healthy chocolate recipes

When the sweet tooth strikes don't dive headfirst into a bath of Dairy Milk, give these healthy chocolatey recipes a twirl instead. (A twirl, ha ha, see what we did there?!)

Rather than vatfs of refined sugar, the sweetness in these recipes comes from dates, bananas, maple syrup and other natural sources. The chocolatey flavour comes from cacao – the seeds from which chocolate is made – and cocoa. And the best bit? They all taste bloomin' lush.

Click right for the following 6 healthy chocolate recipes

1. Raw Fudge Brownies

2. Chocolate Chia Seed Breakfast Puddings

3. Claire’s Chocolate Hazelnut Power Pills

4. A Good Chocolate Cake

5. Chocolate, Blackcurrant And Pear Smoothie

6. Chocolate Protein Pancakes

Raw fudge brownie

This raw fudge brownie is simple, tasty and healthy. Vegan and gluten free, it contains cacao and coconut oil. Cacao is full of antioxidants and nutrients, while coconut oil contains healthy fats.

Serves: makes 12 brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dried fruits (such as pitted dates and currants)
  • 1/2 cup nuts
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup cacao
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined and at desired consistency.

2. Scoop mixture into a baking tray and place in the freezer for half an hour.

3. Remove from freezer once set and slice into pieces. Store brownies in fridge.

Top tip: For a sweeter treat, add a natural sweetener such as honey or maple syrup. A cup is 250ml.

This recipe comes from personal trainer and wellness coach Ashley Hunt.

chia porridge

Chia seeds are high in protein and keep you fuller for longer, making them a perfect breakfast option. You can have these puddings hot or cold, depending on the time of year.

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds 
  • I cup of nut milk (such as almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • Himalayan sea salt to taste
  • ¼ cup of agave syrup
  • 1 small banana

Method:

1. Mix the ground chia seeds, cacao, agave syrup and nut milk in a bowl and pop in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) to make a gel.

2. Whisk the mixture once or twice during the standing time to prevent the seeds clumping together, add a little extra milk if this happens.

3. Either serve cold with chopped banana and cacao nibs on top or during winter months, heat gently in a pan, not to boiling, and serve.  

Top tip: A cup is 250ml

This recipe is taken from the Raw Chi Chocolate, Alchemy of Chocolate Cookbook by Renée Maguire.

Chocolate Power pills

The list of ingredients may seem long but these balls are so easy to make, once you've stocked up you'll be knocking them out every weekend. Protein-packed, they deliver a burst of super-tasty energy, making them the ideal post-gym snack.

Serves: Makes 12 balls or 24 power 'pills'

Ingredients:

  • 125g raw hazelnut butter
  • 100g Brazil nuts, finely chopped
  • 50g dried cherries, preferably without oil or sweetener added, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds, ground in a mortar
  • 3 teaspoons cacao nibs, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons raw cacao powder
  • 3 teaspoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon maca root powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon blue green algae, spirulina, or other source of chlorophyll
  • seeds from ¼ of a vanilla pod
  • extra cacao powder, hemp seeds, chia seeds or coconut shreds, to coat

Method:

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl (easiest done using your hands).

2. Shape the paste into small balls or pills and gently roll them in the extra cacao powder, hemp seeds, chia seeds, coconut shreds, or a combination of any of these.

3. Chill for 15 minutes. Keep refrigerated.

This recipe was taken from Little Leon: Sweet Treats: Naturally Fast Recipes published on 3 September 2015

Healthy Chocolate Cake

Low in sugar and saturated fats, this vegan chocolate cake is a favourite at parties/celebrations/afternoon tea/just because.

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

For the cake

  • 150ml hot water
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 200ml agave nectar
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • juice of ½  a lemon
  • 80ml sunflower oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 180g white spelt flour or plain flour
  • ½  teaspoon baking powder
  •   teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • a pinch of salt

For the icing

  • 50g cocnut oil
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50ml agave nectar

Method:

1. Heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Grease and line a 20–23cm cake tin with baking paper.

2. Whisk together the hot water and cocoa powder until smooth. Add the remaining wet ingredients and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Pour the wet mixture over the dry and whisk in a circular motion from the centre of the bowl, moving outwards to combine. Pour the mixture into the cake tin.

4. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean and the cake is springy to the touch. Let it cool for 10 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. For the icing, put all the ingredients into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of barely simmering water to melt, and stir. Move the cake to a serving plate and drizzle the chocolate icing over it.

This recipe was taken from Little Leon: Sweet Treats: Naturally Fast Recipes published on 3 September 2015

chocolate smoothie

This dairy-free smoothie has all the antioxidant and vitamin C goodness of blackcurrants  and is low GI for sustained energy levels.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

400ml chocolate soya milk

100g fresh or thawed from frozen blackcurrants

1 large pear, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

40g toasted hazelnuts, plus extra finely chopped, to serve

1 square dark chocolate, grated to serve (optional)

Method:

Place all the ingredients into a blender, and whizz until smooth. Pour into glasses or jam jars and serve with some blackcurrants, chopped hazelnut and grated chocolate on top.

British Blackcurrants can be bought frozen online at www.britishblackcurrants.co.uk

Protein Pancakes

For a protein-rich, low-sugar alternative to American pancakes try these chocolatey little numbers. Ideal for weekend brunch.

Serves: makes 20

Ingredients:

  • 120g protein oats or plain oats
  • 50g PhD woman Chocolate Cookie Exercise Support (protein powder)
  • 5 egg whites
  • 2 eggs
  • 30ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 10g Green and Blacks cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) agave nectar
  • 1teaspoon (1g) chocolate extract
  • 1teaspoon (6g) Baking powder
  • 125g Quark (fat-free soft cheese)
  • 50g chocolate chips

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips together in a bowl and mix with a stick blender or in a blender.

2. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Heat up a non-stick frying pan and drop in a heaped tablespoon of the mixture to make the pancakes – each pancake should be about 7-8 cm in diameter.

4. Cook until the edges start to curl and bubbles appear.

5. Flip over and cook for another 2 minutes.

PhD woman’s Exercise Support is available from www.phd-woman.co.uk