This recipe for vegan hot chocolate is reminiscent of the traditional hot chocolate served in Italy; super thick, rich, and creamy – the kind you can eat with a spoon! Homemade hot chocolate is so simple to prepare, plus you can personalize the recipe with your favourite ingredients. This healthy hot chocolate is made with dark cocoa powder, dairy-free milk, maple syrup, plus it is seasoned with some extra earthy flavours, like cinnamon and turmeric.
The year was 2004. I was living in Sardinia, Italy – a place I grew up in during the summers. After studying in Nice, France, and teaching in London, England, I found myself uprooting once again, back to one of the places I know best – in the summer, that is! Let me preface by saying that I have an aversion to the cold. In fact, I despise it. Winter is not my cup of tea. Albeit Sardinia boasts relatively mild temperatures during the winter (compared to Canadian winters) the result of the cooler temperatures combined with the humidity from living near the Mediterranean Sea was still a problem for me!
Sardinia is a mecca for tourists for 6 months of the year, but the hustle and bustle that fills the towns and beaches during the warmer months completely transforms during the winter. Many stores and restaurants close up shop, waiting for the next tourist season to arrive. Life slows down, albeit it is well-deserved and often looked forward to after a busy season working overtime to appease the tourist industry. For me, there was always a sort of melancholy with the changing of the seasons, but eventually I came to appreciate the serenity and slower pace of the winter months. And there’s one more thing I started to appreciate – their unbelievably delicious cioccolata calda! We’re not talking a traditionally North American concoction of powdered hot chocolate mix dissolved in milk or water, we’re talking a full on, thick and creamy, super rich and decadent hot chocolate – the kind you can eat with a spoon! I have fond memories of my winters in Sardinia, hanging out at the local cafe, playing rounds and rounds of backgammon with friends, and
sipping scooping up spoonfuls of their delicious hot chocolate.
My kids were begging for hot chocolate over the Christmas break. As if they weren’t consuming enough sugar as is, they wanted a hot version of it too! It’s a tradition for me to prepare a cup of hot chocolate for our annual Christmas movie-a-thon. This year in particular, I was inspired by my love affair with Italian cioccolata calda so I prepared this healthier, homemade version for the kids. They were none the wiser – asked for seconds, of course, and the best thing is that I was able to enjoy this vegan version too!
If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!