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Vanilla Chai Hot Cocoa

in Desserts, Drinks, Recipes

A warm, cozy protein and veggie-packed hot cocoa perfect for a snowy afternoon.  Let’s all make hot cocoa a little less traditional and a lot more delicious and nutritious!

Vanilla Chai Hot Cocoa 5Even though most people think that I am crazy for saying this, I actually enjoy snow.  I think it is beautiful, calming, and peaceful… well, as long as I am able to stay inside!  And if I get a work-from-home day on top of that, well that is just icing on the cake!

Vanilla Chai Hot Cocoa 3I have to admit that I have been a little disappointed with the winter I have experienced so far in Nebraska this year.  We have maybe had three “snows” all season, and only two of them were even substantial.  Now don’t get my wrong.  I am not at all interested in the snow craziness that has been hitting the Northeast, but I have been missing that white blanket of snow outside on the ground.

Since I am a snow lover (within reason), I was pretty ecstatic when Omaha received somewhere between six to eight inches of fluffy goodness a couple of weeks back.  The only negative was that it was on a weekend.  No snow day for this girl.  I did, however, have the pleasure of spending 25 minutes of my Sunday afternoon in the blustery weather clearing off my car so that I would not have to worry about it the next morning.  And understandably so, I had hot cocoa on the brain about halfway through the brushing and scraping.

Vanilla Chai Vega OneI am definitely a traditional hot cocoa fan, but every now and then I like to experiment with different flavor combinations.  When Vega One sent me a goodie pack a little while back, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to use the vanilla chai flavor.  If I’m being honest, I was a little uncertain as to whether or not I would even like it.  The chocolate and french vanilla flavors are no brainers for me, but I have never considered myself much of a “chai” kind of girl.

Vanilla Chai Hot CocoaSo instead of throwing it into one of my green smoothies, I did something crazy and threw it into my hot cocoa!  I guess I figured that I couldn’t possibly go wrong if chocolate was involved.

Much to my slight surprise, I loved it- chai flavor and all!  I also really enjoyed the fact that this hot cocoa had tons of hidden protein and veggies thrown in.  Trust me when I say that nobody would ever, ever guess that there are greens in this chai chocolately goodness.

Vanilla Chai Hot Cocoa 2Vanilla Chai Hot Cocoa
Vegan + Gluten-Free

Serves 1


1 1/2 cups vegan milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
2 TB Vega One Vanilla Chai Nutritional Shake powder
2 TB cacao or cocoa powder
One 2-inch piece of dark chocolate OR 2 TB dark chocolate chips
Vegan marshmallows, additional chocolate chips, and/or cinnamon, optional


1. Combine milk, Vega One, and cacao powder in a blender and pulse until mixed well.  You can also use a shaker cup, or whisk together vigorously.

2. Pour mixture into small sauce pan and warm on the stove over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until warm.

3. Stir in dark chocolate piece or chips.  Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until hot and the chocolate has fully melted.

4. Pour into your favorite mug.  Top with vegan marshmallows, chocolate chips, and/or cinnamon, if desired.

Vanilla Chai Hot Cocoa 4You can certainly top off your hot cocoa with vegan marshmallows, chocolate chips, and/or cinnamon (all of which would be delicious), but sometimes I like to keep things plain Jane.  There is nothing wrong with simplicity, especially on a freezing cold afternoon!

vanilla chai hot cocoaA pretty picture of your hot cocoa next to the snow is completely optional with this recipe.  Though it is incredibly Instagram-worthy, so I highly recommend it.

Please let me know if you try this out.  I’d also love to hear if you make it with chocolate or french vanilla protein powder.  I bet both would be crazy delicious!

Have you made a non-traditional hot cocoa before?
What are your favorite hot cocoa toppings?

Disclaimer: I was provided with free Vega One, but was not compensated in any way for this post.  I simply LOVE my Vega!

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{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine February 15, 2015, 7:15 am
    When I was a wee little kid, I LOVED the Swiss Miss hot cocoa with the mini marshmallow in the packet. Even though the "marshmallows" would melt away in .5 second flat, I always thought that mix just tasted better ;) Hahahaha! OR frozen cool whip! It would be like that frozen mountain on top of a hot steaming mug of cocoa ;) Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted...Friday Finisher 2/13/15My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl February 15, 2015, 9:54 am
      I've never tried frozen cool whip on my hot cocoa... but holy cow does that sound amazing!
  • Sabrina @ Nutritiously Sweet February 15, 2015, 8:38 am
    That vanilla chai Vega is delicious! I love non-traditional uses on protein powders. It looks yummy and perfect for a winter day! :) Sabrina @ Nutritiously Sweet recently posted...Tender, Love & Care My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl February 15, 2015, 9:54 am
      Thanks, Sabrina!! I hope you give it a try during some of these cold months! :)
  • Mags February 15, 2015, 10:51 am
    Chocolate and Chai are an amazing combo. This looks delicious, though I don't know if I could handle all that snow! Mags recently posted...Disney Fantasy- Disney Cruise Line’s Newest ShipMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl February 15, 2015, 11:57 am
      It really is! I don't know why I had never thought to combine the two before, but I am so glad that I did!
  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul February 15, 2015, 12:09 pm
    This sounds yummy!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl February 15, 2015, 1:58 pm
      Thanks, Erin!! It's pretty darn delicious if I do say so myself :)
  • Ashley February 15, 2015, 2:32 pm
    I feel the same way about snow - I like it! As long as I don't have to travel or go anywhere in it!! :) This hot cocoa looks delicious! It's soooo cold here today - I wish I had some to warm up with! Ashley recently posted...Homemade Chocolate Syrup (For Chocolate Milk)My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl February 15, 2015, 2:43 pm
      It's freezing cold here, too, today! I don't like it :( But I guess I'll take the excuse to make some hot cocoa! Have a great rest of your weekend :)
  • Farrah February 15, 2015, 8:54 pm
    I love chai! :]! This looks like such an awesome comforting drink for the cold weather we've been having lately! Farrah recently posted...Foodie Friday: 炸醬麵 (Fried Sauce Noodles)My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl February 16, 2015, 11:21 am
      It really is! All I want when it's freezing cold is a cozy, warm drink. This definitely fits the bill.

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