In case you haven’t heard the good news yet, dark chocolate is actually healthy for you! In fact, cacao is the most anti-oxidant rich food you can consume. Dark chocolate contains 4 times the anti-oxidant power of superfood goji berries (the highest non-cacao source of antioxidants) , acai berries and blueberries. Cacao is also a proven mood and energy booster. It staves off depression by helping the brain release feel good chemicals, endorphins and serotonin. So, if you’ve ever wondered why you crave chocolate during stressful times, now you know. Here are 5 delicious, energizing recipes that will satisfy your love for chocolate AND provide you with a healthy dose of antioxidants!
Chocolate Superfood Milkshake
You don’t need ice cream or dairy to make a milkshake! Opt for a healthier version by substituting ice cream with frozen bananas and dairy milk with coconut milk.
1.5 cups of coconut milk
2 frozen bananas
2 tablespoons of cacao powder or cacao nibs
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon of maca powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of Stevia
Blend ingredients together until smooth. Top with cacao nibs or shredded coconut for extra yum factor.
Dark Chocolate Poached Pears
Dark chocolate, pears, honey, and ginger? Yes, please! This nutrient packed dish is the perfect answer to your boring fruit plate.
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons honey
4 cups water
2 ripe Bartlett pears
1 ounce dark chocolate, melted
Bring ginger, honey, and water to a boil over high heat in a medium pot. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel pears and halve lengthwise. Use a melon baller to scoop out cores. Gently lower pears into pot. Cover surface with a round of parchment paper.
Cook pears until a paring knife slides easily into them, about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on ripeness. Remove with a wooden spoon and transfer to a bowl. Pour poaching liquid over. Serve warm or chilled.
To serve, place pear halves in a bowl and drizzle with melted chocolate.
Double Dark Chocolate Biscotti with Ginger & Walnuts
This recipe has been modified with healthier ingredients including whole wheat flour, stevia, and sunflower oil. You can also substitute sunflower oil with olive oil.
1 cup whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup Stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until well combined; set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg, egg yolk, and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in the vanilla and oil until well combined.
With the mixer on low, beat in dry ingredients until combined. Fold in walnuts, chocolate, and ginger with a rubber spatula (dough will be stiff).
With moistened hands shape the dough into 2 logs, each about 9 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Bake until set on top, about 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Transfer logs to a cutting board and, with a serrated knife, cut each log on the diagonal into 16 slices, each 1/2 inch thick. Bake until crisp, about 20 minutes, turning the biscotti over midway through. Cool 5 minutes on a baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Dark Chocolate Nut Bark
This yummy recipe only takes two ingredients to make and includes a healthy dose of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. You can also add dried fruit and pumpkin seeds for more flavor.
2 cups semisweet, bittersweet dark chocolate chips, melted.
1 1/2 cups assorted nuts, such as hazelnuts, almonds and cashews, plus more for garnish
To melt chocolate, microwave on Medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted. Or place chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir until melted.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. (Take care to avoid wrinkles.) Combine melted chocolate and nuts in a medium bowl. Scrape the mixture onto the foil and spread it into an approximate 12-by-9-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with additional finely chopped nuts, if desired. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes.
Transfer the bark and foil to a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
And here’s a great cookie recipe for those of you who are gluten-free. This recipe has several healthy alternatives. Flour is substituted with almond meal, coconut oil substitutes for butter and maple syrup adds sweetness in lieu of processed sugar.
3 cups Almond Meal
1 tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Sea Salt
¼ cup Coconut Oil (measure once it’s melted.)
¼ cup real Maple Syrup
1 whole Egg
2 Egg Whites
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine almond meal, baking soda and sea salt and set aside.
Mix coconut oil and maple syrup in a mixer or by hand until creamy but not fully incorporated, about 5 minutes.
Add whole egg, egg whites and vanilla extract and mix for 2 additional minutes.
Slowly add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix briefly.
Add chocolate chips and mix until well combined.
Place large rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, about 1-inch apart. Flatten slightly, to approximately 1-inch thickness – these cookies do not spread in the oven at all so make sure you do this step or they will just keep their ball shape.
Bake until set and golden, about 15 minutes. Makes 25 – 30 servings.
Recipe via wishesndishes.com