Delicious Vegan Hot Cocoa with orange

I look out of my window not quite ready to fully commit to peeling myself out of bed, thoughts turn to warming comforting food and drinks as the first snowflakes of the year drift down from the battleship grey sky. Before I unglue myself from the warmth of my duvet, I take a minute thinking about the tapestry and rhythm of the seasons and more specifically winter – falling snow will do that for you!

For me, winter allows the pace of life to slow a little, affording me time to reflect inwards. We can sometime struggle with this can’t we? We can spend so much time distracted with our over stimulated lifestyles that when we become still, or even slow down a little, we become more aware of the thoughts and feelings that pass through the body/mind. This can be tough going when we have been distracted for so long. I think this is why most struggle with these quieter months, they rely on the faster paced months to distract them from neglected, unhealed thoughts and feelings  I’ve added a post about this here, where you will find me offering you guidance on how to embrace these winter months with ease and compassions rather than resentment and regret.

Winter Warmer

If you feel its getting the better of you, go make yourself one of these amazing Hot Chocolates (recipe below) and read my post on embracing the dark as well as the light or if like us you’re going to be building snowmen later then what could be better than rustling up a warming, delicious hot drink!

So my lovelies, lets move on to why you are here…. The Yummy Hot Chocolate with a splash of orange!

For all of those Terrys Chocolate Orange fans out there, this is for you! This dairy free hot chocolate is actually good for you AND tastes amazing. How is this even possible I hear you ask…

Benefits Of Cacao Vs Cocoa

So you may think at first that the only real difference between cacao and cocoa is the spelling. But there’s a little more to it than that…

Raw cacao offers amazing health benefits for your entire body! The Incas considered it the drink of gods, an association that gave rise to the scientific name of the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao, from the Greek words theo (god) and broma (drink). History lesson over lets move on to the nutritional facts…

Cacao can be labeled to any of the food products derived from cacao beans – the seeds or nuts of the cacao tree. Cocoa looks the same but it’s far from it.

Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Sadly, roasting changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value. Cacao powder is known to have a higher antioxidant content than cocoa and has been linked to a variety of health benefits. The processed, sugary cocoa powder you find in your supermarkets will do you more harm than good, please remember this.

Cacao is believed to improve heart health, cholesterol, stress levels, and inflammation and that’s just a few advantages. It also releases anandamide, endorphins, phenylethylamine, and serotonin, into the brain which helps lift your mood.

Unbelievable that all this satisfying goodness comes from a simple, creamy hot chocolate. It’s no wonder the Spanish called it “black gold.”

So on with the recipe

For all of those Terrys Chocolate Orange fans out there, this is for you!

  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cacoa powder
  • 4 tbsp raw sugar, pure maple syrup or agave nectar/sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 drops of DoTerra Wild Orange essential oil.


In a small/medium saucepan, heat non-dairy milk over medium-low heat. when simmering, add cacoa, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and pinch of salt, stir until the cacoa is completely dissolved. Turn heat to low then add the orange drops and stir, keep cocoa warm until ready to serve.


The toppings can be changed up to whatever you like or have on hand. Try a squirt of dairy free squirty cream, vegan mini chocolate chips, shaved dark chocolate, and vegan marshmallows.

I hope you enjoy your yummy hot cup of chocolate. Let me know what you think!

Much love, Lea x