Healthy Hot Chocolate (with veggies)
This healthy hot chocolate is a delicious, easy and homemade alternative to the commercially prepared mixes so many of us grew up on. Veggie-loaded with a little spinach for a little extra goodness, but no one will be able to tell. Made with just a handful of ingredients and takes just and takes just 5 minutes to make
It is officially December. The holidays are quickly (too quickly) approaching. The days are shorter. And the nights are definitely colder. Winter will be here in days and all I want to do is to curl up on my couch with wool socks, under a fuzzy blanket and sip on some of this healthy hot chocolate (with added veggies).
Living in San Diego, I never fully have to endure the cold of winter like so many other parts of the country. However, I know that not all of you live in Southern Cali with me (though you are welcome to and then we can hang out in person and veggie-load together) and need some goodies that will warm you and your crew up from the inside out.
So here is my veggie-loaded winter warm up offering. When maybe you enjoyed green smoothies with frozen fruit at breakfast or for a snack, you can now warm up with healthy hot chocolate with an added punch of veggies for good measure.
Wait….why did you add veggies? I mean, is there anything wrong with enjoying hot chocolate as is?
If this is the first recipe of mine you have happened upon or the idea of veggie-loading is still a new concept for you…I can totally get why adding spinach to hot chocolate might seem a bit weird to you.
And don’t get me wrong. I love a traditional cup of hot chocolate like so many other people. However, I am also someone who believes in the magic of veggie-loading. By adding veggies into lots places they might not normally be so that those little veggies added into our foods can add up into a lot of veggies in our overall diet. And isn’t that something we can all benefit from?
And let’s be honestly. Is adding spinach to hot chocolate any weirder than adding spinach to a smoothie? Not really. At least not in my book.
“So…do I tell my family it has veggies in it?”
That is the number 1 question I get when sharing veggie-loaded recipes. Do you tell your crew that you added some spinach into this healthy hot chocolate? Or do you keep it to yourself?
Honestly TNNers, thats a personal choice. Your family’s journey with food is unique with a unique set of circumstances that only you truly understand. So, you do what is right for you. But here is what I do….
Personally, I view veggie-loading as an opportunity to teach my young daughter that vegetables can be delicious and that there are lots of ways to enjoy them. They don’t have to just be a salad or a steamed pile of green on her dinner plate. They can be part of a smoothie, or a meatball, or a cookie. Or even hot chocolate. So, I personally tell her what vegetables I veggie-load her food with. Because I want her to not be intimidated by veggies and see them as a delicious and normal part of life that can be enjoyed in whatever way she loves best.
Want it to be sugar-free? Or naturally sweetened?
Easy enough! Simply replace the maple syrup with your favorite sugar-free alternative to taste! Or try adding a little ripe banana or a few soaked dates the blender to naturally sweeten it up!
Other veggies you could use in this healthy hot chocolate
If spinach is not your thing (or you just want to mix it up a little (pun intended)), there are lots of other veggies that you can add to this healthy hot chocolate that will be delicious and still add some awesome vitamins and minerals to this cozy treat.
- butternut squash puree
- pumpkin puree
- sweet potato puree.
- cooked beet
I would start with just a couple of tablespoons at first, but add more or less depending on your personal taste preference.
Want to make sure you always have spinach on hand for this Healthy Hot Chocolate? Check out my tips & tricks for keeping spinach fresh all week!
Other chocolate veggie-loaded recipes you are going to love
- Healthy Chocolate Muffins (with butternut squash)
- One-Bowl Paleo Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- Chocolate Banana Smoothie (with veggies)
- Chocolate Avocado Bread
Healthy Hot Chocolate (+ veggies)
- 2 cups milk of choice
- 1 small handful baby spinach, or to taste (I suggest starting with a small amount and adding more if you/your family is open to it)
- 2-3 tbsp maple syrup, or to taste
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp chocolate chips , Optional but adds a lovely richness to the hot chocolate (I used Enjoy Life brand)
- Combine milk, spinach, cocoa powder, and maple syrup in a blender. Run until spinach is completely pureed and there are no visible bits.
- Pour contents of blender into a medium saucepan and add chocolate chips (if using)
- Stir with a whisk over medium-low heat until everything is combined, chocolate chips are melted and hot chocolate is warm.
- Taste. Add more maple syrup or chocolate chips if desired.
- Enjoy warm and often! Top with marshmallows or whipped cream if desired