This warming Hazelnut Spiced Hot Chocolate recipe uses a combination of hazelnut butter with cinnamon and nutmeg essential oils to create a creamy and healthy refined sugar free treat, perfect for a cold winter day! Drink through a cinnamon stick ‘straw’ for extra fun and deliciousness.
(Note: You can substitute cinnamon and nutmeg spices instead of using the oils if you don’t have them, or omit for a more traditional hot chocolate.)
It’s the middle of winter and I, for one, am ready for spring. I’m not even in an especially cold place here in North Carolina, though we have had some uncharacteristically extra cold days and wintry weather. It snows here once every 10 years maybe, and a couple weeks ago we got a little snow and a TON of ice! I like the wintry weather for a day or two, and then I’m kind of over it. I really don’t know you people who live in cold climates do it!
One thing I love most about the cooler weather is enjoying delicious seasonal foods and drinks like lots of hot tea, herbal coffee, hot golden (turmeric) milk, and the occasional hot cocoa. I love to get out of the house (working from home is awesome and yet, I need to mix things up sometimes!) so I often go to a local coffeeshop for a few hours and work from there. I’m a sucker for the coffeeshop vibe and yes, the lattes.
The thing is, those yummy warm drinks that we all love to get at our favorite coffeeshops often not only have dairy in them, but are typically loaded with huge amounts of unhealthy and artificial sugars, fake colorings, GMOs and more icky ingredients that I imagine none of us want to put into our bodies. I almost always just get a plain latte with almond, coconut or soy milk, but those chocolatey and seasonal drinks just sound SO tempting sometimes – amiright!?
That’s where making your own seasonal drinks comes in, and it can be fun for your kids too!
This Hazelnut Spiced Hot Chocolate is warming and rich enough to feel satisfying and perfectly balanced, without the heaviness of those standard hot chocolates you get at coffeeshops, drive thrus or from paper pouches. Those hot chocolate powder packets you buy in the store also contain tons of unhealthy sugars and additives, and really – to me anyway – don’t even taste very good. Homemade not only tastes better, but it’s much healthier too!
This particular recipe is only sweetened with unrefined sugars – your choice of date syrup or maple syrup – so you can drink it without guilt. The hazelnut butter delivers a nutty, toasty creaminess, and hazelnuts are known for their antioxidants and promoting heart health.
The cinnamon and nutmeg give an uplifting, energizing aroma; the raw, unsweetened cacao powder is a superfood that has antioxidants, contains a mild stimulant that has feel-good effects, and supports a sense of alertness. It really is the perfect treat for a chilly afternoon, a freezing cold winter night or lazy Sunday morning!