recipe that I now share with you.IMG_2499


I prefer my hot chocolate rich, creamy, thick, and with lots of dark chocolate flavor.  You can easily adjust the cocoa powder and sweetener in this recipe to meet your tastes and dietary needs.  All honey would work for GAPS, and straight cane sugar works for those who only have that on hand.  If candida is an issue…look to xylitol…it’s your choice!  Each sweetener has it’s own flavor and characteristics, so use what you like.

The gelatin and pumpkin puree add thickness and body to this cup of chocolate without providing any flavor…and they sneak in a serving of vegetables, and some gut healing/protein loaded gelatin for good measure.  Did you know real beef gelatin has 9 grams of protein per tablespoon?  I promise…no one will taste them..they are simply the sneaky goodness.  Something about that thickness on your tongue makes it seem more decadent!!  You can keep increasing the pumpkin puree until you reach your taste threshold…I never use a measuring cup.

If you are vegan, using 2 tablespoons of coconut flour is a great way to add thickness in place of the gelatin.

I have also used sweet potato instead of pumpkin and it works just as well…my kids are none the wiser…and this momma feels a bit better about serving a cup of cocoa!IMG_2509

4.7 from 3 reviews
Healthiest Cup of Hot Chocolate, Dairy Free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk (I prefer at least half to be full-fat coconut milk or homemade creamy nut milk)
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ⅓ cup palm sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (many cheap ones TASTE cheap....keep this in mind! I love Dagoba)
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin (optional, choose a variety from grass-fed cows!)
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid stevia, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon real sea salt
  1. In a saucepan, whisk together all ingredients.
  2. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer over medium low heat, whisking occasionally.
  3. Heat to desired temperature and enjoy!

Healthiest Cup of Thick & Creamy Hot Cocoa - PALEO

This post was shared on My Meatless Monday, Make Your Own Monday, Natural Living Monday, Meal Plan Monday, Tasteful Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Hearth & Soul, Traditional Tuesdays,Seasonal Celebration Wednesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Kids in the Kitchen,GF Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Keep It Real Thursdays, Eco Kids Tuesday, Pennywise Platter, Wellness Weekend, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, GF Friday, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Simple Meals Friday, WHole Foods Friday, Made From Scratch Monday, Weekend Whole Foods Blender Party

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When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

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25 comments on “Healthiest Cup of Creamy & Thick Hot Chocolate, Dairy Free
  1. Oh wow Tess! I think I’m going to have to get my pumpkin puree out of the freezer to make this! Thanks for sharing with Natural Living Monday!

  2. lori says:

    Wow! What an interesting and creative recipe! I have to try it! Thanks for sharing, Lori

  3. Laura says:

    Brilliant Tessa! I make hot chocolate almost every day (it’s -11 today!) and have never thought to thicken it more. Thank you. Love the pictures! Your family is beautiful.

  4. Ok those pictures are totally adorable! WHat a fabulous idea to have brought hot chocolate, since your kids are especially cute with those mugs!

  5. Lauren says:

    This looks awesome! Never would have thought to add gelatin, but what a genius way to thicken it! I will definitely be trying it out!

  6. Balvinder says:

    Never would have thought to add gelatin and pumpkin puree to hot chocolate. This seems incredibly healthy and yummy! Love all the pictures.

  7. What a great idea!!! Huh, pumpkin puree, who would’ve guessed? I’m a bit heavy handed with sneaking it into my kids’ food too, but hadn’t thought of this sneaky awesome option. Thanks!
    Thanks for linking up at H2W as well :-)

  8. Lisa Lynn says:

    Yum 😛 I would love to have you join The HomeAcre Hop at:

  9. Hannah says:

    Oh I like all your various options to fit various diets. We would use Stevia, but the gelatin would be something new for us.. Please consider sharing your post with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday Link-Up.

  10. I am intrigued! I bet it is nice and thick. I’m always trying to sneak more veggies into our diet, so I will be trying this ASAP! The kids will love having a ‘special treat’ of hot chocolate and I will feel good about it! Visiting from Miz Helen’s!

  11. Lisa Lynn says:

    The pumpkin is kind of surprising…but I bet it tastes great :) Thanks for linking up to Wildcrafting Wednesday and The HomeAcre Hop!!!

  12. This hot chocolate sounds delicious! And the photos are so cute, especially the last one.

    Visiting from Healthy Vegan Friday :)

  13. Ana says:

    Ohh, I make my thick and creamy dairy-free hot chocolate the very same way by adding pumpkin puree to it! The method makes amazing lattes too :-)
    The one thing I do different than yours though is that I add a bit of very fine milled flax seeds, and that helps to make it even thicker. I am guessing it provides similar results to your addition of gelatin.

  14. How cool! Always looking for more ways to add in gelatin. Thanks for the tip.

    Thanks for sharing at Simple Meals Friday. See you next week!

  15. My boys would love this! And I love your family pics :) Thanks also for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday. See you again next week!

  16. Miz Helen says:

    This is sure Hot Chocolate weather, this looks delicious. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  17. Peggy says:

    I would never have thought of putting pumpkin in hot chocolate! What a great idea.

  18. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  19. Rebecca says:

    I just love this idea of using pumpkin purée in a hot chocolat drink. This sounds yummy! Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday’s Seasonal Celebration! Rebecca@ Natural Mothers Network x

  20. This sounds great! Do you think it would make a huge different if we left the gelatin out? We don’t eat that. This sounds fantastic! Thanks for linking up at Gluten Free Fridays!

  21. Peggy says:

    I came back to say I tried this just now. I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin so I was a bit leary, but this was delicious! I didn’t have gelatin, so I skipped that, but it seemed to turn out fine without it. I guess it maybe wasn’t as thick, but still very good and actually quite filling!

  22. amber says:

    Such sweet pictures, Tessa! Love. And what a great, creative drink. You know I love the chocolate and pumpkin combo. And the gelatin is just genius. I’ll be giving this one a try for sure.

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Welcome, I am happy you are here!

My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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