10 min to make – healthy, delicious, and healthy homemade dark chocolate milk – a natural alternative and an upgrade on store-bought options.
The kids loved it as an after nap snack. It's a great energy boost for the afternoon play and we were making sure they were getting their calcium.
To make this healthy choco milk you'll need the following ingredients:
- Whole milk: I made this milk for a 14 month-old toddler at the time so I used whole milk. If your child is under the age of 2 years I'd recommend you do the same. After 2 years of age you can switch to lower fat version but I would prefer to stick with whole-milk even then.
- Dark chocolate: for healthy chocolate recipes I always try to use 70% cocoa chocolate. I've found that dark chocolates that have a higher percentage of cocoa are a bit too bitter in my opinion. You can also use chocolate chips to make this. The ones that have a percentage of cocoa that's lower than 70% usually have added milk, more sugar, and other additions that aren't really necessary here.
- Agave syrup: this is really an optional ingredient but kids love the sweet taste so much that I find it hard not to add. The dark chocolates have a slightly bitter taste so when you add just a teaspoon of agave it makes it taste that much better.
- Whole milk: apart from being a great protein and fat source, whole milk is one of the main calcium sources for kids. If you have a kid older than 2 or are even making this healthy chocolate milk for yourself, feel free to swap to a lower fat version which will still provide the needed protein and calcium. Fortified milk options also have vitamin D.
- Dark chocolate: one of the main nutritional benefits of dark chocolate comes from cocoa. It has these wonderful antioxidants which can help the body lower the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases and actually add to the overall health of the body. It does contain a little caffeine so caution should be taken when giving kids loads of dark chocolates or cocoa. The amounts in this milk are acceptable. However, if you have a child that has trouble sleeping I'd go for the lower cocoa percentage options.
- Agave syrup: agave syrup is often our choice of sweetener because it provides the sweet taste but doesn't cause a spike in blood sugar like normal sugar.
How To Make Chocolate Milk
- Heat the milk: to be able to nicely melt the dark chocolate into a perfect drink, you first need to heat the milk. I usually take one half of the milk (in this case 4 oz) and heat it on the stove. I prefer it to using a microwave, but when I have a hungry kid pulling my skirt, I do also use the microwave on occasion. Just make sure you heat the milk slowly and don't bring it to a boil. Especially in a microwave or you'll have more work than when you started.
- Chop the chocolate: while the milk is heating, break up the dark chocolate and set in a bowl. The smaller the pieces the quicker they will melt.
- Melt the chocolate: once the milk is hot, pour it over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts. Because it's dark chocolate melting in with the milk and not cream it will probably have some visible bits and pieces that won't melt. If you use a whisk and whisk fast you will get it melting. However, if you don't and there are visible bits they're pretty small and your child will happily gulp them down. Trust me!
- Add the remaining milk and optional sweetener: add the remaining 4 oz of the cold milk. I do this because usually when I make homemade chocolate milk I make it right before I serve it to my son and he really doesn't want to wait for it to cool! 🙂 So this way if I add the cold milk to the warm one it cools immediately to a good drinking temperature. But if you're making for later, feel free to heat all the 8 oz.
Give it a unique flavor: if you want to spice it up, play with different ingredients you have at home. Mainly spices like vanilla or cinnamon.
Make it thicker: if you want to have an edible chocolate milk that'll look more like a pudding, add a tablespoon of chia seeds and wait a bit. It'll add some fiber to the drink/pudding as well.
Play with different chocolates: if you're hesitant to experiment with different flavors at home, simply choose the already proven ones. Buy flavored 70% dark chocolates like orange, raspberry, caramel or salted ones and add them instead of the plain one. You can also make this recipe using chocolate chips.
Pour hot milk over small chopped pieces of chocolate or chocolate chips and whisk fast so it melts and becomes a dark chocolate milk.
This will depend on the type of chocolate you use. Dark chocolate is generally healthier than milk chocolate due to the polyphenols in cocoa powder. Also it depends on the ingredients in the chocolate you use. So the more cocoa powder, less sugar, less artificial ingredients the healthier your milk will be.
Yes, you can use the same method of pouring hot milk over chocolate chips.
More drinks recipes
Homemade Dark Chocolate Milk
- 1 cup whole milk or plant based milk
- 1 oz dark chocolate (preferably 70% cocoa)
- ½ teaspoon agave syrup (optional)
- Take half the milk and heat it (on a stove or in a microwave) but don't bring to a boil.
- While the milk is heating, chop the dark chocolate and set in a bowl.
- Once the milk is hot, pour it over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate melts.
- Add the remaining cold milk and optional sweetener. (You can make top it with warm milk aslo but if making for kids they won't want to wait for it to cool so this is a way to give them warm chocolate milk)
- you can use honey instead of agave for babies over 1 years old
- whole milk can be replaced with plant based milk