Being healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up your love for chocolate.
When it comes to treating myself, I struggle with a chocolate addiction. Going to the gym? No problem. Eating my vegetables? Easy enough. But I just really love chocolate.
I initially found it difficult find the balance between maintaining a healthy diet and indulging in my favorite chocolate treats. Over time, however, I learned that incorporating healthy, indulgent treats into your everyday routine is surprisingly easy.
Here are some simple ways to stay on track (without missing out on sweet foods):
1. Make simple swaps.
When it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth, incorporating natural sweeteners, coconut oil as a butter substitute, and unprocessed flour alternatives are easy ways to modify recipes for a healthy diet.
2. Kick up the flavor (without kicking up the sugar).
The addition of spices like vanilla, cinnamon and cacoa are easy ways to add familiar flavors to your desserts. These spices even provide extra nutritional benefits.
Cinnamon may be a common spice for all things sweet and delicious, but organic cinnamon can also offer medicinal properties like anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants.
If you are a chocolate lover, cacao will quickly become your new best friend.
This unprocessed version of traditional cocoa powder contains almost four times more antioxidants that traditional dark chocolate along with various vitamins and minerals which include protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, and sulfur.
Whether its in a powder form or in cacao nibs you can use in replacement of chocolate chips, cacoa has been a lifesaver when it comes to making all my favorite healthy treats chocolatey and decadent.
When it comes to all things sweet and healthy, I have three go-to recipes that make me forget about all of my favorite unhealthy treats.
These recipes are not only delicious, but they can be enjoyed without the guilt or discomfort that often comes along with traditional desserts.
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
These oatmeal chocolate chip cookies will make you forget about your favorite pre-made cookie dough. They’re absolutely delicious and surprisingly healthy with no flour, no butter, and no processed sugars.
What you’ll need:
3/4 cup of oat flour (quick oats blended in a blender)
1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
1/4 cup of quick oats
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
4 tablespoons of coconut sugar
1/2 cup of dark chocolate or sweetened cacoa nibs
1. Stir together the oat flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
2. In a separate bowl, stir together the vanilla, egg, and coconut sugar. Combine melted coconut oil when it is cool enough.
3. Combine the wet ingredients, dry ingredients, and the chocolate chips.
4. Cover and chill the dough for 30 minutes to an hour. This is vital to ensure you don't make pancake cookies!
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
6. Scoop the dough into balls on a non-stick baking sheet. I like to sprinkle some sea salt on top after this step.
7. Bake for 7-10 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies.
Chocolate Avocado Mousse
Initially, I was skeptical about including something green into a dessert but I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The avocado gives the mousse a light, airy texture while providing healthy fats that will help keep you fuller for longer- the perfect late night snack!
What you’ll need:
A blender (I love my NutriBullet for this!)
1 large avocado
1 banana, make sure it’s ripe and spotty.
4 tablespoons of raw cacoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of honey or agave
1. Add the ingredients to your blender.
2. Blend until the mixture is completely combined.
3. Chill in the fridge for a few minutes and enjoy!
4. I love to add fresh fruit, a mint leaf, chia seeds, or coconut shavings to the top.
Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seed pudding is LIFE. I’m obsessed, but the chia-seed texture is not for everyone.
Chia seeds are an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. This superfood does a magical thing when combined with almond milk and transforms into pudding within a matter of hours. This recipe can be used as a dessert, but it also makes the perfect breakfast or healthy snack.
What you’ll need:
1/3 cup of black chia seeds
1 1/2 cups of almond milk
2 tablespoons of honey
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of cacoa powder (if you want it chocolatey)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
This recipe makes about 2 servings.
1. Simply combine ingredients into a container with a secure lid (mason jars are perfect for this).
2. Give it a shake until everything is combined.
3. Let the mixture sit for 3 hours.
4. Add your favorite topping like nuts or fresh fruit.
Note: An hack for this recipe is to buy sweetened vanilla or chocolate almond milk to simply combine with the chia seeds. These two ingredients make this recipe super simple if you’re in a time crunch!
These simple, sweet recipes are the perfect way to satisfy your cravings while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Feel free to experiment and find your favorite healthy recipes when you need to satisfy your sweet tooth.
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