This time of year, most people want to bake handmade chocolate treats. However, come January 1st people feel remorse, resolving to lose weight and become healthy. The cycle repeats every year.
This blog is dedicated to chocolate-lovers: Yes, you can have chocolate AND feel good about it come January 1st.
Chocolate can be VERY healthy. Keep in mind, anything can be eaten in excess. The following recipes should be still should be eaten with common sense.
Make sure to eat a healthy diet full of vegetables and protein. One recipe I include IS rich in protein too.
8 Grain-Free, Naturally-Sweetened Chocolate Recipes
The following recipes are free of artificial and heavily-processed ingredients. They are full of antioxidant goodness.
1. Whiskey Chocolate Cake Bites
This first recipe combines the complex flavors of whiskey and chocolate. Even more importantly, it is incredibly easy without any cooking required.
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate, melted
- 1 tbsp single malt whiskey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
- 1 drop CPTG lavender or 2 drops Wild orange essential oil, optional
- 1/2 cup maple syrup, melted honey, or agave nectar
- Dash of Himalayan salt
- Extra cocoa powder for rolling. Can also roll in gluten-free cookie crumb.
- In large bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Then mix in the rest of the ingredients.
- Place in freezer to harden.
- After 20 minutes, coat the bites with cocoa if desired.
- Freeze or keep in refrigerator.
2. Peppermint Truffles
- 10 oz dark chocolate 80% cacao
- 2 tbsp coconut milk
- 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil
- 3 tbsp whiskey
- 1-2 drops peppermint CPTG essential oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Unsweetened cocoa powder for rolling
- In a double boiler, let the chocolate chips, coconut milk, and butter or coconut oil heat up and melt. Stir continuously. If you have a warming unit on your stove, you can also use this.
- Remove from heat.
- Cool for 5-8 minutes.
- Add in whiskey, peppermint essential oil to taste, and salt. Stir well.
- Refrigerate until the mixture hardens.
- Dust 1-2 tbsp of cocoa powder on to a serving dish or a storage container. This helps the truffles not stick to the plate.
- Scoop out mini balls and shape quickly.
- Roll the truffles in cocoa powder
- transfer them to plate coated with cocoa powder.
- Store in the refrigerator.
3. Homemade Chocolates
Simple homemade chocolates that you can pour into molds. Keep them frozen and serve cold because of its melting potential.
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or grassfed butter measured as liquid
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons honey more if you like sweeter chocolate
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Optional: 1 drop peppermint essential oil or 2 drops Wild orange essential oil or 1 tbsp. instant coffee
- Whisk coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat until combined.
- Remove from heat and stir in any additions.
- Once smooth, pour into molds or onto a tray and place in the freezer for at least an hour to harden.
- Remove from molds and store in the freezer.
4. Low Carb Holiday Candies
- 2/3 cup Organic Coconut Butter, or grassfed butter, melted
1/8 cup fine, unsweetened Coconut Flakes
1 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil
3 tsp Raw Cacao Powder, for chocolate candies
1/4 tsp Liquid Stevia Extract
- 1 drop CPTG lavender, cardamom, cinnamon, or OnGuard essential oil.
- Combine all ingredients together and mix well.
- Pour into candy molds
- Place into refrigerator for about 30-45 minutes or until candy is completely set
- Store in the refrigerator as they will melt.
5. Chocolate Almond Cups
- ¾ cup natural almond butter
- ¾ cup dark chocolate chips; find the stevia-sweetened if possible
- ¾ cup unsalted, roasted almonds, chopped
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
optional topping: 1 tablespoon unsalted, roasted almonds, finely chopped
Line a mini muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
Use the double boiler to melt the chocolate. If you are very careful, you can gently melt on low heat without a double boiler as well. Avoid high temperatures to prevent the chocolate from seizing.
Stir between heating, until smooth and thoroughly combined. Add in almonds, extract, and salt.
Scoop 2 tbsp. into prepared muffin tins. Tap the muffin pan to create smooth, even cups. Top with finely chopped almonds if you want.
Freeze for 15-20 minutes. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
6. Chocolate Christmas Cake
Be aware that while all ingredients are pretty healthy, this still has plenty of calories and about 20 grams of natural sugars, so watch your portions.
- 0.5 pound raw almonds or almond meal
- 1/2 cup medjool dates, seeds removed
- 1/4 cup raw cashew nuts
- 1/4 cup grassfed butter, melted
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-4 tbsp. cacao powder
Preheat oven to 350°F, grease and line a cake tin.
Add raw almonds to food processor, and process until smooth.
Add medjool dates and cashew nuts; process an additional 3-5 seconds
Add remaining ingredients and process until combined.
Pour batter into greased cake tin.
Bake for around 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
7. Dark Chocolate Cookies
Cookies are my personal favorite, and these are no exception. They deliver on richness and chocolate. These are elegant enough for gifts as well as grain free.
- 6 ounces chocolate chips, use stevia-sweetened if possible
- 2 tablespoons salted grassfed butter
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup blanched almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 6 ounces dark chocolate chips, preferably sweetened with stevia
- 1½ cups pecans, coarsely chopped
- In a medium pot, melt 6 ounces chocolate chips and shortening over very low heat.
- Remove pan from heat.
- Using a hand blender, mix in eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Blend in almond flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Stir in additional 6 ounces chocolate chips and pecans.
- Scoop batter 1 tablespoon at a time onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Flatten dough with the palm of wet hands.
- Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes.Cool for 1 hour.
8. Superfood Chocolate-Cinnamon Protein Bars
This is a super-healthy snack and has a lot of electrolytes for after-workouts.
- 2 cups unflavored hemp protein powder
- 1/4 cup ground flax meal
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- Stevia or monk fruit to taste
- 2 drops CPTG cinnamon essential oil
- 2 cups nut butter of choice
- 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil melted (I prefer butter)
- 10 pitted medjool dates
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt
- 1 cup cacao nibs
- Grease a 14″ rectangular pan and set aside. Or line with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a food processor, mix the protein powder, flax meal, cocoa powder and sweetener (if using) together to combine.
- Add the nut butter, coconut oil and dates and process until smooth. Scrape down the bowl if necessary.
- Add the cacao nibs and combine.
- Spread the dough in the greased pan.
- Refrigerate for an hour before cutting into bars.
Unusual Benefits of Chocolate
The media extols the benefits of chocolate, so I’m going to throw in a few lesser-known facts about this luxurious food.
Dark chocolate is a great source of bone- building and mood-enhancing magnesium.
Dark chocolate may improve memory and arterial blood flow after sleep deprivation (6).
Dark chocolate and other polyphenol-rich foods improve the quality of life in people with fibromyalgia (7).
Cocoa beans may help protect against lung cancer by killing cancer cells (9).
However, when chocolate is sweetened heavily, as in milk chocolate, it may increase risk of asthma (8).
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body and is shared for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making changes to your supplement regimen or lifestyle.
Heidi Moretti, MS, RD is The Healthy RD. A registered dietitian for 20 years, has a passion for functional nutrition and natural medicine. Has researched supplements and plants as medicine throughout her career. Loves helping people gain function and vitality by tackling the root causes of illness.