Monday 15th marks the start of National Chocolate Week. It is a celebration of something that most of us love, but that many people love a little too much! Globally, children and adults alike are becoming addicted to foods that are high in saturated fats and refined sugars. As a Nutritional Therapist, finding and creating delicious healthy alternatives to our favourite sweet treats is something that I adore, and adore sharing with friends and clients. I certainly don’t believe the fun needs to be taken out of National Chocolate Week, but it can be enjoyed a little differently. In this week’s blog, we take a look at the indulgent delights of healthy chocolate alternatives to those Cadbury’s cravings.
Healthy Hot Chocolate
Taking cacao powder rather than cocoa powder, almond milk in place of ordinary dairy, and a dash of cinnamon, I’ve been making healthy hot chocolate for all the family over many years. Using this combination of ingredients we have all enjoyed our touch of indulgence, snuggled up on the sofa. Whilst my method is throwing everything into the pan in measures that my hands know, you can follow a similar and simple recipe by The Healthy Chef here.
I don’t doubt that there will be more sightings of ‘cacao powder’ within this blog. It is chocolate in its raw form. Full of magnesium, cacao powder can help to support a healthy heart, brain, and bone density.
Chocolate Fruit and Nut Clusters
Dark chocolate is a glorious thing. Simultaneously rich and a little bitter, dark chocolate can be enjoyed without feeling sluggish afterwards. Consumed in moderation, the body can benefit from the nutrients and antioxidants that dark chocolate delivers. In fact, the serotonin that dark chocolate contains will help release endorphins. For some, dark chocolate doesn’t seem all that appetising. To them, I say try my chocolate fruit and nut clusters. Dark chocolate melted and mixed with sweet dried fruits and chopped nuts; you can have your taste of chocolaty heaven by following the recipe here.
You can learn more about the health benefits of dark chocolate in Healthline’s blog.
Raw Cacao-Carob Brownies
There really are so many healthy alternatives to our chocolate cravings that can be enjoyed during National Chocolate week. A family favourite is my healthy brownies. A blend of cacao powder and carob powder is mixed with protein-packed nuts, sour cherries, desiccated coconut (and more!), to give that gloriously gooey texture that is synonymous with the much loved brownie. Being raw, there is no chance of burning the brownies either, which is a bonus in anyone’s book. You can find my raw cacao-carob brownies recipe here.
Orange Jaffa Balls – the Healthy Take on Jaffa Cakes
Whether a Jaffa Cake is a cake or a biscuit is a hotly debated topic. Now I may be a little biased, but I think an equally debatable topic is whether my Orange Jaffa Balls are as scrumptious as the original Jaffa Cake. It’s certainly a close call! Using dark chocolate, maple syrup, the juice and rind of an orange and almonds, these little treasures are a more than tempting healthy alternative. Find this easy to follow recipe here.
There you have it; four delicious and healthy alternatives to chocolate goodies, just in time for National Chocolate Week 2018. It isn’t unusual for people to struggle with sweet treats, but with a little research and some guidance from those in the know, you can make easy changes to your diet without saying goodbye to those delectable tastes and textures. To learn more about healthy eating, or to start your journey towards optimum health with the help of a nutritional therapist, get in touch today.
Should you wish to indulge further in some chocolaty goodness, I wholeheartedly recommend a fun-filled workshop with Louise Attenborough at the Chocolate Collective. They are perfectly tailored to children’s birthday parties and hen-dos, as easily as corporate and general workshops.
Bon appetit and Happy Chocolate Week to Everyone!