Healthy Chocolate. Who knew?

It’s that time of year when around every corner is a bag of candy, a delicious homemade dessert, and more pumpkin spice items than one can handle. All that before the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s feasts we all look forward to. With so much sweet temptation, how are we to stick to our diets? Is there a way to prevent ourselves from overindulging in all the sweet goodness just begging us to dig in to?

The answer is we look for yummy and healthy alternatives. In that order. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it can’t taste good too. There are plenty of great options you can make in your kitchen.

With the help of a baker, we’ve come up with great tasting alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth without destroying your diet. Everything from chocolate bars to cakes to candies can be adapted to use better-for-you ingredients.

You’re probably wondering what these magic ingredients are. For starters, they’re easily accessible. You can find them at any grocery store and any big box store in your neighborhood. Have you ever tried quinoa? How about coconut oil? They’re both good for you.

Here are a few delicious recipes to add to your recipe book:

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry

Ingredients:

  • Fresh strawberries
  • Dark baking chocolate (melt in a microwave-safe bowl or use a double boiler on the stove top)

Instructions:

  • Rinse/clean strawberries
  • Melt chocolate for one minute in microwave or on stovetop
  • Dip strawberries in warm chocolate mixture and let set in the refrigerator until the chocolate coating hardens.

Choco-Nut Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • Small bag of air popcorn
  • 1 Tbsp melted organic, sugar-free peanut butter
  • Cocoa powder

Instructions:

  • Pop a small bag of natural air popcorn according to package directions. Top popcorn with 1 tablespoon melted peanut butter and coat with a dusting of cocoa powder.

Chocolate Glazed Fruit

Ingredients:

  • Seasonal fresh fruits, sliced or diced
  • Dark baking chocolate, melted
  • Nuts or granola

Instructions:

  • Clean and slice fresh fruitf
  • Melt dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl
  • Plate fruit. Drizzle melted chocolate over it. Sprinkle nuts or granola over the top. For added panache, toss some shaved chocolate over it or spoon the ingredients into a cup of Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla). Enjoy!
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