As I write this, it is 11 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside. January in Wisconsin. All I want is a cup of something warm, rich and comforting: hot cocoa fits the bill! But keeping it low carb can be a challenge, so here are some tricks to ensure your keto hot cocoa gives you the taste you want but also keeps your carb count low.
For years, I made hot chocolate with 2 ingredients: milk and Hershey’s syrup. Mix, microwave and drink. Easy and fast. But that won’t fly in a sugar free world. Here is how I adapted to make low carb/keto hot chocolate:
- Almond milk – instead of using dairy milk, I like almond milk. A cup of dairy milk contains about 11 grams of carbohydrates, vs 1 gram in a cup of almond milk. Unsweetened of course, but I always buy the vanilla flavor for a little extra taste.
- Cocoa powder – any kind will work, but I like Dutch-processed as it has a slightly sweeter taste than regular cocoa powder.
- Sweetener – we need a sugar substitute, right? I use granular Swerve (erythritol) but use another if you have a favorite. Just keep in mind that not all sweeteners substitute at a 1:1 ratio with sugar. So if yours says it is “twice as sweet as sugar” you probably need less than indicated here.
How to mix your keto hot cocoa
You’d think this wouldn’t need explanation, right? Just mix and heat. But the reason I used syrup all those years was I hated the way cocoa powder resists mixing into liquid. If you just dump it in and stir, you will have bubbles of dry cocoa that don’t quite mix in. Once you finally get them mixed, you still have spots all over your cup and spoon of almost-dissolved cocoa deposits.
So now I pre-mix the dry ingredients together. It helps to keep the cocoa powder from clumping together. Just take a small cup and whisk together the cocoa powder and sweetener. (Watch the video in the recipe card to see me use the tiniest whisk ever LOL)
I still use the microwave to heat my milk, so I heat the almond milk for one minute and during this time whisk together the dry ingredients. Then add the cocoa mix to the warm milk and stir in. Microwave one more minute and voila – keto hot cocoa!
What about the marshmallows?
Marshmallows make hot cocoa even better! The easiest substitute I have found is to garnish with a big scoop of keto whipped cream. Delicious, and it provides a little extra sweetness and a rich mouthfeel in every sip.
A dusting of cocoa gives it the final touch!
The next cold day in your world, I hope you get a chance to curl up with a cup of keto hot cocoa - it makes everything better!
Keto Hot Cocoa
- 8-10 oz almond milk unsweetened
- 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder Dutch Processed or regular
- 1 Tablespoon Erythritol granular (or other sweetener of choice)
- Measure almond milk into a microwave-safe mug. Microwave on high for one minute.
- In a small cup, whisk together the cocoa powder and sweetener until well mixed.
- Add dry mix to the warm milk and stir.
- Microwave one more minute, then stir and serve.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.