Nourishing Hot Chocolate (With Coconut Oil!)
If you’ve heard of the many benefits of coconut oil, and you’re trying to work more of it into your child’s diet, this hot chocolate recipe is a great option! Coconut oil is particularly good for children because the fats are essential for a growing brain and body, and it also has anti-viral and anti-bacterial health properties, so it boosts kids’ immune systems. You can add as much coconut oil to it as you’d like, but it’s important to completely emulsify the oil in with the other ingredients, so a blender, food processor, or immersion blender works best. You could probably whip it fast enough by hand with a fork for the oil not to separate too much, but it gets really delicious and creamy with a blending device.
I don’t consume much dairy, so I usually use a replacement milk of some kind. My favorite is Native Forest’s coconut milk (watered down for recipes like this). It’s organic with no additives, and the can is BPA-free. I rarely buy almond, coconut, hemp, or flax milk in the carton because it has additives like synthetic vitamin D and carrageenan, but I sometimes get it if the store is out of coconut milk. Flax milk is what I had on hand, and it is great for Omega-3s, which is another essential fat for kids. Homemade nut/seed milks are also a great option.
I used raw local honey and a couple drops of vanilla stevia to sweeten this batch of hot chocolate, but you could use other unrefined sweeteners, like coconut crystals, coconut sap, real Grade B maple syrup, or Rapadura.
This recipe makes just one small serving, so feel free to increase the amounts for a larger batch.
3/4 Cup milk or milk replacement
1 Tbs coconut oil
1/2 Tbs – 1 Tbs raw honey, depending on how sweet you want it.
1/2 Tbs – 1 Tbs fair-trade cocoa powder, depending on how chocolatey your kids like it. High quality cocoa powder is high in iron and anti-oxidants, boosting the nutrients of this treat!
Splash of real vanilla extract or vanilla stevia (optional)
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. Warm gently until the honey and oil are melting, then blend with the immersion blender until smooth.
If you are using a blender or food processor, warm the milk first, then put it in the device. Add the other ingredients and blend, being careful not to burn yourself with the liquid. The milk must be warm enough for the oil to melt, but not so hot that it damages the blender or burns anyone. If you are making a larger batch, only put a small amount of the warm liquid in the blender with the other ingredients, otherwise it might get messy. Once the coconut oil is emulsified with the warm milk, you can add it to the rest of the liquid in the saucepan, and gently heat it altogether.
Let the mixture cool to a kid-safe temperature, then watch your child enjoy a healthy, nourishing, warming treat!
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