Brain-boosting Hot Chocolate! Better Than a Second Cup of Coffee - EleVen by Venus Williams

Brain-boosting Hot Chocolate! Better Than a Second Cup of Coffee

When it’s cold outside and I’m ultra-busy, stressed, and craving more coffee to get through the afternoon slump, I turn to this recipe for vegan hot chocolate.

Taking a chocolate break feels like way more of a treat than a standard coffee break.

Dark chocolate naturally has a little bit of caffeine in it, but I’ve packed it full of other brain-boosting ingredients, too, like maca and coconut oil. Maca is believed to boost energy (and even sports performance), and many people substitute maca lattes for coffee altogether. Many people also believe that the MCTs in coconut oil can also help brain function, and it has the added benefit of making this hot chocolate extra-creamy without using dairy. 

I also replaced the refined sugars you’ll find in most hot chocolate mixes with mesquite powder and maple syrup, which adds a slightly smokey depth of flavor and just the right amount of sweetness. In addition to adding natural sweetness, mesquite powder also adds protein and electrolytes, making this hot chocolate a more complete snack and not merely an indulgence. 

To make this recipe, all you need is a small saucepan and a whisk. I like to use a vegan, additive-free dark chocolate like Hu Gems, but any dark chocolate you have on hand will work. 

Cup Of Hot Chocolate


Brain-Boosting Vegan Hot Chocolate 

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Makes: 1 8-ounce mug of hot chocolate 


  • 2 ounces vegan dark chocolate, chopped or in chips 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
  • 1  tablespoon cocoa powder 
  • ½ teaspoon mesquite powder 
  • ½ teaspoon maca powder 
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 6 ounces plant-based milk 


  1. In a small saucepan, combine cocoa powder, coconut oil, and dark chocolate. Whisk on low heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is fully combined. 
  2. Add mesquite, maca, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine, then whisk in plant-based milk. 
  3. Cook on low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes, whisking occasionally. To make a frothier hot chocolate, whisk vigorously for 30 seconds before pouring into a mug. 

Written by Carina Finn

Check out Welcoming a Preemie Into This World written by Samantha Forget
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