Let’s face it: setbacks happen. If you have a sweet tooth like I do, stress = chocolate, which can give you relief in the moment but can leave you with a serious case of chocolate guilt. Why are we prone to think that way? Chocolate gets a bad rep due to its fat and sugar content. If consumed in moderation, chocolate can have great benefits for your overall health.
Research shows that those who consume a serving size amount of dark chocolate per day can experience:
– Lower blood sugar levels (due to the antioxidants found in dark chocolate)
– Improved “LDL” or bad cholesterol
– Improved “HDL” or good cholesterol
So, now that we know it can be good for you, how do you consume it?
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3 Recipes to Indulge in Chocolate…The Healthy Way
Dark Chocolate Mug Cake (courtesy of my kitchen ? )
– 2/3 cup dark chocolate
– 3 tablespoons almond milk
– 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
– 4 tablespoons sugar
– 2 large eggs
– 3 tablespoons flour
– 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
– Dash cayenne
– Dash cinnamon
– Dash salt
– Place the dark chocolate and milk in a 16oz mug, microwave for 30-45 seconds and stir to melt the chocolate
– Add vanilla, oil and sugar, stir to combine.
– Whisk in eggs, flour, baking powder and spices. Don’t over mix! Just whisk until smooth.
– Microwave for 60-75 seconds. Keep as eye on the microwave as the mug cake builds up like a souffle.
– Combine with your favorite fruit and serve.
Chocolate Adzuki Bars/Brownies (courtesy of Scott Jurek, ultramarathoner)*
– 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil 1 15-ounce can adzuki beans, drained
– 1 medium overripe banana
– 1/2 cup almond or rice milk
– 1/2 cup light coconut milk
– 1/2 cup barley flour
– 1/4 cup rice flour
– 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
– 3 tablespoons maple syrup
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
– 1/3 cup goji berries, currants, or raisins
– 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
– Preheat oven to 400° F.
– Grease a 9-inch square pan (with coconut oil).
– Blend beans and banana with almond and coconut milk until smooth and creamy.
– Add the flours, cocoa, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt. Blend again until smooth.
– Carefully stir in goji berries or currants.
– Pour mixture into 9×9 inch pan.
– Sprinkle the vegan chocolate chips on top.
– Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out generally clean. (It took 45 minutes for mine to get just right).
– When cool, cut into 4 x 4 squares.
Dark Chocolate Banana Bites (courtesy of my kitchen)
– 1 bar (3 ounces) organic, fair trade 65% dark chocolate
– 2 organic bananas, ripe but firm
– Sea salt
– Almond butter (optional)
– Cut the bananas into bite-size pieces and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes.
– Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or a glass bowl placed in a pan of boiling water, stirring gently until smooth. Add cayenne, cinnamon and stir until combined.
– Using a toothpick, dip each banana slice into the chocolate and place back on the parchment sheet. Sprinkle sea salt on top of each bite.
– Place the bites back into the freezer until the chocolate has set.
– Transfer bites to an air-tight container in the freezer. Pop a bite pre-workout or as that night time sweet craving snack!