Video: 2 Superfood Hot Chocolate Recipes

Last Update: September 27, 2022

For tree trimming, snowy strolls, and holiday movie marathons, a steaming mug of hot chocolate is practically a prerequisite. These recipes, created by Chef Megan Mitchell, offer extra cheer thanks to a dose of antioxidant-rich superfoods—from organic
ingredients like goji, acai, cacao, and functional mushrooms—plus a splash of spirits.

Cacao vs. Chocolate

All chocolate begins its journey on a tropical evergreen tree called Theobroma cacao. Cacao beans are actually the seeds found inside the pod-like fruit the tree produces. In order to be transformed into something you’d want to eat or cook with, these beans are fermented, dried, roasted, crushed, and ground after harvesting. Stopping at the crushing stage produces cacao nibs (sort of like the raw, natural version of chocolate chips). The grinding stage turns the cacao into a fatty liquid that can be pressed to remove the cocoa butter, then milled to create cocoa or cacao powder. It can also be combined with other ingredients to create all kinds of chocolatey treats.

While additives like sugar and dairy detract from the health benefits of the average candy bar, cacao in its pure, unadulterated form earns superfood status because it’s packed with nutrients, including the powerful multi-purpose mineral magnesium, antioxidants, and mood-boosting compounds.

Benefits of Goji and Acai

As an ingredient in granola and baked goods, smoothies, bowls—and now, hot chocolate—these naturally sweet, tart berries are a superfood standby. When you add goji or acai to a recipe (whether in whole or powdered form), you’re also adding a helping of plant-based fiber (a crucial nutrient of which the average American doesn’t get enough). Goji and acai berries have also been studied for their antioxidant properties.

Benefits of Mushrooms

Regardless of your feelings on funghi, they’ve been prized for centuries for good reason—they’re nutrient powerhouses. The presence of compounds called beta-glucans are thought to give mushrooms their immunity benefits. Many mushrooms, including lion’s mane, reishi, turkey tail, cordyceps, and chaga, are considered adaptogens, because they may help the body adapt to stress. Adaptogens are touted for their energizing, calming effects.

With earthy flavor that blends easily into sweet and savory recipes, mushroom powders are a great way to take advantage of the nutrients mushrooms have to offer, even if you don’t love eating them.

Dairy-Free Spiked Hot Chocolate Recipe

Yield: 2 servings
Total Time: 10 minutes

2 1/2 cups Califia Oat Milk, Barista Blend
1/4 cup Navitas Antioxidant Blend (w/ Organic Cacao + Goji + Acai), plus more for dusting
3 tablespoons Thrive Market Organic Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/4 cup rum and coffee liqueur, such as Kahlúa
Coconut whipped cream, for garnish

In a small saucepan combine the oat milk, antioxidant blend, maple syrup, espresso powder, and salt. Whisk together, then bring to a simmer over medium, stirring often.

Remove from heat and whisk in the liqueur.

Pour into 2 mugs, top with a scoop of coconut whipped cream and a dusting of antioxidant blend, and serve.

Vegan Mint Hot Chocolate Recipe

Yield: 2 servings
Total Time: 10 minutes


2 1/2 cups Milkadamia Unsweetened Vanilla Macadamia Milk
5-6 mint sprigs, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons Thrive Market Organic Maple Syrup
Pinch of fine sea salt
3 scoops OM Mushroom Master Blend
1/4 cup peppermint schnapps
1/4 cup Regeneratively Grown Organic Cacao Powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Thrive Market Regeneratively Grown Organic Cacao Nibs, for garnish


In a small saucepan combine the macadamia milk, mint sprigs, maple syrup, and salt. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and whisk in the mushroom powder, peppermint schnapps, cacao powder, and vanilla extract.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer into 2 mugs, discarding the mint sprigs.

Garnish with an extra mint sprig, a dusting of cacao powder, and a sprinkle of cacao nibs and serve.

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Kirby Stirland

Kirby Stirland is a writer, editor, and New York transplant living in Los Angeles.

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