Sugar-Free Chocolate Syrup Three Ways

chocolate syrup 3
About 10 years ago, I went through a fad dieting phase. I would read about a celebrity who swore by the blood type diet, and I'd be off to the library to check out my copy of the book. Three weeks later, after I drank my eighteenth glass of fruit juice with lecithin granules (hint: they don't dissolve), I'd break while standing outside a Starbucks staring creepily at someone eating a piece of pound cake. Or it was Atkins, and I would throw down my fork in the middle of a sausage, bacon, and cheese omelet with sour cream and spend the next 20 minutes making sweet love to an enormous bowl of pasta. 

The diets were always my own choice - to try to get "healthy" - and they never lasted for more than a few weeks. But during those weeks? Beware the crazy lady on the fad diet. I was a terror. I deemed anyone eating a cookie the enemy. It wasn't a good look for me. 

I mention all of this simply as a means of comparison. 

About three months into mine and Navah's relationship, she began an incredibly restrictive diet prescribed by her doctor to deal with some ongoing health problems. Like many such diets, it had an initial super-strict period and has gotten less restrictive over the years. But in the beginning (which lasted for about a year), her diet consisted mainly of meat, eggs, nuts, and green vegetables. As her health improved, she was able to slowly add in more foods, and now she can eat most things, with the exception of refined flours and sugars (or things like splenda), mushrooms, and some very high glycemic fruits like bananas and pineapple. We've discovered many great food items that cater to people with similar restrictions, but there are still many things she can't enjoy. Add this to the fact that she's long been lactose intolerant, and she certainly can't hop up to the counter at Starbucks and order a piece of pound cake. 

But none of that has ever kept her from coming home with a box of chocolates or a cupcake for me, or encouraging me to order that piece of pie after dinner. And she has never once glared at me as if trying to decapitate me with her eyes (which seems pretty standard with people you love, but based on my experience of restrictive dieting, is actually a fairly big deal). Instead she's always just been happy to vicariously enjoy my pleasure. 

It's something I both appreciate and admire. So when she mentions that she's having a hankering for something, I delight in being able to whip up something that might satisfy her craving. I don't always succeed (and remembering her eating a truly atrocious "pound cake" and pretending to like it will forever rank at the top of my reasons-I-love-Navah list), but sometimes I do. And this is one of those times.

While we were studying for the bar, Navah kept talking about wanting a chocolate ice cream float. I had never heard of one, but I learned that it's like a root beer float except with chocolate soda. You put chocolate syrup into seltzer to make chocolate soda, and then you put your ice cream in and voila! Chocolate ice cream float. 

The problem, of course, was that we didn't have any chocolate syrup without refined sugar in it. (Navah eats a fabulous ice cream made from coconut milk and sweetened with agave nectar called Coconut Bliss). So, with a little experimentation, I whipped up a batch of sugar-free chocolate syrup. It took about 4 1/2 minutes, and it did not disappoint.

Many chocolate ice cream floats were had. And there were smiles all around.

And then, and THEN, I decided the chocolate syrup would be even better if I made them in different flavors. I was right. I love it when I'm right.

We've been enjoying this sugar-free chocolate syrup in chocolate soda floats, over ice cream, over brownies, and maybe even just licking it off our fingers. It's that good.

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Now that your mouth is watering, here you go.

chocolate syrup

Sugar-Free Chocolate Syrup Three Ways

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup agave nectar

For original: 2-3 teaspoons vanilla
For mint flavored: 1/4 teaspoon mint flavoring 
For Mexican-style: 1/8 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Whisk all of the ingredients together over low-medium heat in a small saucepan.  
Pour into a jar or bottle and store in the refrigerator. 

So easy! And so delicious!

As always, let me know if you make any of your own and especially if you do any different flavoring. I love to hear how these things turn out for you guys!

And check back in tomorrow for an update on the pillowcase project. Teaser: Thank goodness I have a big suitcase!