‘Tis the season for big mugs full of hot, sweet stuff and big bottles of celebratory vodka. Or wine or champagne or tequila. Whatever gives you those warm, fuzzy feels and helps you ring in the holidays.
And you can do it all without the extra carbs for a truly happy season.
Super Fancy Low Carb Coffee
My caffeine addiction took root over a decade ago. Started with tea, then my lovely coworker started bringing us sugary coffees and I got hooked on the hard stuff.
Despite my love of a dark roast, I just couldn’t handle the naturally bitter taste so I’d combat it with with lots of milk and extra sugar. Not ideal when we switched to a low carb life!
As always, necessity is the mother of invention and so my homemade super fancy coffee was created. Many others have created their own unique version of a fancy coffee and once ya know your options, you can too.
For example: swap out milk for heavy whipping cream or coconut cream/powder, swap sugar for low GI sweeteners, swap sugary simple syrups for sugar free flavors.
What makes coffee fancy?
Okay, I might be biased, but my idea of “fancy” in this context is a huge mug filled with fresh, hot, rich, flavored coffee and topped off with a heavy helping of whipped cream*.
We’ve been having some fun trying out sugar free syrup options from brands like:
- Jordan’s Skinny Mixes | Browse
Simple syrups and foam whipped toppings – great for adding directly to any hot or cold drink, huge selection of flavors.
- ChocZero | Browse
These are much thicker syrups – great for blended drinks like faux frappes, also a nice touch drizzled over some whipped cream (or anything really).
- Torani | Browse
While sugar free, some flavors are not completely free of carbs – but we find Torani’s quality unparalleled in both taste and longevity. Great for adding directly to any hot or cold drink. Just be sure it’s labeled “Sugar Free” as their main product line uses cane sugar.
- SweetLeaf | Browse
Flavored liquid stevia, great for adding to hot or cold drinks, and many foods as well. Best of all – some of these products can likely be found at your local grocery store.
All the above offer flavors that range from traditional Vanilla, Mocha, and Caramel varieties to more interesting combinations like Toasted Marshmallow and Brown Sugar Cinnamon. We’ve found most of these on sites like Amazon, though it looks like many can be purchased directly from each company and we’ve seen both Torani and SweetLeaf pop up at our local stores.
*Note: We usually opt to make our whipped cream at home out of heavy whipping cream. All you need is a hand mixer or a whisk and a really strong arm – beat the cream until it’s whipped. Yes, I know how it sounds, but that’s how you do it. 1 cup of liquid equals about 2 cups whipped. If you like yours sweet, add 1 tsp (to taste) of sweetener before mixing. You can also find sugar free whipped cream options in *some* stores so check your dairy and frozen sections, and as always – check the label. Make sure you’re happy with the nutrition info and ingredients, then it’s game on.
People used to ask my mother if she’d like some coffee with her cream. Guess I’m not all that different, coffee-wise at least. These are just a few of our favorite creamers:
- Pinch of sea salt or pink salt – cuts the bitterness and enhances the natural, dark chocolately flavor. Sometimes I can forego any other creamer using just a tiny amount of salt.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – very rich and our current favorite since you can find it just about everywhere, low on lactose so low on sugars and low on carbs.
- Half and Half – not as fantastic at saving carbs and sugars, but it’ll do in a pinch.
- Coconut Cream or Milk – a fantastic dairy free option with a natural sweetness. You can also create your own on-the-go powdered creamer! Just combine milk powder with a tiny bit of powdered sweetener and powdered vanilla extract and boom, insta-creamer ready to go.
- Almond Milk – another awesome dairy free option, we love this in our homemade iced lattes and faux frappes. It’s not fantastic at cutting coffee’s natural bitterness, but it’s pretty tasty.
What’s a new year without an old friend?
We don’t drink much, save for some social situations like dinner with friends or New Years Eve. The hubs likes his bitters and I like my… potatoes… Luckily, neither of those are super carb-filled – but the flavored syrups and sodas we like to mix them with can take 8oz to a whole new level of carb loading.
Thanks to brands like Torani, Zevia, and many more – you can easily make your mixed drinks sugar free and ride out the buzz without the dreaded bloat and eventual sugar crash.
A general guideline for low carb drinking is to stick to dry wines or the hard stuff – in moderation. One serving of hard liquors, like vodka and whiskey, contain next to no carbs or sugar. Typically about 0.1g net carbs per 100g liquor.
If straight shots isn’t your thing, be sure to have some sugar free mixers on hand. We mentioned Torani and Zevia earlier but pretty much any sugar free simple syrup (like we discussed under fancy coffee – flavors) or diet soda will make a huge difference. We aren’t the biggest fans of Zevia, a stevia-sweetened soda, but it’s readily available in our local shops and the ingredients are far more agreeable then some other, popular diet soda options.
Check out this Ultimate Guide to Keto Alcohol on TasteAholics – they offer some info about the science behind alcohol metabolization along with tons of brand name options with carb counts per serving.
What about the beer?!
Ah, yes, the beer. You might’ve guessed already – light beer is best for more than your waistline – it won’t have too much of an impact on your carb count either. Most cans of light beer come in under 8g net carbs, some are even less than 2g! Just check out the label and find one you actually like the taste of.
And that, is that. Cheers!