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!
Even 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!
I 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.
I 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.
So 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
Vegan + Gluten-Free
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.
You 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!
A 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!