Food & Fitness

Healthier chocolate

The mother dear insists that her youthful appearance and energetic demeanor is directly related to a steady diet of beer and chocolate. While I think it’s highly improbable that a Mars Bar contains any nutritional value whatsoever (antioxidants are only found in good quality dark chocolate!), I think she’s onto something when it comes to enjoying the food that we eat. When we eat something delicious in moderation, it can do wonders for the soul, which correspondingly affects the physical body in a positive way.

chocolate oats

A bowl of chocolate oatmeal with a swirl of creamy peanut butter.

So, without further ado, I give you my list of healthier chocolate*:

– Bakers semi-sweet chocolate. For one large block, a thick wedge of pure chocolate, you only need to spare 150 calories. I’m the type of person who finds it tough to stop at one piece of chocolate, but this big chunk is so satisfying that one should be just right to quench the craving.

– Chocolate flax balls. I originally found the recipe from the blog Love Veggies and Yoga, where they are referred to as “chocolate donut holes”. Personally I don’t think they remotely resemble donut holes in texture or taste, but they are delicious. Roll the dough into small bite-size balls, or make a half batch and just eat it with a spoon like I sometimes do. One full batch contains approximately 850 to 900 calories.

To make the balls, simply combine in a food processor the following: just less than 1 cup ground flaxseeds, 2-3 tbsp maple syrup (or honey, or agave nectar), 1/4 cup cocoa powder (or chocolate protein powder, or raw cacao powder, if you feel so inclined), and a dash each of cinnamon and vanilla extract. Blend well. If it’s too crumbly, add a few drops of water at a time – seriously, just a few drops. You’d be surprised at the amount of difference a tiny amount of liquid can make! Roll into balls or simply eat with a spoon; refrigerate any leftovers.

Warning: the flax will get stuck to the roof of your mouth and in your teeth. Keep a toothpick handy or enjoy with a tall glass of cold milk.

– Chocolate Nut Butter Brownies: this has always been a favourite of mine. I discovered it on a blog years ago but unfortunately don’t remember where I originally found it. I like to use either walnuts or, when I want something low calorie/low fat, PB2 (powdered peanut butter). Using walnuts, this entire recipe contains approximately 700 calories; if you use PB2, it’s closer to about 500 calories.

To make the brownie, combine in the food processor 1/2 cup nuts or nut butter, 1/2 cup dates, 1/8 cup cocoa powder, and a generous shake of cinnamon. Process until it’s well-mixed; refrigerate or freeze until ready to eat.

– Chocolate Banana Ice Cream: A great treat when the weather is warm, this dessert is made in a flash! It is very chocolatey without much banana flavour at all. The entire recipe contains about 150 calories. All you have to do is freeze a banana overnight (first peel it and then break it into chunks before putting it in a sealable container in the freezer), and then in the morning (or whenever you’re ready to eat), toss the banana chunks in a food processor along with 1 tsp each cocoa powder and vanilla extract, as well as a sprinkle of cinnamon. Blend until smooth and creamy! Enjoy immediately.

– Chocolate Oatmeal: Many a chocolate craving has been satiated by turning to this high-fibre meal/snack – plus it’s healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast on a chilly day! The entire recipe contains roughly 250 calories. To make it, combine in a bowl 1/3 cup oats, 1 cup water, 1 tbsp chocolate protein powder, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and 1/2 sliced banana. Microwave on high for two minutes, stir, and then microwave for another two minutes. You can also top it off with a spoonful of all-natural creamy peanut butter to swirl into it after it’s been heated; if you choose to do this (which is so delicious), simply add about 100 calories to the total.

How do you deal with chocolate cravings? Do you have any healthier chocolate recipes to share with us?

*Please note that I refer to these items as healthier, not necessarily healthy. They’re for the times when you might be in need of a chocolate fix but you don’t want to make unhealthy choices, either. Enjoy!


  1. Jody - Fit at 53


    Lucky for me that I am not a chocoholic! I really don’t even crave it BUT I do keep the 100% organic cocoa in the house & I mix it into some vanilla protein powder that I mix up with either water or unsweetened vanilla almond breeze for a mini meal or snack.

    Your group above sounds good too!

  2. Holly

    I really, REALLY I could develop a taste for dark chocolate. 🙁 I don’t mind it, but I don’t crave it like milk or white!

    I HAVE to try those chocolate flax balls, though. And I do love adding cocoa to my oats once in awhile for chocolate oats! With PB on top, it’s the PERFECT combo.

  3. Pubsgal

    I used to prefer milk chocolate, but now it’s 70% dark or bust! 🙂 So much more satisfying to me.

    As much as I like chocolate in things, I think I like it best just plain or with peanuts or peanut butter. (And I find it really hard to resist a homemade chocolate chip cookie. I’ve found a promising lower carb recipe for nut butter cookies that I’m going to play with a bit. I’ll let you know if it turns into something amazing. I’m definitely going to try the chocolate flax balls, though!)

  4. Vered

    Every night after dinner, my husband and I have coffee (him) and tea (me) with a few squares of 70% dark chocolate. We joke that this is the final proof we’re old… as kids we hated dark chocolate. But now we love it. Just like coffee and wine, it seems to be an acquired taste.

    1. Sagan Morrow

      That is such a sweet routine. When I lived in Spain, my house mother always had several bars of dark chocolate in a cupboard and we’d routinely have a couple squares in the evening. It’s a nice way to polish off a meal. Particularly if there’s a glass of wine to go with it 😉

  5. Mary Anne in Kentucky

    I was a dark chocolate lover from before kindergarten, so if it’s an acquired taste it didn’t take me long to acquire it!
    I draw back with horror from the idea of putting anything in oatmeal except a little bit of salt, but I love the chocolate/peanut butter/oatmeal balls we got the recipe for in junior high home ec. They have more oatmeal than all the other ingredients combined, so they’re ridiculously healthy.

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Wow! Before kindergarten? Now that’s impressive.

      Giggling at this: “I draw back with horror from the idea of putting anything in oatmeal except a little bit of salt”. That doesn’t surprise me, coming from you. I think that’s awesome.

      Also care to share the recipe? It sounds yummy!

  6. Dr. J

    I never have chocolate cravings 🙂

    I do have some baking cocoa most days on something.

    You guys in Canada look youthful because you ain’t got no sunshine up there 🙂 Greatest complexion I’ve ever seen was on a woman friend of mine from Alaska!

    1. Sagan Morrow

      “I never have chocolate cravings” Ha, naturally!

      You’d be surprised how much sunshine we get, actually – makes the cold that much worse! I like it best when it’s overcast (in the winter). The cloud cover offers warmth.

      …I need to get out of this city 😉

  7. clare

    OOOH! I eat my choco-oats every day. My bowl includes shredded zucchini (for veggie power and fullness factoring) oat bran, chia seeds or flax meal, chocolate protein powder, organic cocoa powder, and a fruit…cranberries or cherries are favorites. I use chocolate flavored stevia to sweeten, and I top with nuts or PB or avocado or some kind of fat. Good god its like a bowl of warm chocolate healthy heaven.

    Try pumpkin or kabocha in chocolate oats. Dear god.

    Going to eat now.

  8. Lauren @ MRS

    Yummy!! I’m craving for some chocolate love already! I eat chocolate and actually any other chocolate but with moderation. I will try that chocolate oatmeal with peanut butter soon. A great mix would also be the choco cereal crisp. It has the plain corn flakes, cherry and almond slices mixed in melted semi sweet choco.

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