Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Easy Home Made Low Carb/Sugar, Dairy Free Hot Coco

Day 7 of our low sugar lifestyle. It's getting easier at this point and the cravings are diminishing. We had a snow day yesterday though and it put me in the mood for hot coco in the worst way! 
My goals in this low sugar and carb life change is that we get healthier, eat whole foods instead of prepared/processed ones and that my son will be able to stabilize his blood sugar levels which tend to either spike out of control or drop to low levels making him sick. 

Here is the nutrition info for a packet of Swiss Miss Coco..28 grams of carbohydrates and 21 grams of sugar. Yikes! I really wanted to figure out a way that my kids and I could enjoy those special treats we used to love and avoid the spike in blood sugar and artificial ingredients.

One of the things I love the most about this is that I have only used 3 ingredients. Pure unsweetened coco powder, unsweetened almond milk and stevia. 
In the 6 oz serving I made there were less than 2 net grams of carbohydrates and NO sugar! If you chose to make an 8 oz serving (which is the typical serving size but I used a small mug so I could not fit 8 oz) it would still be less than 2 net carbs per serving.

Here's what you'll need: 
. 6-8 ounces unsweetened almond or coconut milk 
(if you are counting net carbs, the Silk brand coconut milk has 7 grams per 8 oz serving. Silk unsweetened Almond has 0. Although coconut tastes better IMO ; )
. 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened Coco powder, I used only 1 but you can add more 
(Ideally fair trade organic if you've got it) 
. 2 packets or about 1/4 tsp Stevia powder

Simmer 6 to 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk in a small saucepan. Technically you could microwave it, but I always find that the mixture blends so much better when the hot milk is poured over the powder instead of the powder being added on top. It tends to clump and not blend well : s
.I used 1 tablespoon of coco powder and 2 packets of stevia. Once your milk has started to boil (watch it so it doesn't scorch!) Pour it directly into your mug over the powder. I have a handy-dandy little mini whisk from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf co. It works perfectly for concoctions such a this! If you don't have a small whisk just use a spoon.

Since I my 6 oz drink was under 2 net carbs and no sugar, I could afford a little dollop of whipped cream on top and a few Coco Pearls ;) This will bring me up one more net carb for 2 tablespoons of cream. If you ask me, coco is not the same without whipped cream! Ok ok..so it's technically breaking the 'whole foods' goal but I use it so infrequently it's not a real big issue for me : ) 

These Cocoa Pearls from Trader Joe's have 3 grams of sugar (carbs) per 1.5 tablespoon serving. I used less than a quarter of a teaspoon here! Of course though, toppings are an added bonus and are optional. If you want to keep this as low carb as possible and dairy free skip the cream and topping. Or top with a cinnamon dusting which contains 0 carbs.

So there you have it...low carb low sugar hot coco. Made with minimal ingredients at home. Now go sit on the couch, cuddle up with your family and your favorite soft blankie and enjoy and indulgent treat that you won't have to feel guilty about! 

**From what I know about the Paleo diet... almond milk, pure coco powder and stevia are all approved ingredients, being plant derived, making this a Paleo friendly recipe (if you abstain from the whipped cream of course) : )     


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