Sure, chocolate in moderation is fine, but we much prefer to nourish our bodies with the good stuff and keep things au-naturale.
When we eat refined sugar, many things happen to our bodies. After we get that rush of dopamine that we all know and love, the enzymes in our intestines begin breaking the sugar down into two types of molecules: glucose and fructose. Though both are metabolised differently, if eaten repeatedly and not burned off through a lot of exercise, both molecules can hit your body...hard.
Your best bet is to consume this in moderation, and consume your sugar from natural sources.
We’ve scoured the interwebs to find six healthy and delicious treats that won’t wreak havoc on our bodies (and hopefully stop you reaching for not-so-nice stuff):
1. Chocolate nut butter cups
From Your Zen Life
Total making time: 25 minutes
Makes: 10-12 cups
100g Raw Cacao Butter
½ cup of almond meal
3 tablespoons of Raw Cacao Powder (more if you like dark chocolate)
1-3 tablespoons of raw honey (or maple syrup)
¾ a regular size jar of almond butter (or use peanut butter if you prefer)
12 Medium baking Cups
1. Melt the cacao butter in the sun or on very low heat in a pot. Once it is melted add the cacao powder, almond meal and honey and whisk well. Taste it, if you would like it sweeter, add more honey.
2. Spoon the chocolate mix into each baking cup to fill the bottom of each one just under half way full. Make sure you only use half the chocolate mix as you will need it for the top half of the cup. Place in the freezer to set for 7 minutes
3. Remove the chocolate cups from the freezer and put a spoon of almond butter on top. Then add more chocolate mix to cover the almond butter. Place back in the freezer to set.
4. When they are set they are ready to eat… Enjoy!
2. Banana Chia Coconut bread
From The Healthy Chef
Total making time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Makes: 1 loaf (12 serves)
400 g ripe banana 6 free range or organic eggs
4 fresh pitted dates
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
60 ml (1/4 cup) macadamia nut oil, coconut oil or cold pressed olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
70 g (1/2 cup) coconut flour
20 g (1/4 cup) chia seeds
1. Preheat your oven to 150 C (fan forced) or 170 C.
2. Combine banana, dates, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs and baking powder into a blender or food processor and blend until creamy and combined - or you can do this by hand in a large bowl.
3. Add the coconut flour and chia seeds and mix through.
4. Rest for 10 minutes to allow the chia and coconut flour to expand.
5. Lightly oil one loaf tin (10 1/2 cm wide and 26 cm long) and line with baking paper.
6. Spoon batter into the tin – at this stage you can decorate the bread with flaked coconut of sliced banana before baking.
7. Bake for 50 – 55 minutes ( a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry).
8. Cover the top with foil if over-browning. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf.
3. Chocolate Mousse
From Your Zen Life
Total making time: 2 minutes
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp milk alternative
Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend well until smooth and enjoy!
4. Yoghurt blueberry tarts
Total making time: Approximately 5 minutes preparing time, 1 hour cooking time.
Makes: 2 tarts to serve 4
300g five:am Organics Honey Cinnamon Yoghurt
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1 cup (100g) hazelnut or almond meal
1tbsp almond butter
Fresh blueberries or raspberries to serve
1. In a food processor, combine dates, nut meal and almond butter and blitz until a dough has formed.
2. Line 2 spring form tart tins with baking paper and set aside
3. Remove raw dough from food processor and press evenly in tart tins, then place in freezer for approximately 1 hour until read to serve.
4. To serve, remove tarts from baking paper and tins and place on plates before topping evenly with five:am Honey Cinnamon Yoghurt and fresh berries. The tarts can also be frozen with the yoghurt and it makes a lovely creamy tart dessert.
5. Flourless Salted Chocolate Cake
From The Healthy Chef
Total making time: Approximately 1 hour
Makes: one cake to serve 20
200g good quality (70 %) dark eating chocolate such as Lindt
175g good quality butter
6 organic eggs at room temperature
2 tablespoon coconut sugar or honey
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract or paste
Pinch sea salt
1. Preheat your oven to 150 C.
2. Lightly oil or butter your cake tin and line completely with baking paper. I used a 20 cm springform cake tin for this recipe.
3. Melt the dark chocolate and the butter in a bowl, set over a pot of gentle simmering water.
4. Stir the chocolate and butter well until melted then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
5. Add eggs into a mixing bowl fitted with a wire whisk.
6. Beat for 10 – 15 minutes until light and creamy.
7. Add sea salt, vanilla and sugar and beat until combined.
8. Fold through half of the melted chocolate mixture through the beaten eggs and incorporate lightly, then add the rest of the melted chocolate and fold through gently until combined.
9. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin.
10. Bake the cake for 35 minutes or until just set and springs back lightly when touched.
11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
12. Place into the fridge to cool completely before removing from the tin.
13. Serve straight from the fridge as it is or served with smashed raspberry puree.
14. This delicious cake will keep for 5 days in the fridge.
6. Espresso banana smoothie
From Move Nourish Believe
Total making time: 5 minutes
Makes: Serves 1
1 frozen banana
1 cup of almond milk (or milk of choice)
2 tbsp. oats
1 tbsp. peanut butter
A shot of espresso (you can add more if you like it stronger)
1 cup of ice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. cacao nibs (to sprinkle on top)
Add all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.