These Tasty Brands Will Help You Up Your Hot Chocolate Game
But when you've tried out as many great brands as we have, the plain old powdered mixes you get at the grocery store stop cutting it. We're looking for creamier textures, stronger and more diverse flavors and even wellness benefits when we decide to sip. Want to find out what we're drinking? Keep reading for the tasty brands we've been using to up our hot chocolate game.
The perfect cup of hot chocolate starts with a great base, and with fewer and fewer people drinking cow's milk, you might be on the lookout for the closest option possible. While we've had plenty of plant-based kinds of milk in our time, NotMilk gets closer with both flavor and texture than anything else we've tried. It's available in Whole, 2% Reduced Fat and 1% varieties, so you have plenty of options depending on your preferences for your own hot chocolate, and it's also free of lactose, soy, gluten, cholesterol and GMOs to give you that classic, creamy hot chocolate flavor and feel, but without the dairy. And, they also have chocolate milk flavor, in case you just want to heat it up to enjoy.
70% of the chocolate in the world comes from West Africa, and maybe that's why the brand Midunu and their Adwoa Dark Chocolate Mix really hits the spot. It's a blend of the best authentic dark chocolate with a mix of bold West African spices, including one called prekese (with no English equivalent) that lends the most fantastic, fragrant flavor and aroma. It's complex and unusual and definitely not your average cup of hot chocolate, which is why we love it.
If you're all about unique flavors that push boundaries, you have to try chai hot cocoa, and our favorite way to get it is with a little help from DONA and their Masala Chai Concentrate. Just pour an equal mix of the concentrate and your favorite milk before heating and adding in a chocolate mix for a warm, spicy and satisfying cup every time.
Want to make your hot chocolate do more for you? Great Lakes Wellness is a brand that specializes in products packed with collagen, which supports the health of skin, joints, hair and nails, as well as aiding with digestion. Their Chocolate Collagen Hydrolysate is a sweet chocolate powder that, when supplemented with a little cocoa powder, makes for a delicious cup of cocoa. Plus, it will dissolve in cold liquids, as well as hot, in the case that you're not feeling like a hot drink.
(via Great Lakes Wellness)
What's even better than a tasty mug of hot cocoa? One that's also loaded with wellness-boosting adaptogens. Addictive Wellness is a brand dedicated to just this, and their Cacao Elixir Blend is made with lucuma, maca, tremella mushroom, reishi and cordyceps to instill a feeling of energy, focus and relaxation that's pretty much unmatched. Not only does it taste great, but it'll leave you feeling great, too.
(via Addictive Wellness)
If you're going for something a little more classic and authentic, check out Verve Culture's Villa Real Mexican Hot Chocolate. It's made with real Oaxacan chocolate made from cocoa butter, sugar, almond and spices, and while melting it in a saucepan with milk takes another step, it's well worth the effort. We love it because it's not just hot in temperature, but also spiced with cinnamon and chili for a real kick. If you haven't experienced this kind of hot chocolate before, you're in for a treat—and the brand even has a kit, for a really authentic feel.
(via Verve Culture)
If you're looking for an all-natural approach to your next cup of hot chocolate, try some offerings from Bloom. They actually have multiple mixes that are great for hot chocolate, but their Mint Cocoa flavor has to take the cake. Its ingredients, including maca, and both peppermint and spearmint, are designed to soothe indigestion, reduce brain fog and support hormonal balance—and what tastes better than the classic combination of mint and chocolate?
Last, but definitely not least, is Sunwink and their Cacao Clarity Powder. This powder, great for drinks, mixing and baking, is made with lion's mane, maca and rishi to keep your head clear and focused all day long. Flavored with natural cacao and warm cinnamon, it makes the perfect addition to any cup of hot chocolate, and since it's not sweetened itself, how sweet you want your drink is entirely up to you.
Want to play with flavors even further? Click HERE to check out more fun twists to standard hot chocolate recipes.