Indulge in our high protein hot chocolate recipe! It's a creamy, chocolatey delight that's not just delicious, but also packed with brain-boosting benefits. Perfect for those cozy family moments on chilly days.
There's something magical about watching a snowstorm from the cozy comfort of your home, a steaming cup of hot chocolate in hand. I still cherish the memories of my father waking me and my sister up with popcorn to watch the snowfall. Now, as a mom, I love creating similar memories with my own family and teaching them to find comfort and joy in the simple things during our long Canadian winter months. And this hot chocolate recipe? It's become a beloved part of our winter tradition.
This protein-packed, velvety, sugar-free, dairy-free, and brain-boosting hot chocolate is as good for your health as it is for your taste buds.
Whether you're adding a shot of espresso to your own cup, marshmallows to the kids' cups, or even a cheeky shot of sambuca (wink wink), this recipe is the perfect way to make those cold winter days a little warmer and a lot more delicious. So, let's get started and make winter a little more bearable, one cup of hot chocolate at a time.
Oh and if you are looking for a real chocolatey experience, make sure to pair this drink with these 15-minute no-bake truffles!
👪Why your family will love this recipe
As a busy mom, I know how important it is to find recipes that are not only delicious and nutritious, but also quick and easy to prepare. That's why my family and I absolutely adore this protein hot chocolate recipe, and why I think your family will too:
- Quick and Easy: This recipe is a breeze to whip up.
- Packed with Protein: Unlike traditional hot chocolate recipes, ours includes a scoop of chocolate protein powder.
- Customizable: This recipe is incredibly versatile making it a hit with the whole family.
Who knew that a comforting cup of protein hot chocolate could also be a secret weapon for brain health? As a Neuroscientist, I know how important it is to nourish not just our bodies, but our brains too and I keep that in mind each time I create a recipe to share with you! So let's dive into the brain-boosting benefits of this delicious drink:
- Boosts General Cognition: The cocoa in our hot chocolate is rich in flavanols, a plant nutrient that has been shown to improve general cognition (1).
- Attention and Memory: Need to remember all those important mom tasks? Cocoa flavanols have been linked to improvements in attention and memory (1).
- Protects Brain Health: Studies suggest that cocoa flavanols can protect cognition, especially in older individuals and those at risk of cognitive decline(2). As a neuroscientist, I find this particularly exciting!
- Fights Fatigue: We all have those days when we're feeling tired or worn out. This hot chocolate isn't just comforting—it could also give your brain a much-needed boost. Researchers found that cocoa flavanols can enhance cognition in demanding conditions, like fatigue and sleep loss(1,2).
So next time you're sipping on this protein hot chocolate, remember—you're not just treating yourself to a delicious drink, you're also giving your brain a little boost of love!
⏲️ Time-Saving Tip
We all know that time is precious, especially for busy moms. Here are a couple of time-saving tips to help you whip up this protein hot chocolate recipe in no time:
- Pre-Mix Your Dry Ingredients: Save time by mixing your dry ingredients ahead of time. Combine your chocolate protein powder, cocoa, cinnamon, and Chinese 5 spice in a jar and store it in your pantry. When you're ready to make your hot chocolate, simply scoop out the amount you need and add it to your plant milk. This not only saves you time but also makes clean-up a breeze!
- Use a High-Speed Blender: A high-speed blender can significantly cut down the time it takes to get a smooth and creamy hot chocolate. Plus, it's a great way to incorporate air into the mixture, giving your hot chocolate a frothy, cafe-style finish.
When it comes to a protein hot chocolate recipe, you just need a few simple ingredients, here's what you'll need:
- Oat milk: When it comes to making hot chocolate without milk, I love using oat milk for this recipe. It's a great creamy milk alternative that still gives our hot chocolate a creamy texture. Plus, it's easily available in most grocery stores.
- Chocolate protein powder: For the type of protein powder I use, I opt for Garden of Life Raw Chocolate vegan protein lately. It's vegan, and organic, and adds a nice protein boost to our hot chocolate. Plus, it blends seamlessly into the drink, enhancing the chocolatey flavor without any chalky aftertaste. But feel free to use your favorite protein powder.
- Cacao Powder: Cocoa is what gives our hot chocolate that deep, rich chocolate flavor. I always opt for unsweetened cocoa to control the sweetness of the drink.
- Maple syrup: A natural sweetener that adds a touch of earthy sweetness to our hot chocolate. It's a healthier alternative to refined sugar and blends well with the other ingredients.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds a hint of warmth and spice to the hot chocolate. It's a subtle addition that makes a big difference in the overall flavor profile.
- Vegan Mini Marshmallows: My family's favorite addition, I used Dandies vegan mini marshmallows. They are available at most grocery stores. As they melt into the hot chocolate, they create a delightful creamy layer on top.
- (optional) Chinese 5 spice: This is my secret ingredient! It adds an unexpected twist to the hot chocolate, making it even more special.
For full quantities, see the recipe card below.
💡Recipe Tips & Tricks
Creating the perfect protein hot chocolate recipe involves a few simple tips and tricks. Here are some of my favorites to ensure a creamy consistency and the right level of sweetness:
- Choose the Right Vegan Protein Powder: The type of protein powder you use can greatly affect the taste and texture of your hot chocolate. I recommend using a chocolate-flavored vegan protein powder for the best results. It blends well with the other ingredients and enhances the overall chocolatey flavor. If you're not a fan of chocolate, a vanilla protein powder could work too. Just remember to adjust the amount of cocoa and sweetener to balance the flavors.
- Adjust the Sweetness: The sweetness of your hot chocolate can easily be adjusted to suit your taste. If you prefer a less sweet drink, reduce the amount of maple syrup. On the other hand, if you like your hot chocolate on the sweeter side, feel free to add a bit more. Remember, it's easier to add sweetness than to take it away, so start with a smaller amount and adjust as needed.
- Pick your Plant-Milk: Plant-based milk like oat milk can give your hot chocolate a creamy, rich texture.
- Perfect Consistency: For a creamy protein hot chocolate, a high-speed blender is your best friend. It quickly breaks down the protein powder and cocoa, ensuring a smooth, lump-free drink. If using a standard blender, simply blend a bit longer for the same creamy result.
Step 1: Start by adding all the ingredients to a blender. This includes plant milk, a scoop of protein powder, cocoa, maple syrup, cinnamon, and Chinese 5 spices.
Pro tip: Add the liquid ingredients first to prevent the powder from sticking to the bottom of the blender.
Step 2: Blend until well combined. You're looking for a smooth, creamy consistency with no lumps. If your blender has a 'smoothie' or 'liquid' setting, use that for the best results.
Step 3: Once everything is well blended, transfer the mixture to a small saucepan.
Step 4: Warm the mixture over the stove top on medium heat. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Don't let the mixture come to a boil. We just want it warm enough to serve.
Step 5: Serve your protein hot chocolate with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. You can also add vegan marshmallows or enjoy it as is. For the adults in the house, try adding a shot of espresso for a mocha twist!
And there you have it - a creamy, protein-packed hot chocolate that's perfect for those chilly days. Enjoy!
While this protein hot chocolate recipe is delicious as is, we understand that everyone's tastes and dietary needs are different. Here are some substitutions you can consider, but remember, altering certain ingredients may change the texture and taste of the final product:
- Plant Milk: While I love using oat milk for its creamy texture and mild flavor, feel free to use your dairy-free milk of choice or what you have on hand. Soy milk, almond milk, or even coconut milk can be great alternatives. Just keep in mind that each type of milk will impart a slightly different flavor to your hot chocolate.
- Chocolate Protein Powder: Vanilla protein powder, chocolate whey protein powder, or just pea protein are good alternatives. It will still give you the protein boost and creaminess but with a different flavor profile.
- Cocoa: If you're out of cocoa, you can substitute with chocolate chips or go for chocolate oat milk instead.
- Maple Syrup: Coconut sugar, brown sugar, honey, or agave nectar can be used as alternatives to maple syrup. They're both natural sweeteners that blend well with the other ingredients.
- Vegan Mini Marshmallows: If you can't find vegan marshmallows in your local store, they're readily available online.
- Cinnamon and Chinese 5 Spice: These spices add a lovely warmth and complexity to the hot chocolate. If you don't have Chinese 5 spices, a mix of ground ginger and clove can work. If you're not a fan of cinnamon, you can leave it out, but it does add a nice depth of flavor.
One of the things I love about this protein hot chocolate recipe is how easy it is to mix things up. Here are a few variations and optional toppings you might want to try:
- Espresso Shot: For those days when you need a little extra pick-me-up, try adding a shot of espresso to your hot chocolate.
- Crushed Candy Canes: Want to make your hot chocolate extra festive? Try adding some crushed candy canes. They'll give your drink a delightful peppermint twist that's perfect for the holiday season.
- Sambuca: If you're feeling a bit adventurous, a shot of Sambuca can add a lovely anise flavor to your hot chocolate. It's a fun way to transform your hot chocolate into a cozy adult beverage.
- Chocolate Oat Milk: If you're a true chocolate lover, try using chocolate oat milk instead of regular oat milk. It'll make your hot chocolate even more chocolatey, without adding any extra sugar.
- Extra Protein: Looking for a healthy protein-packed post-workout drink? Simply add an extra scoop of your favorite protein powder. It's a tasty and satisfying way to help your muscles recover after a workout.
Proper storage is key to enjoying your protein hot chocolate recipe beyond the day you make it. Here's how to do it:
- Fridge: Once your hot chocolate has cooled down, transfer it into a mason jar or any airtight container. Your protein hot chocolate will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Rewarming: When you're ready to enjoy your stored hot chocolate, give the jar a good shake to mix any settled ingredients. Pour your desired amount into a pot and gently warm it over medium heat or microwave. For an extra touch of luxury, use a milk frother to reintroduce that lovely frothy top. It'll feel just like freshly made!
- Freezer: If you want to store your hot chocolate for even longer, consider freezing it into ice cubes. This way, you can pop out just the right amount for a single serving or add some to your morning coffee or smoothie for some added protein.
Remember, a good protein hot chocolate is a gift that keeps on giving. With these storage tips, you can enjoy a creamy, comforting cup whenever you like!
🥣Make This Next
If you are looking for more easy and comforting family recipes be sure to check out these:
Thanks for reading! If you make this recipe please like and comment, that would mean a lot to me! And tag me with your re-creations so I can share over on Instagram!
Until then, tchau
CREAMY PROTEIN HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPE
- 1 Vitamix
- 4 cups oat milk
- 4 tablespoon cocao powder
- 1 scoop vegan protein powder chocolate flavor
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese 5 spice optional, sub with ground ginger and ground clove.
- Start by adding all the ingredients to a blender. This includes plant milk, a scoop of protein powder, cocoa, maple syrup, cinnamon, and Chinese 5 spices.
- Blend until well combined. You're looking for a smooth, creamy consistency with no lumps.
- Once everything is well blended, transfer the mixture to a small saucepan.
- Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Don't let the mixture come to a boil.
- Serve with some mini marshmellows or a dash of cinnamon
- Fridge: Once cool, transfer to a mason jar or any airtight container. Your protein hot chocolate will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Rewarming: When you're ready to enjoy, give the jar a shake, then warm it over medium heat or microwave until its at the right temperature. Be careful to not let it get too hot or boil.
- Freezer: If you want to store your hot chocolate for even longer, consider freezing it into ice cubes. This way, you can pop out just the right amount for a single serving, or add it to your morning coffee or smoothie for some added protein.
- Socci, V., Tempesta, D., Desideri, G., De Gennaro, L., & Ferrara, M. (2017). Enhancing Human Cognition with Cocoa Flavonoids. Frontiers in Nutrition, 4, 19.
- Nehlig, A. (2013). The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(3), 716-727.