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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC


Hot Cocoa


When your little (and big) ones come in from winter outdoor playing and they’re all done in, a steaming cup of hot cocoa is a delicious and appreciated restorative. Here is my healthy plant-based makeover of the classic cup.


Dairy and sugar free, low in fat, high in fiber, minerals, and antioxidants, this cocoa is richly flavored with cacao and vanilla beans and sweetened with dates. It is a little thicker and richer tasting than you might be accustomed to, so smaller servings are sufficient. SO good and since it takes only minutes to make, why settle ever again for those insipid, unhealthy commercial mixes?


Makes 3 servings for kids, 2 for grownups

Prep time 5 minutes to make date paste plus 5 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes


8 ounces unsweetened, low-fat plant-based milk (I favor soy myself)

2 tablespoons low-fat, raw organic cacao powder (I like Navitas cacao)

2 to 3 tablespoons date paste from ½ cup pitted dates

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla bean powder (I like Native Vanilla’s powder which only contains crushed vanilla seeds) or ½ scraped vanilla bean


To make the date paste, cover the pitted dates with water and microwave for 2 minutes to rehydrate them. Alternatively, simmer the dates with just enough water to cover in a small saucepan for 5 minutes. Into a high-speed blender transfer the dates with only enough of its soaking water to blend into a super smooth dense paste.


Remove the date paste from the blender. Add the plant milk, cacao and vanilla seeds, and date paste. Run on high for 1 minute. Taste to correct the level of sweetness, chocolate, and vanilla to your tastes.


Heat in a small saucepan until warm but remove before boiling. This should be s a thicker hot chocolate but should still be easy to pour and drink.  If heating it thickens it too much for your taste, simply thin with a spoonful or two of plant milk. Serve immediately in warmed cups.

Hot Cocoa

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