I am a bit of a chocoholic. Okay, quite a bit of one to be perfectly honest. I love it pretty much in all forms and have spent the longest time denying myself chocolate because I thought it was unhealthy. Of course, I was thinking of commercially prepared chocolate candy and fudge that is loaded with refined sugar. Those are definitely unhealthy for you. However, as I learned more about ingredients and became more creative in the kitchen, I found ways to enjoy chocolate that wasn’t unhealthy. In fact, when prepared correctly, it can be good for your body! Especially your heart. Cocoa expands the blood vessels in the heart and helps all that lovely blood of yours flow through with ease. A relaxed and properly working heart is something we all need, so I’m encouraging you to dive into healthy chocolate recipes with your mouth and mind wide open.
In fact, start with breakfast! Chocolate for breakfast sounds like a health faux pas and the dream of school-age children, but you can absolutely add chocolate back onto the breakfast menu with this trio of healthy recipes.
Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal
Chocolate and raspberry is a flavor combination that is a personal favorite of mine. Raspberries are hands down my favorite fruit and combining them with chocolate makes it utterly irresistible for me. I could eat this oatmeal for every meal for the rest of my life.
Makes 3 servings
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups liquid of choice (water is fine to use. For a creamier texture, you can use almond milk or coconut milk. Or half water and half milk if you like.)
1 cup raspberries (fresh or thawed frozen)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1. In a medium sauce pan, bring the milk or water to a boil over medium high heat. Stir in the oatmeal and turn down the heat to low. Simmer the oatmeal uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Stir in cocoa powder, raspberries, and honey/maple syrup. Continue to cook for 10 more minutes, again stirring occasionally
3. Once done cooking, garnish with nuts, sliced fruit of choice, shredded coconut, or chia seeds
Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
Overnight oats are the simplest of simple breakfasts. You can make a huge batch during your weekly meal prep, portion it out into jars, and breakfast for the week is not only done, but it’s ready to throw on the table with a spoon or to toss in your work bag. Plus, this recipe is the magical blend of easy, healthy, and chocolate….oh yeah, and peanut butter.
Makes 2 large servings
1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
3/4 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 – 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey, depending on how sweet you like it.
1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover, and refrigerate overnight, or for a minimum of 6 hours.
2. Top with fresh berries or bananas for a breakfast option or chocolate chips and extra peanut butter for a simple dessert.
3. Store in fridge up to 5 days.
Protein-Packed Breakfast Brownies (with hidden fruits & veggies)
This is probably one my favorite recipes, both for myself and as a mother. These brownies look like sweet, decadent, chocolatey business on the outside, but they are secretly loaded with protein and nutrients on the inside. I love to make these for weeks that I know are going to be a little nuts, as they are an easy thing to grab when I am running late for work or to throw into a lunchbox at a moment’s notice.
When my daughter helps me make these she licks the bowl clean before I can even get them in the oven. You know when a recipe is 3-year-old approved, you have a good thing going in the kitchen! These breakfast brownies are so delicious, in fact, that I occasionally make them with a few dark chocolate chips sprinkled on top and serve them as a no-guilt dessert.
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup unseasoned black beans, cooked, rinsed and drained
1/2 beet, washed, peeled, cooked, and cut into pieces
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup maple syrup, honey or coconut sugar (more or less to taste)
3 Tablespoons peanut butter (omit for nut free option or use Sunbutter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 F
2. Put rolled oats into a food processor and pulse until it is a fine oat flour
3. Add other ingredients to food processor. Blend until the batter is smooth and all ingredients is incorporated.
4. Pour into a baking pan lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with chocolate chips, and bake for 20-25 minutes
5. Cool completely and then cut into squares.
6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze them individually wrapped for up to a month.