Fruit-Sweetened Hot Cocoa

Skip the granulated sugar - all of the sweetness in this satisfying drink comes from the natural sugars found in the dates and milk (and a tiny bit in the vanilla extract).
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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4 cups reduced-fat milk

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

6 large pitted dates, chopped

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Kosher salt

Unsweetened whipped cream and ground cinnamon, for topping (optional)


  1. Combine the milk, cocoa powder, dates, vanilla and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot and steaming. Continue to cook, without letting the mixture boil, giving the dates time to soften, another 5 minutes.
  2. Let cool for 5 minutes or so, then transfer the mixture to a blender and being careful of the hot liquid, puree until smooth. You can strain the mixture to catch any small chunks of dates that weren't blended.
  3. Pour into mugs and top each with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, if using.