Chocolate is one special food. Not only is it sweet, satisfying, and soothing, but it happens to be super healthy for you too. Eaten the right way, chocolate is a good source of antioxidants, it helps lower your risk of heart disease, and it can even help you lose weight. That's where these healthy chocolate recipes come in.
If you're trying to maintain a healthy diet, there's no reason you have to give up chocolate, because who really has the willpower to do that?! If you want to keep chocolate in your life without all the guilt, try one of the following recipes.
These chocolate truffles can fit a wide range of diets, including paleo, gluten free, and vegan. Free of sugar and dairy, these truffles are sure to pack a punch with their coconut-filled ingredients and rich chocolatey flavor. Since they are made with dark chocolate containing 70 percent cocoa or higher, you’ll be sure to receive the most health benefits.
Image and recipe: Nom Nom Paleo
Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Trying to get your vegetables in? Make this indulgent bread, which is filled with cocoa powder and chocolate chips, as well zucchini. Not only does the cocoa help improve your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but the zucchini will provide you with a dose of healthy vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin A.
Image and recipe: The Kitchn
Salted Caramel Roasted Cashews Chocolate Squares
They may not look it, but these babies are actually made with natural ingredients, including raw cashews, ghee butter, maple syrup, and raw cacao. Just a few simple steps, and you can enjoy this dessert without worrying about all that excess refined sugar or heavy cream.
Image and recipe: The Healthy Foodie
(Almost) Instant Chocolate Chia Pudding
If you’re not one for baking, this chocolate chia seed pudding is for you. If you freeze your almond milk ahead of time, you can have a delicious, vegan dessert (or breakfast!) in just five minutes. This recipe uses dates as natural sugar, and the added chia seeds give you a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids as well as fiber.
Image and recipe: Oh She Glows
Almond Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Making your own granola bars is the way to go, considering you cut out nasty preservatives, additives, hydrogenated fats, and added sugars found in store-bought kinds. These bars are honey-sweetened and are made with almond butter and oats, making them full of heart-healthy fats, fiber, and protein.
Image and recipe: Cookie + Kate
Ricotta Chocolate Chip Banana and Chia Pancakes
Nothing says good morning like pancakes with chocolate! This delicious breakfast dish is actually made with banana and whole wheat flour to keep things light, and the addition of chia seeds and egg give the pancakes a nutritional kick. Who knew breakfast could be so decadent but still healthy?
Image and recipe: Half Baked Harvest
Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting
These chocolate cupcakes are made healthy by their main ingredient beets, which add a variety of vitamins and nutrients to these fancy little desserts. The recipe also uses whole wheat flour and muscovado sugar — the unrefined version of brown sugar. Despite their deceivingly nutritious ingredients, these chocolatey cupcakes will be sure to please health-nuts and junk-food lovers alike.
Image and recipe: Naturally Ella
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Who says chocolate chip cookies can’t be good for you? This recipe uses almond flour instead of regular flour, making these cookies protein-filled and gluten-free. Ghee butter replaces regular butter, and palm sugar is substituted for cane sugar, but despite these healthy swaps, you still get the taste of a traditional chocolate chip cookie.
Image and recipe: Against All Grain
Raw Chocolate Shake
Ditch your green choice for this raw chocolate shake, which in addition to cacao nibs and cocoa powder, contains hemp seeds, avocado, strawberries, and banana. With all these healthful ingredients, this shake provides an abundant quantity of vitamins and nutrients as well as protein, healthy omega-3s, and antioxidants.
Image and recipe: Green Kitchen Stories
Almond and Coconut Butter Cups
Who needs Reese’s when you have these mini chocolate cups? Made with just almonds, coconut butter, cocoa, and maple syrup, these desserts can be topped with your choice of dried fruit, nuts, or any other garnish that suits your fancy, making these a fun and versatile healthy chocolate option.
Image and recipe: Bare Root Girl
Black Bean Brownies
The idea of black beans in a brownie may freak you out, but using beans instead of flour is a great way to make a guiltless version of this traditional dessert. The taste of black beans is surprisingly masked, and this recipe happens to not only be vegan, but gluten-free.
Image and recipe: Quinoa, Kale and Exhale
If you love Nutella, this recipe is for you. Using just almonds, coconut oil, and chocolate, you can make your own gooey spread that tastes perfect over toast or in oatmeal.
Image and recipe: Love and Lemons
Chocolate Chip Coconut Popcorn
Combine the fiber from the popcorn with the healthy fats from coconut and the many powers of chocolate, and you have a balanced snack that will be sure to satisfy both your sweet and salty cravings. This recipe uses Stevia as a sweetener and coconut oil instead of butter to pop the kernels.
Image and recipe: Family Fresh Cooking