• Aine Boyle

10 guilt free chocolate treats

Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food, a guilty pleasure, and the good news is that the right kind of chocolate can actually be good for you… In this blog, I’m going to explain why and also share with you some of my favourite healthy recipes, so you can get your chocolate hit without a side order of guilt.


1. HOT CHOCOLATE

1 cup/ 250ml almond milk

1 tbsp raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa)

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

. teaspoon vanilla extract

a pinch of salt

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan over high heat and stir using a whisk, breaking up any

lumps as you go.



2. CHOCOLATE BARK

350g dark chocolate

125g blanched almonds, toasted and chopped

100g unsweetened dried fruit (eg cranberries or mango)

pinch of sea salt


Line a baking sheet with parchment. Melt the dark chocolate by filling the bottom of a saucepan with couple of cms of water and bring to a simmer over a medium-high heat. Put the chocolate in a glass bowl and set over the simmering water, stirring occasionally. Once melted, tip into the prepared tin and smooth with a spatula so the chocolate is evenly distributed. Scatter over the remaining ingredients (you can add a pinch of dried chillies if you’re feeling brave) and chill in the fridge until the chocolate sets (about 30 mins). Peel off the parchment and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to a month (if it lasts that long).



3. LOW GL CHOCOLATE FRUIT CLUSTERS



100g dark chocolate

15g dried cranberries

25 ready to eat apricots

40g pecan nuts

5 Nairns rough oatcakes

2 tsp xylitol

40g flaked almonds


Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl set in shallow water over a low heat.

Blend all ingredients (except almonds) in a food processor until roughly chopped. Add the blitzed mixture and the almonds to the melted chocolate

and coat thoroughly. Spoon into 10-12 cake cases and chill in fridge until set






4. CHOCOLATE DIPPED FRUIT


Melt 200g dark chocolate by filling the bottom of a saucepan with couple of cms of water and bring to a simmer over a medium-high heat. Put the chocolate in a glass bowl and set over the simmering water. Let the chocolate melt, stirring

occasionally, until no more lumps remain. Remove the bowl with the chocolate from heat.


While the chocolate melts, line a large tray with baking parchment. Almost any fruit works, including bananas, pears and orange slices as well as strawberries and cherries. Wash your fruit and pat dry well before cutting up into slices – when fruit is wet, it’s much harder for the chocolate to stick. Dip a third of the fruit slices into the chocolate and place on the parchment to set. Option: sprinkle with unsweetened desiccated coconut or chopped nuts.



5. COCO-CHERRY BLISS BALLS


125g ground almonds

1 tbsp ground flaxseeds

10 Medjool dates with stones removed

(normal dates are fine, but Mejool are nicer)

100g unsweetened dried cherries

60g melted coconut oil

60g raw cacao

2 tbsp maca powder

2 tbsp sour cherry juice concentrate

(like Cherry Active)

1/2 tsp almond extract

Unsweetened shredded/ desiccated coconut


Blitz the cherries and dates in a food processor until finely shopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to blitz until it starts to form a dough. Roll into small balls and coat with shredded coconut. Freeze to firm up.



6. CHOCOLATE & BANANA ICE CREAM


2 bananas, chopped and frozen

1 tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao


When ripe, frozen bananas and cocoa powder are combined together in a blender you get a creamy, guilt-free, scrumptious frozen treat. Put the frozen bananas in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

When the mixture is smooth, add the cocoa powder and blend until incorporated. For a soft ice cream, serve immediately. For a firm chocolate banana ice cream, transfer it back to

the freezer for at least an hour.




6. RAW CHOCOLATE TART

450g cashews

2tbsp coconut oil

1tbsp espresso, finely ground

1/2 tsp sea salt

4 tbsp maple syrup

85g cacao powder

245g full fat coconut milk


Combine 225g (unsoaked) cashews, coconut oil, espresso, salt and 1 tablespoon maple syrup in the food processor and blitz until finely chopped.

Line an 8-inch tart tin with parchment. Press the crust mixture into the bottom using the back of a spoon and set aside. Then combine 225g of the cashews (soaked for 30 mins in boiling water), the remaining 3 tbsp maple syrup, cacao powder and coconut milk and blend in a food processor until totally smooth. Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. Can also be topped with berries or bananas for a fruity twist.


7. CHOCOLATE FUDGE PROTEIN SHAKE


1 tbsp protein powder

1/2 - 1 ripe avocado (depending on size)

1/2 cup/ 125 ml almond milk (unsweetened)

1/2 cup water

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

4 ice cubes

3 tsp xylitol (start with 2 and add more if you need to)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp ground flax


Pop all the ingredients into a blender or NutriBullet and whizz.






8. OVERNIGHT OATS WITH ALMOND BUTTER CACAO NIBS


200ml almond milk

2 tbsp chia seeds

65g oats

2 tbsp cacao nibs

1 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut

1 heaped tbsp almond butter

1 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of sea salt


In a wide-bottomed jar or portable container, pour in the almond milk, chia seed, oats, cacao nibs, coconut, almond butter, maple syrup, and a pinch of sea salt.

Give the mixture a good stir to incorporate the almond butter. Put the lid on and keep in the fridge overnight and they’re ready to go for breakfast.


10. (HEALTHIER) CHOCOLATE BISCUITS

There is some brown sugar in this recipe but this is the lowest amount possible

while trying to still make these cookies taste good!


2 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, lightly packed

66g coconut oil

135g oats

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

90g dark chocolate chips

Coarse sea salt


Blend the oats in a food processor until they resemble flour.

Combine the vanilla extract, egg and brown sugar in a bowl. Melt the coconut oil and let it cool slightly before adding to the bowl. Beat everything together until just combined.

Stir in the oat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir until just combined and then fold in the dark chocolate chips.


Chill the dough for at least one hour in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Break off a little of the dough and roll into a ball. Press a few more chocolate chips in the

tops if desired. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned

around the edges. Remove from the oven and rest on the baking sheet for another 2 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack.

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