When you ask people what they crave the most, the majority of people will say, “chocolate.” When you switch to a clean-eating lifestyle, that doesn’t go away. Why? Chocolate is not only good, but it’s good for you! The problem is, when we think of chocolate, we think of Snicker’s bars or Dove Chocolates or chocolate cake from the local diner. Do I have your attention now? Those kinds of chocolate are bad for you, but not because of the chocolate. Those sources are filled with processed sugars and often trans fats. But the chocolate itself isn’t to blame.
First off, chocolate is a power-house of antioxidants. That basically means, chocolate can fight off a lot of the bad crap out there that tries to get into your body. Chocolate can also lower blood pressure, protect your heart and improve brain function.
So why do we worry so much about craving chocolate? Go ahead! Eat chocolate! BUT (That’s right, you knew there was a “but”), do it the right way. Eating a 35% milk chocolate, processed candy bar is as close to eating healthy chocolate as eating peperoni pizza is to eating a salad. So, if i’ve convinced you to give chocolate a try, here are the best ways to do it. Some of these, like the drinks are okay for a daily indulgence and some are still desserts and should be eaten as such, meaning, not for breakfast, lunch and and afternoon snack.
This is an amazing drink you brew just like you would coffee. It’s just ground cocoa beans with a bit of flavor you can brew in water. I either drink mine plain or with a little stevia and almond milk. It’s pure cocoa, so it will definitely satisfy that craving.
If you want something a bit creamier than the Crio Bru, try one of my hot chocolate recipes. If dark chocolate is new to you, you can start with less cocoa powder and work your way up. Even kids love this hot chocolate recipe.
I can’t even describe how good these are. They’re so rich, chocolate and have a natural sweetness from the bananas. Plus, they’re only 3 ingredients, so they’re easier to make than your average, unhealthy cookie.
If you need a chocolate bar, this is the answer. These bars are sweetened with stevia. And while I generally run for sugar substitutes, stevia is the exception. These aren’t cheap, but they’ve managed to use the perfect amount of stevia to make them just right instead of bitter as is common with stevia. Check our their chocolate chips as well. You can get these here on amazon, or at health food stores. Make sure to compare prices to get the best deal.
This is another good substitute for a candy bar. These are sweet, chewy and chocolaty. All the sugar in these bars come from dates.
This is the perfect substitute for chocolate pudding. It’s rich, creamy and sweet. Plus, it doesn’t have the same plastic, processed taste as packaged pudding. I usually add extra cocoa powder and a few drops of almond extract to this.
A friend bought me these and it changed my life. They only have three ingredients: chocolate, peppermint and honey. They are amazing! If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, you can get them there much cheaper. I actually drive to the Trader Joe’s 25 minutes away to get these. Yep, they’re that good.
So the next time you’re craving chocolate (today at 2:15 p.m.??), reach for one of these rather than your kids’ candy stash or the day old frosted donuts in the break room. You’ll feel much happier 20 minutes later.