Just your average superfood, super-overpriced, new year new me, vegan drinking chocolate concoction. With benefits. Cause a little sugar makes the medicine go down, we all know that.
Story: as Zack and I were walking through frigid New York just before Christmas we kept joking about how we needed some vegan-healthy-superfood-hot chocolate-concoction to sip on while everyone else sipped on their liquid-chocolate-creamy-marshmallow-beverages (that are undoubtably pure bliss, don’t get me wrong). We came off a great momentum from our Bora Bora daily cardio, and while we aren’t opposed to indulging especially during the holidays, we wanted a hot chocolate that we could feel good about.
What started as a joke became a real craving, and so back in 60 degree Los Angeles winter we took to Erewhon to rip us off in the name of vegan hot chocolate. If you aren’t familiar with Los Angeles grocery shopping culture, Erewhon is a wonderfully overpriced health food grocery store that we love to hate and hate to love.
And as much as I enjoy calling this a “recipe”, it’s really just stirring some ingredients around in a saucepan. So to make up for what this post lacks in instructions, I have an overload of photos for you to scroll through and hopefully a little insight on some of the benefits of opting for a cup of this over the more tempting traditional hot coco.
I gathered the following ingredients, some from Erewhon and others I already had:
- Cacoco Drinking Chocolate, “The Original” (can be easily replaced with regular Cacao powder)
- Coconut Hempmilk / Califia Vanilla Almond Milk (substitute for your favorite non-dairy milk, I want to try this one next)
- Ground Cinnamon (not going to link because who doesn’t have cinnamon in their kitchen?)
- Organic Tumeric Root Powder
- Trader Joes Manuka Honey
- Soy Whip Whipped Cream (possibly the best tasting whipped cream substitute, v. impressed)
- Biovelle CBD Coconut Oil (what the heck is CBD oil? I’ll explain in a sec.)
Quick squad pic:
This was a drinking chocolate mix I found at Erewhon and it seemed more fun than regular cacao powder. I’m not sure how this would turn out without using this specific cacao brand, but from the combo of all these ingredients came EXACTLY the vegan hot drinking chocolate that I had imagined. And that, like, never happens when I’m craving something and attempt to create it, thus comes this blog post.
I also didn’t really follow any particular direction when it came to measurements, not that there were many directions to follow. The instructions on this package of drinking chocolate advised adding 4 tablespoons of powder per 2 ounces of milk, but my measurements were already flawed by the time I reached this step as my method for measuring out milk consisted of me filling two xlarge mugs with milk and dumping those into the pan. See images below that Zack took spying on me while I measure hempmilk incorrectly. I may have added just a little more milk than two mugs full, which was to account for evaporation. Thinking ahead at it’s finest. This technically was exactly how much milk we needed but definitley threw off all following measurements. A series of taste tests and approximately 10 tablespoons of the chocolate mix per 2 xlarge mugs of milk later I had a good base going.
I know I listed two types of milk here which might be confusing. This is only because Zack and I couldn’t agree on a type of milk to try, so we settled for both types. For the record, we ended up using the hempmilk and it was delicious.
Another side note about this Cacoco Drinking Chocolate is that the instructions also say you should blend, shake or whisk the mix into the heated milk, however I just aggressively stirred it on medium heat while adding the rest of the ingredients until there were no lumps and didn’t feel the need to do any blending. I’m sure blending would lead to good results too, and you’d probably get it to a milky consistency faster, but if you don’t have a blender handy or you’re just lazy, I’d say it’s mostly an unnecessary step.
Once I had a lump-free drinking chocolate base going I went on to adding the rest of my ingredients. I’m sure you can cut this whole thing short and just drink the chocolate at this point and it’ll taste great, but we wanted our drinks to have a little more pizzaz.
Next I added a tablespoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of turmeric, and a dollop of Manuka honey. I am also a huge fan of making “golden milk” which is another warm, turmeric-heavy non-dairy milk beverage, but I wanted this to taste closer to a hot chocolate drink than a turmeric drink so I went easy on the turmeric. You can obviously adjust these additions to your liking, for example if your milk is already sweet you may not require so much honey. Another great addition could be maca powder which brings its own impressive lineup of health benefits.
Manuka honey’s health benefits are outstanding due to it being so naturally antibacterial. To be considered potent enough to be therapeutic, Manuka honey needs a minimum rating of 10 UMF, UMF standing for Unique Manuka Factor which is a scale that measures the amount of MG (methylglyoxal) in the honey, the compound found in Manuka honey that gives it an antibiotic effect. This TJs Manuka is labeled as having 10+ UMF, and I’ve been drinking it in tea and coffee for a couple years now. To get an idea for the benefits of Manuka honey do a quick google search and you’ll instantly be overwhelmed with the amount of information out there, but you may begin to understand why it’s so expensive. I like it because it boosts immunity and it’s great for the skin, plus the 821 other amazing things it does for your health. End Manuka rant.
Side note, the best place to sit in the kitchen is always the counter, no matter how many chairs or stools you may own.
The last ingredient I put into the drinking chocolate is entirely optional, but hugely beneficial… and we’re making superfood drinking chocolate here, after all. I recently learned about this stuff and it’s benefits and this is one of the first times I’ve tried it, so I’m no expert here but I’m excited about how this could improve my daily life and overall wellness. Enter: CBD oil.
CBD oil, or “Cannabidiol”. For those who don’t know what that is (which I assume is most of us) you may be thinking this sounds like something weed-related, and it is, but don’t worry. This is very PG. CBD oil is a compound that is extracted from the cannabis plant that contains vast benefits but is without the usual effects on your sensory system. That’s because CBD is completely 100% non-psychoactive (no “high” feeling, whatsoever). That’s a big selling point for me, as this wouldn’t be a product I would personally use or enjoy if it were mind-altering.
What this stuff does do though might surprise you, and most likely could benefit your quality of life in some way. Most of the benefits of CBD oil stem from it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows that CBD oil has an impact on anxiety management, and can provide anxiety relief by having an effect on the way your brain receptors respond to serotonin. This for me is hugely beneficial as I’ve begun to battle a degree of anxiousness in recent years.
But perhaps a bit more significant are the results that CBD oil has shown as a means to a cure or therapy for a variety of conditions and diseases that were found to be previously untreatable. To name a few I’ve read about – neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, epilepsy, the list goes on.
It may also help with general pain relief, insomnia, depression, even acne. I highly encourage anyone who is curious to do some more research on what studies have been done with CBD oil and what science-backing it already has. The internet per usual will provide you with a lot more information than I can. I am simplifying CBD oil’s known benefits here for the sake of anyone who didn’t want to read a full blown scientific eassy on a lifestyle blog.
I first became aware of the potential of CBD oil through friends who were beginning to use it for it’s benefits, and as more and more studies emerge that prove it to be a treatment for so many different conditions I’ve started to add it into warm drinks (like this vegan hot chocolate) and plan on taking it frequently this year. This specific coconut oil infused with CBD is actually a product my friend recently launched, and she’s offering my followers a free mini (4oz) jar with any purchases through my code “Helen”, in case anyone out there is interested in trying it with me this year!
Next, I poured our liquid magic into the aforementioned xlarge mugs. Then comes the fun part, WHIPPED CREAM! I added massive mountains of whipped cream to both our mugs, and then sprinkled those mountains with some cinnamon as a pretty garnish.
Lastly, this delicious soul-warming and health-bettering beverage is best enjoyed with a good movie, we watched The Family Man. A Christmas classic and favorite of Zack’s that I hadn’t seen before and it hit all the feels.
I really hope that everyone has emerged from their holiday cocoons full of love and joy and is looking at the beginning of a wonderful year. A very Happy New Year to everyone who is reading this post, I appreciate your attention span more than you know. Sending my love! xx
Thanks for the post. Please keep continuing
Hi. May I know what site of blog did you use in posting blogs? I admire your simplicity in posting a blogs and design.
please pick me for your giveaway!!! 😍 I’ve thought about if I were to win all day and Im so excited!
can I just say how glad I am that you’re doing blog posts! I love and always read them so please continue doing so. (enjoyed this one so much)
Would also love to see more recipes/what you eat/skincare/makeup routines/ workout routines and just anything you’ve been loving/enjoying. And maybe even youtube videos (fingers crossed). I loved Zack’s Youtube channel as well!
Looks so amazing Helen! I love seeing your posts on Instagram, Snapchat and your blog. Could you do a post soon on your workouts and daily eating? (Meals, snacks, etc)
I just read your blog for the first time and I love it. But I was wondering where are all your old blog posts? I found out that you had a former blog but didn’t you transfer your content? I really would like to see more of your former blog posts. Can you also post about your everyday life? That would be nice *_*
I love your red two piece! It looks super cozy! Where did you get it? :)
Hi Helen! This was a great post, I’m super excited to try this hot chocolate recipe. Can you do a post on your skincare and makeup routines, especially for when you’re traveling so much? Your skin always looks so nice and natural!
Hey Erin! Thanks for your kind words! :) Means so much that you read and liked the post. I am planning to do lots of skincare blog posts very soon! Thanks so much for the suggestion. I’m excited to share that with you soon. Have an amazing weekend! x
LOVE this! Thanks so much for the post! I’ve been craving the same thing, but never found the time to create my own. Definitely will be copying this recipe :)
Hi! YAY! Can’t wait for you to try, it’s so good! Definitley hits the spot. :) xx
Random question Helen but what Chapstick do you recommend? Winter’s got my lips so dry :(
Hi Frankie! Love random comments :) I recommend Burts Bees (my fave) the peppermint one gives you that tingle without it being medicated. Also Kopari beauty makes a great lip saver called “Lip Love”, I use that one a lot too for more of a glossy chapstick! Hope this helps. xx
I’ve just started taking CBD oil a little while ago (the liquidy one which you’re supposed to put under the tongue) because I was suffering from a lot of headaches and only after 5 days I felt so much better and haven’t had a single headache since then. This stuff works real magic!!
Hi Johanna! That is amazing… so cool to hear that CBD oil is something that’s worked for you. Headaches are the worst, I get them sometimes too and will def be trying this next time instead of usual painkillers. Thanks so much for your comment and for reading this post! xxx
Thanks for sharing. I was just wondering if this drink is really vegan? As far as I know Manuka honey isn’t vegan.
Hi Susie! Thanks for your comment. And you are right, with honey added this couldn’t be considered fully vegan. I guess I was using “vegan” as a term to mean dairy-free in regard to regular hot chocolate, and honey slipped my mind as a non-vegan product. Thanks for catching that! x
Hi Helen! Thank you for having shared it! (:
Could I ask you if you know some sites where to buy even from Italy good products to eat?
This is Super Cool Helen! Thanks for sharing. I hope you do more posts like this in the future. As a former California girl, now struggling in NYC I really appreciate a healthy lifestyle….and oh my goodness Erewhon! You’re absolutely right, I loved to hate that place…but miss it so much out here in NYC… especially that juice bar! Happy New Year to you and Zack! Xx
Hi Susana! Ah thanks for your kind words fellow Erewhonian! I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling in NYC. I’m sure that’s takes a lot of adjusting to… being from California it’s like a whole different world in New York. I found a bunch of health food spots while I was in NYC this year so if you do a little hunting I’m sure you can find some gems! Wishing you an amazing new year as well and hope you stay warm in the big FREEZING apple! xx
please do more food posts on foods you eat/like on a daily basis!
Hi Helen! I love reading your blogs. I am really into health and fitness too and am interested in your diet and workout routine. I would also love if you would read my newest blog post about 2017 and 2018. Thanks so much. Hope you are having a good start to your new year!
Read it, loved it. Thanks for reading mine! xx
Really loving your blog! <3 Your lifestyle and fashion posts and photos are a huge inspo for me!
Hi Maggie! YAY makes me so happy to know you like it! Thanks so much for reading, means the world to me. Sending you my love! xx
Amazing, thanks for sharing this!! I think I will try all your magical ingredients.
Reading this article, I was wondering if you could ever write an article explaining your daily routine about food (for example what you usually eat for breakfast and at night, what you try to never eat, your « cheat meals »,…), about your lifestyle and how you manage to stay healthy in daily life. Im trying to keep a healthy lifestyle right now and Im looking for some inspiration. It would be so nice of you. Thank you so much !!
Anyway, keep writing, its a real pleasure ;-)
*a belgian fan*
Hi Anaïs! Thank you so much for your comment and kind words. :) I would love to do a post that gets more specific with my general diet and lifestyle when it comes to health. Look out for that soon! And it’s amazing you’re from Belgium, I hope to visit this year! Sending you my love xxx
Looks so amazing! Will you post your cookie recipe as well?
Hi Lauren!! Thank you for reading :)
I’ll definitely post cookie and other recipies soon! These cookies we ate with the drinking chocolate were actually vegan chocolate chip cookies we bought from the health food store BUT I’d love to do a real cookie receipie soon!
Mile High Dreamers
Holy YUM. This looks amazing and chocolatey and epic in all the right ways. Ben and I have been eyeing the Manuka honey at Costco, but haven’t taken the plunge yet because it’s so crazy expensive. Maybe I’ll do a little more research so I can fully commit haha. BUT, coming from CO, we are all about the CBD oil, and infusing it into coconut oil is GENIUS.
Our favorite vegan hot cocoa toppings are SO Delicious CocoWhip (coconut milk based whipped topping in the freezer section, it’ll literally change your life), and Dandies vegan marshmallows. Both are honestly better than their non-vegan versions!
Thanks for sharing this, we’re definitely going to make a batch tonight!
Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com
Saw your comment first but I was on a plane and my phone wouldn’t let me respond! So cool you guys are already into CBD oil! I’m a newbie but so far I love it, excited to see how it benefits me health-wise this year. And Manuka honey is totes worth the money in my opinion, it’s amazing for the immune system! I eat it by the spoonful if I have a sore throat haha. And OMG I need to try that CocoWhip! Trader Joes had a coconut whip cream product for the week of Thanksgiving and they discontinued it much to my heartbreak so I am on the hunt for something similar and that sounds amazing. Def gonna look for it, plus those marshmallows. Wish I knew about those before I did this hot chocolate post!
Hope you guys are having the best start to the year so far :) xxx