We are three sisters united in our search for the divine - in food, libation, literature, art, and nature. This blog will capture the true, sometimes decadent, at times humorous, and every so often transcendent adventures of the Salvation Sisters.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Coconut Oil Hot Chocolate (Sugar Free)

by Michelle

   Back in mid-January, Linda significantly changed her diet by opting to adopt a gluten-free lifestyle. Subsequently, in a mere four months, Linda lost 50 pounds. Really, it's stunning, if you give it a full moment of thought. And, Linda is not the exception. Many people are finding a new lease of life by going gluten-free and their results are similar, the weight comes right off. To be clear, Linda also eliminated all refined sugar, processed vegetable oils, grains (for the most part) and legumes from her diet as well.

Linda in November of 2011.
Linda 50 pounds lighter in June of 2012.
   Except for me. Ugh. I've lost four pounds... since February. I suppose I should be celebrating every pound shed, but there's that whole sisterly comparison thing going on and if it has been so incredible easy for Linda, well... why not me? Linda and I have spent many hours over the phone checking and double-checking our routines. We deduced that we are essentially following the same gluten-free ground rules. To verify that there was not hidden gluten in my diet, I spent an exhaustive amount of time compiling a Gluten-Free Baking Primer: From Alcohols and Vinegars to Flours and Starches.  All that and four pounds.
   To investigate further, earlier this month I met with Misty, Linda's gluten-free mentor. The conclusion was that I must - and this is not optional - eat two tablespoons of coconut oil everyday (read about the benefits of the incredible coconut). Or, if while I'm traveling, I cannot eat coconut oil, then I need to eat good fats in other ways (eggs basted in butter, anyone?) Misty also politely advised me, tongue in cheek, that if I eat much more dairy I should buy myself a dairy cow. So, I'm increasing my intake of coconut oil, and decreasing consumption of dairy - except for where it really counts like crumbled gorgonzola on the Rockin' French Salad or parmesan sprinkled over Chicken Piccata. Or a dose of cream in my hot chocolate. You get the idea.

Five months ago...
      For months, Linda relied heavily on Misty's Coconut Milk, Whey Protein and Blueberry Smoothie as a delivery mechanism for the coconut oil. Linda finally burned out on the delicious smoothie and looked for another way to accomplish her goal. The alternative turned out to be chocolate. Yay for chocolate and three cheers for starting out mornings with Coconut Oil Hot Chocolate. On her health quest, Linda has also obliterated most sugar from her diet. She fiddled around with various "natural sweeteners" that are widely available. Through trial and error Linda settled on a sweet combination (pun intended) of: Xylitol and Truvia to season her morning brew.
   There are a few points you should know before embarking upon this recipe. Xylitol, for many people, is a powerful laxative.That's the downside. The upside is that the human body builds a tolerance to the effects of Xylitol over the course of a week or two. Start with one-half to one teaspoon and work your way to two. May I suggest you have a leisurely morning at home the first time you try Xylitol? Just to make sure a bathroom is close by. So, I'm sure the former statement begs the following question: Michelle, why would I subject myself to building a tolerance to Xylitol? Afterall, it sounds like so much fun. The answer is that Xylitol is low carb, low calorie and diabetic safe. It is a natural sweetener that looks and tastes just like sugar - huge bonus. No weird aftertaste.

   Because chocolate typically requires a fair amount of sugar to taste great and Xylitol will leave you with short-term trots, Linda introduced Truvia into the mix. Truvia is a calorie-free natural sweetener that is a combination of Erythritol and an extraction of stevia leaves. One packet of Truvia provides the same sweetness as two teaspoons of sugar. Truvia is also suitable for use by diabetics. The drawback to Truvia is that it has a slight aftertaste. I don't mind the flavor, but Linda is more sensitive to it.
   As I'm building my resistance (which I like to pronounce with a terrible French accent), I am using one packet of Xylitol, one packet of Truvia and a small glug of maple syrup. You might prefer one packet of Xylitol and two packets of Truvia. Taste is such a subjective thing that you will likely need to do a little experimenting for yourself to uncover the right sweetness for you. In the meantime, the following recipe is what Linda has settled on and it is mighty tasty.
   As usual, Linda is ahead of the curve and is completely off coffee. I am not. In fact, I really like coffee and don't particularly want to stop drinking my morning dose. With that being said, I do understand the benefits of avoiding caffeine so I am dutifully (slowly but surely) switching from full caffeinated espresso (made in a stovetop Bialetti pot) to decaffeinated. The main reason is to curb my body from manufacturing excess cortisol which is the stress hormone. Additionally, switching from granulated sugar to the natural sweetener duo listed below, will prevent a spike in my blood sugar so that I will not crash before lunch. It's all about moderation, but this hot chocolate will make you feel as if you are being decadent, even though you are not. It actually helps promote weight loss!

Coconut Oil Hot Chocolate (Sugar Free)

   For the unsweetened cocoa powder we highly recommend Valrhona, and Ghiradelli is a nice alternative. Makes one 16-ounce mug or two 8-ounce cups.
   *Linda's note: I revised this recipe in October of 2014. For that post click here.

2 Tbsps extra virgin expeller pressed coconut oil
2 tsps unsweetened Valrhona or 1 Tbsp Ghiradelli cocoa powder
2 packets or 2 tsps Xylitol
1 packet or 1 tsp Truvia®
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Boiling hot water or coffee (preferably decaffeinated)
2 Tbsps heavy cream (optional, but oh so yummy and healthy)

1. Heat a kettle of water. The first step is to warm your mug with the hot water. Pour out the water.
2. Add the coconut oil to the mug and then the cocoa powder. Stir the coconut oil and cocoa powder together until melted. Add the 2 teaspoons of Xylitol and packet of Truvia and mix well. Add 1-3/4 cups of hot water (or decaffeinated coffee/espresso) into the mug. Stir well. Add cream if desired (highly recommended). Add vanilla extract. Stir again. Enjoy!


  1. Amazing! Admiration abounds.

    Linda's college roommate, Dee

  2. Awesome! I was following the Primal diet for a few months, but started feeling bad - low energy, etc. Before that I had been gluten free for years (about 6) because of a sensitivity to wheat. I was hoping the Primal diet would help me feel even better and lose the rest of my weight, but that didn't happen. I lost a little weight but not much, and the longer I was on the diet, the worse I was feeling. I recently discovered, by accident, that I'm sensitive to wheat bran, not wheat in general. As long as I have refined wheat flour I'm fine, but I feel awful if I eat whole grain wheat (severe depression, sinus irritation, severe fatigue, dull headaches, etc.). I have been feeling so much better since I've added carbs, especially refined wheat, back into my diet. My weight loss is actually better since I stopped eating Paleo. I recently found this amazing blog and just started following her method of intuitive eating...


    Make sure you take the time to read through her tabs at the left of her blog...amazing to read!

    I also bought the book Intuitive Eating by Tribole and Resch. I finally feel like I'm figuring out not only what foods make me feel bad and good, but also a healthy relationship with eating and food. Hope you find the information helpful as well.

    Robin :)

  3. Love, love, love coconut oil. I replace it in every recipe which calls for any other type of oil or butter (sometimes). I have noticed outstanding health benefits from using it and will never stop. It's truly a great oil with so many different uses. Great post. Thank you.

  4. I have made it with raw cacao powder, coconut nectar and a little creme fresh. It was great and delicious.

  5. In regards to coffee, The cortisol spike you mentioned is caused by toxins in the coffee, I have been a heavy coffee drinker for years now and recently switched to the "bulletproof diet" including Upgraded Coffee.

    You can tell from the first cup how different it is, its prepared in such a way to lower toxin count to near non existent levels, no more jitters, crash, anxiety, only the good aspects of coffee and caffeine, a nice stable energy feed for much longer then normal coffee, it serves as a metabolism booster without causing GI upsets and its flavor is so nice it doesn't need any sweetening at all.

    Bulletproofexec also manufactures and sells chocolate powder and butter as well as vanilla, all low toxin, though I have not tried them so I cannot comment on their quality. I have only tried the coffee, the MCT oil and the diet.

    This Hot Chocolate looks Absolutely Delicious! Have you tried Blending the oils and the water together in a heated blender? getting those ingredients to properly emulsify would improve the legitimacy of this lovely, healthy version of what once was a Junk food.


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