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Simple Healthy Protein Hot Chocolate (Dairy-Free)

Protein hot chocolate is the best way to warm up on a chilly day! This cozy, comforting cup of piping hot cocoa is naturally sugar free, dairy free and so creamy and delicious! You are not going to believe how amazing this vegan protein hot chocolate is to drink!

Hand holding handle of mug of protein hot chocolate.

Why this recipe works:

  • This recipe only has 3 ingredients and takes 3 minutes total to make!
  • You are never going to want to go back to those packets of hot cocoa mix again! This simple protein hot chocolate has those packets beat and the ingredient list is short and simple!
  • Cut out some of the added carbs by replacing all that sugar with protein powder.
  • Use your favorite dairy free milk for a creamy, dreamy dairy free hot chocolate!
  • Pair with protein waffles for brunch or super simple protein brownies for an afternoon snack.
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What do you need to make protein hot chocolate?

  • Dairy free milk
  • Chocolate protein powder
  • Cacao powder
  • Milk Frother

What kind of protein do you need to make protein hot chocolate?

For this recipe, I highly recommend a vegan protein powder. It helps create that creamy hot chocolate effect that those powdered hot cocoa packets provide.

The protein powder I used in this recipe is Nuzest protein. It’s a pea protein that has very simple, clean ingredients and no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners!

If you cannot have vegan protein powder, you could try a paleo protein powder, but I would not advise whey protein, as it has a tendency to clump up as soon as you are done stirring it.

White mug filled with protein hot chocolate with whipped cream.

What is cacao powder and is it different than cocoa powder?

Cacao powder is made from cold pressing unroasted cacao beans, giving it a less bitter flavor. Cacao powder is more nutrient dense than cocoa powder, providing more magnesium, iron and fiber than traditional cocoa powder. Since cacao powder is never roasted, the cacao powder also maintains many of the antioxidant properties you hear about in chocolate.

Cocoa powder is often more bitter than cacao powder. It’s made from roasted and ground cacao beans.

When you are making protein hot chocolate, make sure you grab a bag of cacao powder from the store (you can get it at most grocery stores and at Trader Joe’s). If you have to use cocoa powder, you may need some additional sweetener to offset the slightly bitter taste from the cocoa powder.

How to make protein hot chocolate

Step 1: Heat the milk in a separate container (I like to use a glass liquid measuring cup) in the microwave for 2 minutes on high. Alternatively you can heat the milk on the stove in a pan on medium low heat until up to temperature.

Step 2: Add about ½ cup of milk to the mug. Add the protein powder and cacao powder to the milk.

Step 3: Blend the mixture in the cup with a milk frother until the protein powder and cacao powder is dissolved completely (only takes a few seconds).

Step 4: Add the rest of the milk.

Steps to make protein hot chocolate.

Step 5: Add optional dairy free whipping cream. Enjoy!

What kind of milk can you use to make dairy free hot chocolate?

You can use whatever your favorite dairy free milk is! You want to choose unsweetened milk and I would recommend using something that comes in the paper containers (no canned coconut milk). Some great options include:

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Can you make your own protein hot chocolate mix?

Yes! Simply combine equal parts chocolate protein powder and cacao powder and store it in an air tight container for up to 3 months.

When you want to make protein hot chocolate, simply scoop out 2 tablespoons of this protein hot cocoa mixture into the cup in step 2.

NOTE: You will want to use 2 tablespoons of this mixture for every 1.5 cups of liquid to make hot chocolate.

Other ways to enjoy protein hot chocolate?

  • Add the protein hot cocoa mix to hot coffee and enjoy it like a mocha.
  • Add a few drops of peppermint extract to the hot chocolate for a peppermint hot chocolate.
  • Add and extra ½ tablespoon of cacao, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to make a Mexican hot chocolate.
Mug full of protein hot chocolate with spoons to the left.

Why do you need a milk frother to make the best protein hot chocolate?

My milk frother is the secret weapon to making the best hot chocolate! The milk frother vibrates at a high frequency, helping break up clumps and creating a smooth, perfect cup of hot chocolate every time! It’s also great to froth your milk before adding it to coffee to make it extra fancy!

If you don’t have a milk frother, they are pretty inexpensive but you can also use a high speed blender to do this.   

If you are going to use a high speed blender, only add ½ cup of the milk (just like the directions indicate) as you don’t want to blend a lot of hot liquid at once.

What can you serve with protein hot chocolate?

What do you need to make this recipe:

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Protein hot chocolate topped with whipped cream in a white mug.

Simple Vegan Protein Hot Chocolate

Protein hot chocolate is the perfect healthy cozy afternoon or evening drink! This healthy recipe is so easy to make and so incredibly creamy. This easy vegan recipe has no added sugar and tastes amazing!
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hot chocolate, protein hot chocolate, protein hot cocoa
Prep Time: 2 mins
Cook Time: 2 mins
Total Time: 4 mins
Servings: 1

Guided Recipe Video

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Microwave the dairy free milk in a separate mug or glass for 2 minutes until hot.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the liquid to your mug. Add the protein powder and cacao powder to the hot milk.
  • Use a frother (or a high speed blender) to combine the milk, protein powder and cacao powder.
  • Add the rest of the hot milk to the mug.
  • Top with optional dairy free whipped cream and enjoy!

Notes

NOTE: For every 1.5 c ups of liquid you will want to add 1 tablespoon of protein powder and 1 tablespoon of cacao powder. 
Choose your favorite dairy free (unsweetened milk). Some great options are:
  • Almond milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Oat milk
  • Flax milk
Cacao powder is less bitter than cocoa powder. If you don’t have cacao powder and you have to use cocoa powder, you may need to add some sweetener (of choice) to balance out the bitter taste from the cocoa powder. 
Other ways to enjoy protein hot chocolate?
  • Add the protein hot cocoa mix to hot coffee and enjoy it like a mocha.
  • Add a few drops of peppermint extract to the hot chocolate for a peppermint hot chocolate.
  • Add and extra ½ tablespoon of cacao, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to make a Mexican hot chocolate.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
94
Fat
 
5
g
Carbohydrates
 
5
g
Fiber
 
3
g
Sugar
 
1
g
Protein
 
9
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in January of 2016, but was published again in November 2019 to include step by step directions, recipe notes and new photos

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