Healthy Chocolate Desserts

If you’re like the rest of us, you may already be feeling the weight (pardon the pun!) of all the holiday parties and festivities. It might seem almost impossible to maintain that healthy lifestyle you’ve so carefully crafted. The key to feeling good and staying the course lies in sustainability. Life is for living, so a diet that is overly restrictive or controlled isn’t providing the nourishment we crave. Allow yourself to ENJOY food, and when you do indulge, do it wisely.

Who doesn’t love chocolate?? This holiday season, try these easy chocolate recipes that incorporate antioxidant-rich raw, organic cacao. Easy to make, gluten-free, and packed full of nutrients, these tasty treats will keep you satisfied AND guilt-free this holiday season!

RAW Almond Coconut Cacao Treats 

INGREDIENTS

·      1 cup raw almonds

·      15 Medjool dates, pitted

·      3 tbsp raw cacao powder

·      1 tbsp almond butter (or nut butter of choice)

·      2 tbsp coconut oil

·      2 tbsp chia seeds

·      2 tbsp hemp seeds

PREPARATION

1.    In a food processor, pulse the almonds so that they’re broken into small pieces (do not grind too fine)

a.    Set aside part of almond mixture for rolling

2.    Add the remaining ingredients and pulse for several seconds until evenly blended

3.    Cover baking sheet with parchment paper

4.    Roll into balls with hands and roll in ground nuts

5.    Refrigerate until firm and enjoy

6.    May store in fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for several weeks

SWEET POTATO BROWNIES

INGREDIENTS

·      2 large sweet potatoes (8 – 10 ounces each)

·      2 ½ tbsp melted coconut oil

·      3/4 cup pure maple syrup

·      1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

·      2 large eggs (organic, cage free)

·      1 cup almond or coconut flour

·      1/3 cup raw cacao powder

·      1 ½ tsp cinnamon

·      1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

·      1 tsp baking powder (aluminum free)

·      1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

·      1/2 cup chopped 72% dark chocolate

PREPARATION

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper, then lightly coat with coconut baking spray.

2.    Lightly coat sweet potatoes with 1/2 tsp coconut oil, pierce with fork, and bake for 25 minutes in oven. Once cool, scoop out 2 cups of the flesh and discard the skin. Place in larger mixing bowl, beat until fairly smooth, and add in remaining coconut oil until combined.

3.    Add maple syrup and vanilla to mixture. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.

4.    In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cacao, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until well blended. Fold in the chocolate pieces.

5.    Scrape the batter into the baking pan and smooth the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely and enjoy!

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

INGREDIENTS

For the Mousse

·      1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water

·      8 large Medjool dates, pitted and soaked overnight in water

·      3/4 cup filtered water

·      1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

·      6 tbsp raw cacao powder

·      1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

·      1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Ganache

·      1/2 cup real maple syrup

·      2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted

·      6 tbsp raw organic cacao powder

·      Raw cacao nibs or berries for garnish (optional)

PREPARATION

1.    Cover the cashews and pitted dates with water and soak for at least 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.

2.    Drain cashews and dates and blend with filtered water, melted coconut oil, cacao powder, salt, and vanilla extract. Blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides. Add a tablespoon of additional water as needed.

3.    Spoon the mousse into individual serving bowls and place in the fridge.

4.    Blend together maple syrup and coconut oil.

5.    Add cacao powder and process until smooth.

6.    Pour ganache over mousse and top with garnish, cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Enjoy!