Finding a nut-free cocoa powder can be a challenge.
The best cacao plantations also grow and handle nuts. This means the exposure is early in the process, so even if they are handled in a nut-free factory and are in a nut-free mix, the chocolate may still have been exposed.
Nut-Free Cocoa Brands
If you have a severe nut allergy, it may be best to stay away from hot chocolate, especially when you didn’t make it, or buy one which you know absolutely is nut-free. Sainsbury’s confirms that its product is milk- and nut-free. Equal Exchange processes its cocoa in a factory that handles some types of nuts, and the company website specifies which nuts it uses. Tesco traditional drinking chocolate says it is nut-free from processing to packaging.
St. Claire’s Organics makes a fantastic line of hot cocoa mixes. These include traditional, mandarin, spicy, cherry, ginger, vanilla, raspberry and peppermint flavored. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, casein-free, peanut- and tree nut-free, corn-free, soy-free, fish- and shellfish-free, GMO-free and 100 percent vegan. They cost about $8 for a 12-oz. bag. You can use their products with any type of nut milk to make a creamy, delicious cup of hot cocoa.
Homemade Allergen-Free Hot Cocoa
Try your hand at making your own hot chocolate confection by gathering the following ingredients:
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup sugar (try any kind: maple, coconut or raw cane)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 1/4 cup milk (try any kind: rice, soy, coconut or nut)
In a medium saucepan, combine cocoa powder and sugar with a whisk. Add water, and heat over medium temperature until it slow boils, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk product and reduce heat. Simmer for a few minutes. Top with allergen-free marshmallows!