Most females like their bout of chocolate and chocolate seems to get a lot of attention. From dark to caramel, from chocolate lovers week-ends away to Charlie and the Chocolate factory and last week it was National Chocolate week!
But we all know that eating chocolate is not such a good idea if you’d like to stay in shape during pregnancy and flatten your mummy tummy post baby. The fat and sugar content from eating poor quality stuff, too much of it and too often can not only creep on quickly as extra weight (especially around the tummy) it can also lead to health risks such as diabetes. However as soon as you tell yourself that you can’t eat that piece of chocolate, it’s all you’ll think about until you realise you’ve delved right into eating the full bar! And as for the cravings you may get due to hormones, stress, emotions, being a mummy, it is very easy to reach for the chocolate as a comfort factor!
So with some creativity and research (which was fun!) I’ve put together a list of Seven Delicious Healthier ways to Eat Chocolate. So you’ll improve the quality of your chocolate ‘fix’ and save yourself the health risks and calories.
1. Chocolate Covered Fruit
Dip some strawberries or other fruit into good quality chocolate (70% cocoa solids) and you can both satisfy a chocolate craving and add fruit to your diet at the same time. A thin coating, means not too much for your waistline, and the fruit will help satisfy your appetite to avoid overindulging. Save the calories Tip: Keep the coating thin and go for 3-4 pieces of fruit or strawberries
2. Cacao Nibs
Your healthiest choice ! Eat these whole. This is what true chocolate is made from - cacao beans that have been roasted, hulled and prepped to be processed into chocolate bars. Crush cacao nibs with a rolling pin and to make chocolate chips and add to natural yogurt as an extra to a snack. Or create a raw chocolate bar, blend together cacao nibs, agave nectar, carob powder, coconut oil, cacao butter and cashews or almonds (without the shell). Pour into a tray and freeze.
3. The Cheeky Chocolate Mousse from the Pure Package, London’s leading gourmet diet food delivery company. There’s three great things about this indulgent delight is that it not only tastes great, it has zero sugar and it is dead easy to make!
Full of dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants..
Check out their recipe here (taken from The Pure Package: The DIET for Food Lovers, Jennifer Irvine)
4. Chocolate Brazil Nuts
Save the waistline Tip: Just 3 of these is enough for a chocolate fix with the added benefits of the nutrients of brazil nuts containing essential healthy fats. Aim for dark chocolate coated ones.
5. Chocolate Goji berries
Goji berries are filled with powerful antioxidants that may help prevent cancer and other illnesses, including heart disease. Their antioxidants may also boost the immune system, lower cholesterol and may slow the aging process as well. I recommend this brand dipped in raw chocolate.
Save the waistline Tip: Keep to a small handful covering half a palm as the raisins are still high in calories.
6. Chocolate and Beetroot Brownies
You won’t notice the Beetroot and neither will your kids or other half! These have around half the fat of regular brownies and the added nutritional benefit of the beetroot, which is rich in Betalian and antioxidants that help reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. Also high in folic acid (great for pregnancy), vitamins A, B-1, B-2 and C and minerals iron, calcium and potassium. Beetroot is also said to have a cleansing and detoxifying effect on the kidneys and gall bladder. This recipe still contains sugar so.. Save the Waistline Tip: Cut the brownies into small squares (1 inch by 1 inch) and eat just one.
7. Hot Chocolate Drink (Green & Black’s dark variety)
Great once a week treat – especially around this time of year. It is of better quality than your usual hot chocolate as you have the health benefits of the dark chocolate powder. Try it with Almond Milk rather than regular milk for healthy fats.
Just remember two key things when trying these ideas:
Dark Chocolate is good source of flavinoids, which milk doesn’t have. It also gives you a sense of fullness and rarely has so much sugar added to it. You need at least 70% cocoa solids.
How much? Aim for 2 squares – enough to give you a ‘fix’.
Why is that? For information! Green & Black’s Miniatures (15g) has 85 calories compared to a snack Cadbury milk chocolate bar which has 210 calories or bag of Malteasers which has 187 calories!