Healthy Recipe: Hot Chocolate Mix

My son loves hot chocolate. According to him, the coffee shop at church serves the best cup. I was able to hunt down the brand and nutrition information and not unlike any other brand of hot chocolate mix, a 2 Tbsp. serving has 25 g of sugar (that’s before any milk is mixed in). The next time we went food shopping, I checked out labels for all different brands of hot chocolate mix, even the organic varieties. They all had one thing in common, the first ingredient was sugar. In my post, A Lesson in Label Dissection, we learned that according to the FDA, the ingredient list on a food label is the listing of each ingredient in descending order of predominance. Which means, the aforementioned hot chocolate mixes have more sugar than any other ingredient.

So, what’s a health conscious mom to do? I propose you make your own delicious-tasting hot chocolate mix and nix the sugar (and the dairy). That’s what this mom does anyways and it couldn’t be any easier or tastier. I’m working on a sugar-free marshmallow replacement as well, so stay tuned!

The most important ingredient in hot chocolate should be a good tasting cocoa.

I love, love, love, dark chocolate and up until recently have been happily baking with Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa. Although not necessarily the highest quality cocoa, it is gluten-free and delivered in the dark chocolate department. However, since finding out Hershey’s financially contributed against labeling GMOs I decided I would boycott the company. What can I say, I believe in voting with my food dollars.

Although I haven’t found another dark cocoa, I have found an organic, fairly-traded cocoa that has quickly become my favorite. In this recipe for healthy sugar-free Hot Chocolate Mix, it is divine.

Combine that with the fact the cacao is grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides and the workers are paid fair wages and I am a happy camper.

I have been combining 2 Tbsp. of the mix with 8 oz. of hot unsweetened almond milk and then using my milk frother to mix. I am loving this so much, it has replaced my nightly dark chocolate habit. I have also snuck it into my morning cup of French press dark roast coffee for a fabulous mocha.

As far as my son, the hot chocolate connoisseur is concerned, he gives it two thumbs up.

Hot Chocolate Mix

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 16 Servings

Serving Size: 2 Tbsp.

Hot Chocolate Mix



  1. In a pint jar with lid, combine cocoa, sweetener and salt. Mix with a spoon.
  2. Store sealed in cupboard.


This recipe has been tested with my preferred ingredients. Please consider, if I recommend a substitution, it will be included as a note in the recipe.

To make hot chocolate, combine 2 Tbsp. of mix with 8 oz. of your favorite non-dairy alternative milk, I prefer almond milk.

Per Serving 25 calories, 1 g fat, 4 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g NET CARBS, 1 g pro (calculated using unsweetened almond milk and Swerve)

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  1. Nancy says

    Thank you so much, Vanessa. I have given up hot chocolate because every recipe I have come across has way too many carbs in it. And the Swiss Miss as well (also did not like the taste of it). So thanks and also that it can be stored. Now just pair that with some almond milk, creamy, oh yum!

  2. Nan says

    Thank you!!! I haven’t had hot chocolate in a while and have been wanting it, but I just couldn’t stomach the carb count! Now…to buy xylitol to make this and the almond butter chocolate chip cookies!

  3. Lany says

    Hi, just got a question. If I substitute with the 1/2 cup Swerve, do I still use the 1/4 tsp. + 1/8 tsp. NuNaturals NuStevia Pure White Stevia Extract?

    • HealthyLivingHowTo says

      Yes you still use the stevia. :)

      I realize that Swerve is all the rage right now…and it does get a green light from me as far as quality goes. However, I have been testing it for the past month or so in recipes and while it is a high-quality (non-GMO and no chemicals used in the processing) product, it still has the same drawbacks as any other erythritol I have used and needs to be combined with stevia, in my opinion, for a final product that has an appealing taste. I have not liked the end result of any recipe I have made using Swerve as the only sweetener.

      • Lany says

        Thank you for the quick response. I have just had some bitter experience with Stevia, but I am assuming if it used in combination with Swerve or Erythritol, it will cover up the bitter taste?

        • HealthyLivingHowTo says

          Some brands of stevia extract are more bitter than others…I have tried many brands and the only one I like is NuNaturals which has no bitterness unless too much is used. In almost all of my recipes, I combine erythritol with stevia, which complement each other. What brand of stevia are you using?

          • Lany says

            The first stevia I tried I don’t even remember what brand it was. The last bottle I had was from my local health foodstore, Wyannt’s Healthfood, and it was a bottle of their own brand stevia glycerite. I have never tried the one you use, so I will get some and give it a try. I would much rather use erythritol and stevia instead of Swerve. I have nothing against Swerve, but for my budget the two former products are easier on my pocketbook.

    • HealthyLivingHowTo says

      Hi Pat, good question…I assume that readers know if they click on any of the blue text in my recipes it is a hyperlink to where you can purchase the product. For the most part, I purchase my low-carb staples online. Usually through Amazon.

      • Bree says

        Thanks for the recipe! I was looking for a sugar free version in the stores ( although I knew it wouldnt be with ideal sugar substitute) but now I can make our own!

  4. Beth J says

    Hi Vanessa!
    Thanks for this recipe…My son and I plan to try it(and enjoy it!)…
    I do have Swerve to use…My question is would I still use the 1/2 cup, plus the 1 tbsp and 1 tsp(like it listed in the recipe)?
    Thanks so much!

    • HealthyLivingHowTo says

      If you are using Swerve use 1/2 c. + the listed amount of stevia. If you like the taste of Swerve alone (I don’t) you could skip the stevia and do 1 c. Swerve (powdered). Hope you like it!

  5. Stefanie says

    Oh thank you for pointing out that your brand of Stevia is less bitter. I cannot stomach the taste of stevia. I absolutely cannot stand it. This poses a problem when trying to healthify things. I will try your brand/combining method. Thanks for the info!

    • HealthyLivingHowTo says

      Hi Stefanie…here is a quick stevia 101.

      Stevia Rebaudiana is the plant species which provides steviol glycoside extracts.

      The two main extracts which make up the sweetener market are
      (1) steviosides and (2) rebaudioside A.

      The trade name for rebaudioside A is Rebiana aka Reb A, which is patented by Cargill and developed jointly with Coca-Cola and sold un the trade name Truvia. Pepsi joined forces with Whole Earth Sweetener to patent their own form of Reb A and is sold under the name trade name PureVia. Reb A tends to have a lingering unpleasant, sometimes bitter aftertaste.

      Steviosides are another extract of the stevia plant, which have a very pleasant taste and leave no bitter aftertaste. NuNaturals is made from steviosides. Kal Pure Stevia is another brand that is derived from steviosides.

      I would love to know the brand(s) of stevia you have tried.

  6. Valerie Wilson says

    Sorry to hear you are boycotting Hershey. The founders Milton Hershey and his wife were unable to have children and used their finances to start a home and school for orphaned boys in 1909. Today over 9,000 children who are in need by low income or limited resources have been helped. You can go to the website and see some of the grateful alumni who were positively changed by this school/home. Hershey is more than chocolate.

  7. Darlene says

    Can you recommend a substitute for the erythritol? It causes headaches for my daughter and I. I love your site and all the great info and recipes you provide!

  8. Shelley says

    My favorite cocoa powder is the Trader Joe’s brand, it has a divine smell :) and a really rich taste. I do not like Stevia and all other sugar substitutes give me…ahem…gas :( so I use coconut sugar instead.

  9. Gina says

    Hello Vanessa! I am looking to come up with a replacement for my morning Starbucks Skinny Mocha Latte. Do you think this would work as a bittersweet mochat latte syrup? If not, any ideas on how I could make something like that. Thank You for your time and consideration. Your blog is among my favorites!


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