Luxurious Dairy-Free Hot Cocoa

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on January 14, 2014


I used to be really big on goal setting at the start of the year, but I haven’t really felt the urge this year. Maybe I will write some goals once I can sink my teeth into the year a bit more. Right now, I’m still wrapping my mind around everything that happened in 2013. It was a year full of challenges, one I’m happy to learn from and put in my back pocket. There are a few big plans on the agenda for this year, so I think if I can make it through those I will consider it a success. The rest will fall into place, I’m sure!

I really like the idea of picking a mantra (or two) for the year. Have you done this before? Two of mine this year are:

To be knocked forward (instead of knocked down) by the challenges I face.

To make choices that are love-based, rather than fear-based.

How many times do you make choices that are based out of fear, rather than love? I do it much more than I would like. It’s something that can happen on autopilot after a while, like a knee-jerk reaction, and I don’t even realize that fear is behind the decision unless I take an honest look at it. It’s so easy to tell myself that I’m not good enough to do x, y, or z, to make a snap judgment about someone or something because it stirs up negative feelings, or to assume my writing or thoughts aren’t really important enough to share. All of these are fear-based. Luckily, Eric has a built-in fear detector and he often calls me out on it. Love is totally not blind; it’s honest in the best way possible…even if it hurts to hear the truth. We all need a human bullshit detector in our lives.

So, I’m thinking if I make choices out of love rather than fear the doors start opening and new possibilities emerge. Suddenly, the new person I met is open to my friendship just as much as I am, that new business venture I wasn’t going to do is now an exciting (even though scary) possibility, and the times I’m asked to put myself out there and risk failure don’t seem quite as bad. Fear closes us down and shut-outs love, or any remote possibility of love. Fear convinces us that we can predict the future (and it often turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy) when really, we can’t.

Here’s the plan. The next time I find myself making a decision out of fear, I’m going to try to do the opposite and see what happens. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to all of life’s situations (after all, sometimes fear or getting a “bad feeling” about something is a good thing), but hopefully this will help to keep in mind. I’ve already put it into practice a few times this year and so far, so good.

Try it for yourself. You just might do the unthinkable in 2014!



Luxurious Dairy-Free Hot Cocoa

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, oil-free


Sometimes we just need a little hot cocoa to pass the long, cold days of January. This is the perfect, all-natural drink to warm you up on a cold day. Made with soaked cashews, it's super creamy and thick all without a hint of dairy. It's very lightly sweetened with dark chocolate flavour. Add it to your Valentine's Day menu for a decadent drink option! This recipe is adapted from Anthropologie.

6-7 (125 ml) glasses
Soak time
1 hour or overnight
Prep time
Cook time


  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 large Medjool date, pitted and soaked
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup or agave (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • 1-ounce dark chocolate (I used Trader Joe's 72%)


  1. Soak cashews and pitted date in a bowl of water for at least 1 hour, preferable overnight. After soaking, drain and rinse well.
  2. Place cashews and date into a blender along with the water, sweetener, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Blend on the highest speed until super smooth.
  3. Transfer to a medium pot and add the chocolate. Heat until the chocolate is melted and it's hot enough to your liking. It will thicken up a bit. Stir to combine. Be careful not to burn the bottom. Remove pot from heat.
  4. Serve & enjoy with some shaved chocolate on top.
  5. Store leftovers in the fridge and reheat on the stove top. You can also enjoy this chilled!

Nutrition Information


Note: This hot cocoa thickens up substantially as it sits. Feel free to thin it out a bit with a splash of almond milk or water.


PS- I sent out the first OSG cookbook newsletter last Friday! If you didn’t get it and you are a confirmed subscriber, please check your spam folder as some of you mentioned you found it in there. Another reader mentions if you have Gmail to look in the “promotions” or “social” folders for it.

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

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Brian January 14, 2014 at 10:41 am

Hi Angela,

I love the idea. I always add some honey to this. Do you think this is a good idea?


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 15, 2014 at 8:55 am

Hi Brian, You can use any sweetener of your liking keeping in mind the flavour will change depending on which one you use – hope this helps!


Elizabeth-Hippy Mom January 14, 2014 at 10:49 am

;))))) have a good day …


Maryea {happy healthy mama} January 14, 2014 at 10:54 am

I’ve never made hot cocoa with cashews, but I love the idea. I could use a cup right now since I just spent 45 minutes outside with my toddler. Freezing!


Emily - It Comes Naturally Blog January 14, 2014 at 10:59 am

For me I make lots of decisions for fear of negative consequences if I don’t do something – weird!
Love the hot chocolate, lately I’ve been making something similiar with canned pumpkin and dairy free milk – yum! Who knew cocoa could be healthy as well as a comforting treat :-)


Kathryn January 14, 2014 at 10:59 am

Great mantras! I didn’t get the newsletter and don’t see it in spam, hopefully I get the next one. I’m so excited for the book!


Angela January 14, 2014 at 11:07 am

Hey Kathryn,
Do you recall confirming your subscription? You would’ve had to click the confirm link that was sent in order to get the newsletters. I can check for you if you’d like.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 14, 2014 at 11:09 am

Just checked and it says you are in fact confirmed! Strange you didn’t see it. Where is it hiding? lol.


Betsy January 14, 2014 at 11:18 am

If you have gmail – look in the “promotions” or “social” folders; that’s where I saw the email about the newsletter.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 14, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Oh that’s a great tip – I will add this into my post!


Kathryn January 14, 2014 at 12:24 pm

I did confirm :) I tried to re-sign up again today and it said I was already signed up. It’s entirely possible that I’m more excited than you for this book!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm

hah thanks :)
I can send it to you…something must have gone wonky somewhere along the line!


Paardekooper January 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Hi Angela, same problem here ! Maybe because of the french hotmail address ?? I already tried adding OSG to the allowed addresses and sign up again, but I didn’t get a confirmation (or welcome) mail… And although I already ordered the book, you’re making me really curious ! I wanna now what’s happening haha.

PS: I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now, and i just wanna thank you for your recipes and your articles. I’m a vegetarian and although it’s almost impossible to not eat cheese when you live in Paris and grew up in “le sud ouest”, I already banished milk and yogurt thanks to your recipes. They are a great inspiration for me, and I now eat vegan at least several times a week. Keep going, you’re great !


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 15, 2014 at 8:48 am

Oh man, I wonder why this is happening! Thanks for letting me know. :) I might have to switch newsletter plugins if I can’t resolve it…
Someone also mentioned to check your “social” and “promotions” folders if you use Gmail.
By the way, thanks for your kind words about the blog!


AA January 16, 2014 at 1:26 am

I’ve signed up twice and never have seen a confirmation in any folder. If you figure out what is going wrong, please add me to the list!


Amanda January 14, 2014 at 11:09 am

I love that second mantra and can relate to what you said about the fear-based knee jerk reactions. I also do this more than I would like and it really does take a conscious effort to re-evaluate those situations. I’m glad to hear you’ve been able to successfully use that mantra a few times this year.
P.S. This line is amazing: “We all need a human bullshit detector in our lives.” So, so true. xo


Dayna @ The Kitchen Library January 14, 2014 at 11:09 am

I needed this one, especially on those crazy cold nights we’ve been having lately *shakes fist at polar vortex*


Kim January 14, 2014 at 11:10 am

Hi Angela -The same thing happened to me – I checked my spam and didn’t get it either.
So stoked for your book!


Kelly J. R. January 14, 2014 at 11:17 am

This sounds so satisfying!

My go-to quick hot cocoa these days is:
1 C. almond milk
1 heaping Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 packet of stevia
and just a hint of peppermint extract


Tessa | Balancing Active January 14, 2014 at 11:27 am

I have a lot of specific resolutions/projects (something I don’t usually do), but from those one mantra seemed to emerge naturally–“Minimize possessions, seek experiences, deepen relationships.” I like the mantra approach because, even if certain goals don’t get accomplished, it still helps me develop myself over the year by keeping me focused on what’s important.


Laura January 14, 2014 at 11:30 am

Thanks for the reminder to chose love today :)

Also, I’ve been on a huge hot chocolate kick this January too! Perfect for this cold winter.


Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen January 14, 2014 at 11:33 am

Wow – this looks so delicious and not over the top sweet. I love the addition of dates for a hint of sweetness instead of adding sugar. Love the advice of choosing love over fear – something I definitively need to work on in the New Year! :) Thank you for another beautiful post!


Liz January 14, 2014 at 11:35 am

I love your second mantra to make decisions based out of love and not fear. I never thought about it — AT ALL — until I read what you wrote and realized that almost EVERY decision I make is fear-based. Though it makes me SO sad to realize that, I am certainly not brave enough to stop doing it. Is that another fear-based decision? :) It’s a sickness. LOL

PS I never got the newsletter, either. I double checked my SPAM folder and nada.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 14, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I’ll check on it for you!


Liz @ Tip Top Shape January 14, 2014 at 11:37 am

I love that first mantra! So often I think we view failures or missteps as something terrible, when it might just be what you need to get you to that next place where you’re supposed to be.


Lia January 14, 2014 at 11:43 am

I’m so glad you are making this a focus for yourself! Fear sucks! Literally! It sucks living out of life. The first thing I wrote down for myself when the end of December rolled around was “Fearless-’14” To do exactly what you are saying, feel the fear and ask, “What would happen if I wasn’t scared?” I usually end up realizing I would be following my dreams and pursuing my true passions. Crazy right? But so awesome! I think this is the absolute best thing you could be focusing on, and I (and really all of us who love you virtually and in “real-life”) will support you along the way as we have done for years, so have no fear!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 14, 2014 at 11:45 am

Although I’m huge on goal setting, I really like your two mantras! Goals seem to work well for me but I like the broader mantra approach too. Thank you for the love/fear reminder- I needed that today. And I could use some of that hot cocoa too…. :)


Megan January 14, 2014 at 11:46 am

This looks delicious… I think it will go well with that spelt chocolate banana muffin recipe I am impatiently waiting for… No pressure! Okay, maybe a little pressure.. :)

I am not getting reminders of your posts in my e-mail either, perhaps I forgot to confirm my subscription…


Abby @ The Frosted Vegan January 14, 2014 at 11:54 am

I’m in the same boat as you this year. I would love to start setting more intentions or life changes, rather than just resolutions. The best one I’ve read so far is “Procrastination often comes from fear, rather than laziness”.


Beth Levinson January 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Hi Angela. I just discovered your website and I love it. I only wish you would list nutrition info. I am trying to lose some weight and many of the recipes seem a bit high in fat. I can’t eat dairy or gluten so this website is perfect… but I am worried about the fat content of cashew butter. Is there a lower fat option?


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 15, 2014 at 8:51 am

Hi Beth,
I suggest using – it’s a free website where you can enter in recipes to get nutritional info. I don’t count calories myself and it’s too time consuming to do it for every recipe unfortunately.
As for the hot cocoa, you can certainly thin it out with more water or omit the added chocolate. I prefer a richer, smaller portion though.


Anele @ Success Along the Weigh January 14, 2014 at 12:04 pm

I think you’ve got a great attitude going into the new year!

This looks interesting! I can’t quite envision the taste but I’ll have to rectify that since the Mr is going to the grocery tonight and I can add cashews to the list! :)


Stefanie January 14, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Your mantras for 2014 are perfect! Let’s all be fearless together!


Amelia January 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Mmmmm! You just reminded me that I need to make another batch of homemade almond ‘milk’. Cashews make the creamiest beverages, don’t they? I have been enjoying nightly cups with coconut milk, but am definitely going to give this a go once I pick up a bag of cashews. :) I think some vegan marshmallows, coconut cream, or even a scoop of dairy free ice cream would add decadence on top!


Wendy Woods January 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm

This looks absolutely delicious, I can’t wait to try!


Brittany January 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm

I love the second mantra. I don’t even know how many decisions I make out of fear. Fear should not hold us back from really living. The hot cocoa sounds delicious! Since it’s snowing right now, I think it’s a perfect time to give this a try.


Eva January 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm

While it was the promise of hot chocolate (and dairy free at that) that lured me in, I was especially touched by your two mantras. I found them so inspiring. And scary – but I suppose that doing things which scare you, make you a stronger person.
(Well, within reason of course – there are things one can be legitimately scared of :P)

In any case, thank you for both this delicious-looking recipe and two very inspiring lines to live by!


Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog January 14, 2014 at 12:37 pm

I love this perspective. How do we know what we are capable of if we don’t try? Here’s to taking new chances and new opportunities in 2014. :)


J January 14, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Wow, this was exactly what I needed to hear at this moment. I was just considering turning down a chance to present a paper at a professional conference because of fear — fear of traveling alone across the country, of public speaking, of meeting a bunch of new people, even of being able to find vegan food to eat at the conference. This post has made me think I should give it a chance. I really appreciate what you write, Angela, today and all the time.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 14, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I’m happy to hear that! I hope you go for it :)


Grace January 14, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Hi Angela,

I notice you use a lot of cashews in your recipes (cashew cheese, etc). Unfortunately I’m allergic to cashews but not to other nuts. Could you substitute cashews for another nut or something else that would work the same way? Thanks!

Btw, I’ve made a few of your recipes and have loved them all!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Hi Grace,
You can probably use soaked almonds in this recipe, although it won’t be quite as creamy as the cashews, it think it would still work wonderfully.


Alanna January 14, 2014 at 12:59 pm

“Love is totally not blind; it’s honest in the best way possible” — love this line!


Tara January 14, 2014 at 1:31 pm

What an inspiring post. I am preparing to move to Malaysia in February to be with my boyfriend, which involves finding a job and place to live in a foreign country! This is definitely going to be a year of challenges but I’m ready for it :)


Liz January 14, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I love making hot chocolate with cashews as opposed to something like coconut milk! I really can’t tell it apart from dairy hot chocolate. This looks delicious! Thank you(:


Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate January 14, 2014 at 2:09 pm

The thickness of this reminds me of the thick “hot chocolate” you can get in Europe. It’s so much better than the stuff we have here!


Jane January 14, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Wow! I just read O magazine, the January issue and realized how much I actually live through fear without realizing it. This post hit at just the right time. There is no need to fear and I’m ready to live a life based on love, not the what ifs.

Also, I just started making hot cocoa with canned coconut cream/milk, dates, raw cacao powder and a snip of a vanilla bean pod. It’s a great way to use pods that you have already scraped the seeds from. Works perfectly in smoothies too.


chelsea January 14, 2014 at 3:23 pm

This looks amazing! Can’t wait for the cookbook (my husband is excited for it too-ha)!

I too signed up for the mailing list (on Jan 7) and have checked spam and promotions folders and searched my inbox and I didn’t receive it. Could you send me the newsletter as well please? Or let me know if there is something we need to do on our end to re-subscribe.

Thanks for all of your amazing recipes! :)


Julia January 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Beautiful and brave words! I am on the same path (I hope!) and am reading The gifts of imperfection by, Brene Brown. Highly enjoyable and thought I’d share! All the best!!


Lauren @ Dash of Soul January 14, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Mmmmmm my goodness using cashews for this sounds like an AMAZING idea! I’m always so surprised/impressed at how much creaminess cashews give to things, it’s actually hard to believe!


Flora January 14, 2014 at 3:53 pm

I am inspired by your words of living through love rather than fear. I think we all do that more than we realize so i appreciate feeling inspired to stay love based. The hot chocolate looks delightful! That is the one thing my son just hasnt accepted and loved in any dairy free version so I will put this to the test and see what he thinks. It is the lack of “creamy” that he misses so this may be perfect! Exciting!


Gina Ivy January 14, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Hi Angela! Happy New Year. LOVE the post and your 2014 mantras! So much opens for us when we are motivated by love instead of fear. I will be following your lead! :) (Re: the subscription…I had to “break up” with…what’s that saying?…”once burned…”


Sara Passante January 14, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Angela, do you think you could just continue to process it in a Vitamix until it becomes hot? 1 less dish to clean :)


Gabby @ the veggie nook January 14, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Wow this is so wonderfully decadent! I definitely must try this one!

I love your mantras for the year. I am so guilty of making fear-based decisions at the expense of my success personally and professionally. I could certainly do with a fear detector myself! Hopefully I can be honest with myself!

I don’t have a mantra for the year but I do have a goal: I will no longer use the word busy. Because everyone is busy these days, so it’s no longer a good enough excuse for why I couldn’t do this or couldn’t do that. I’m just banning it from my vocabulary and hopefully it forces me to do better and be a better person!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 15, 2014 at 8:46 am

Hi Gabby, Funny you mentioned the busy thing – I just read an article about this very thing the other day! It’s so true, right?


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