How to Make Gluten Free Soy Free Hot Chocolate (Grain Free & Paleo)

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IMG_2840This one is for my oh-so-deprived chocolate lovers out there!

Growing up in the Midwest meant growing up with snow days.  Those snow days meant bundling up in snow boots, snow pants with overalls, a heavy coat, mittens, and a hat.  It meant playing outside all day building snow forts, making snow angels, throwing snow balls, and creating snow people.

At the end of that day, or when our noses were practically frozen off, we would come back in the house and start to strip off the wet clothes and lay them on the furnace vent to dry.  But the best part of coming inside was the smell of mom’s hot chocolate simmering on the stove.  Mmmmm, a mug of dreamy, creamy milk chocolate just did something magical.  Warmed you back up from the inside out!

I’m not sure what happened after 1976.  That’s the last time I personally remember having hot cocoa made that way.  Now a mom myself, I always bought the little packets with the marshmallows in them.  It was quick, easy, tasty, and had the added bonus of marshmallows!  But…it always gave me a stomachache, although at the time I didn’t know why!

After going gluten, grain, and soy free (see my story here), I didn’t really miss hot chocolate that much, except for enduring those cold Friday night football games and the occasional snowy day.  But when my kids joined me in making the same dietary changes, I had to find a substitute since it was one of their favorite hot beverages!

I was pleased to find out how easy it was to make my own, and it’s also a breeze if you’re dairy-free!  It was almost as fast, and certainly more delicious than anything I could find in a package.  I was delighted to surprise my kids with a mug one morning to start the day, and finally I have a go-to for those snow days!

Here are the super easy steps and what you will need:

  • Milk (dairy-free use coconut or almond milk)
  • Sugar (consider raw honey or coconut sugar as less refined options and for Paleo)
  • Pure cocoa powder (check the label! get organic if you can)
  • Water
  • Mug (8-10 oz. size)
  • Teaspoon and Tablespoon to measure, and a microwaveable container to warm the milk (or you can also warm it on the stove)

Pictured here is the cocoa powder I found from Nestle:


I like to make a couple of mugs at a time, so I have found that measuring the amount of milk to the mug itself is important.

Step one:  Pour the milk into an individual mug for as many servings as you desire, and then pour it all into a microwaveable container (or into a pan to warm on the stove).

Step two:  For each mug you are making, place one tablespoon of the sugar you’re using in the bottom.  Add to that a rounded teaspoon of the pure cocoa powder (it’s fine if the mug is still wet with milk residue, this actually helps).  If you determine later that you like it more chocolatey, you can add to your own recipe – but both my chocolate-loving daughter and I found this to be the perfect ratio!

Step three:  Get your labcoat on, because now you are going to create a pigment.  Add two teaspoons of water to each mug (do this part one mug at a time) and stir it with the sugar and cocoa mixture until you have created a dark, chocolate pigment.  The surface of the pigment should appear wet, or reflective.  If it doesn’t, keep stirring.  If it still doesn’t look reflective, add a few drops of water and keep stirring.  I promise, you will get there.  It will look a little like this:


Step four:  Pour about one inch of milk into each mug.  While you are mixing that, you can heat the milk in the microwave or on the stove.  Depending on how hot you like it, I microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes per mug size (so if I’m filling 2 mugs, I heat the milk for 3 minutes or so); on the stove I heat it just until it becomes foamy & bubbly.  Be sure to keep an eye on the milk so it doesn’t boil over and go everywhere.  That’s a mess!

Step five:  Stir the bottom of each mug until it is completely smooth.  Remove the warm milk from the microwave or stove and stir just enough milk to fill into your mug of chocolate “paste”.  If desired, whip with a whisk, or just stir with a spoon.  Add more cocoa or sugar to taste.  Serve immediately and enjoy!  (FYI, I’m still working on those grain-free marshmallows…stay tuned!)


~GGF Gourmet

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2 Responses so far.

  1. This looked so yummy I had to read more. I got emotional reading this! Okay, so what does that say about me? Yes, I have been craving chocolate! But, also, your writing was so visual I was totally right there with you all the way…can almost taste the chocolate! Thanks for this!!