How to. Make Healthy Hot Cocoa

There is nothing better than a warm cup of hot cocoa on a winter day – especially leading up to the holidays! While this beverage can be enjoyed while gift shopping, on long wintery walks or just sitting by the fire it also packs a serious calorie and sugar punch. The following are some of the most popular hot chocolate beverages that are consumed this time of year:


Tim Horton’s Medium Hot Chocolate: 300 calories with 49 grams sugar (that’s over 12 teaspoons!)


Starbucks Grande Peppermint Hot Chocolate: 420 calories with 61 grams sugar (that’s over 15 teaspoons!)


McDonalds Deluxe Medium Hot Chocolate: 400 calories with 55 grams sugar (that’s over 13 teaspoons!)


Nestle Hot Chocolate Mix with Milk: 325 calories with 21 grams sugar (that’s over 5 teaspoons!)


Too much sugar consumption ultimately means too much energy for your body to handle. The excess, unused energy will be stored as fat for “later”. According to the American Heart Association the maximum amount of added sugar that men should consume is around 37.5 grams (9 teaspoons) and women 25g (6 teaspoons) PER DAY.


Choosing to get a hot chocolate while you are out once in a while is fine as a treat. Making it a regular occasion will send your sugar intake through the roof! Save on calories and sugar intake by making your own:



Homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate


Serves 2: 1 serving = 120 calories with 14 grams sugar




  • 2 cups unsweetened- almond milk OR coconut milk
  • ¼ cup cacao (or cocoa) powder
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or any other natural sweetener)
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Marshmallows optional



  1. Pour milk in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk in cocoa powder and maple syrup
  2. Bring to a simmer and reduce to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes
  3. Remove from heat and stir in extract
  4. Pour into 2 mugs and top with marshmallows if desired


You can replace the extract with vanilla or almond if you do not like peppermint!



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