Recipe: Healthy Hot Cacao Latte

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Cacao is one of my favorite ingredients in the world because not only does it give you an amazing chocolate flavor but it’s also high in antioxidants (more than berries) and is anti-inflammatory! This drink will remind you of your fav hot chocolate but the main ingredient, cacao, is very different from its processed counterpart cocoa. Let’s get into the recipe and then I’ll break down the difference between cocoa and cacao.




  • 1 tbsp raw cacao 
  • 8 oz oat milk 
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup 
  • Cinnamon, to taste 


  1. Put cacao and milk in a blender (I recommend NutriBullet or small blender – it helps the drink dissolve better) and blend until smooth (feel free to use any plant milk, but I recommend oat milk for this recipe specifically because of the taste and creamier consistency) 
  2. Sweeten with 1-2 tbsp of maple syrup. Taste and adjust, then blend 
  3. Pour mixture in a pot to heat 
  4. Enjoy! :)  


Cocoa versus cacao


  • What you’re drinking in hot chocolate 
  • Processed
  • Added sweetener
  • Still good for you but not as many antioxidant benefits because its been stripped down
  • Cocoa is sweeter but only because it’s processed at a higher temperature than cacao, making it less nutritious and lower in antioxidant power.



  • Natural form 
  • Unprocessed 
  • Unsweetened
  • Bitter on its own
  • Best way to get the health benefits 
  • Cacao is full of iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber
  • Cacao has been shown to lower blood pressure and inflammation as well as reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.


One final note, while cocoa may taste better (if that’s what you’re used to), you can retrain your taste buds. Start consuming cacao instead and you’ll naturally get used to it, to the point that you will crave and be satisfied from cacao just as you once were from cocoa :) If you have kids, just start them on cacao so they won’t even know the difference!


Hope this helps! Let me know if you try the recipe :)

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Written by

Mona Vand

Doctor of Pharmacy. Beauty, Health, & Wellness Q’s

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