5 Chocolate Recipes You Don't Have to Feel Guilty About

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Christmas is approaching quickly and there’s a lot of sugar around. If you are a chocolate lover like I am, let's not miss out on all the fun.  

If you are managing your blood sugar like I am, it’s nice to know that 70% dark chocolate has a low glycaemic index of 22.  Hypoglycaemic guidelines state we stay below a glycaemic index of 50, so this works, right?  Dark chocolate is a guilt free treat.

I am sharing five of my favourite recipe ideas that I hope you find useful over the holidays.

1. Chocolate Pudding

2 cups of coconut milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
2-3 tbs cocoa powder (or to taste) optional
1 tsp vanilla (or to taste)
1 tbs sweetener of choice (may use maple syrup, honey) optional

Put all in a blender and blend until smooth.  Will thicken in about 10 minutes in the fridge.
There are endless flavour variations. You can omit the cocoa powder and vanilla and add a cup of strawberries or other fruit for a version, or add cinnamon and nutmeg for a Chia Chia Pudding. Enjoy!

2. Dark Chocolate Almond Bark (makes 1/75 lbs or 875 grams)

1.5 lb dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup unblanched whole almonds (toasted optional)

In bottom of double boiler, bring water to a simmer.  Remove from heat.  Add chocolate to top of double boiler and stir frequently until melted.  Do not overheat.  Stir in almonds.

Spread evenly onto an 11" by 15" pan, lined with waxed paper.  Refrigerate 1h or until firm.  Break into pieces.  Can be layered between wax paper and stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

3. Chocolate Macaroons (makes approx 4 dozen cookies)

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 egg whites (organic or free range)
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Stir or sift through cocoa (to remove lumps) until smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with salt until stiff peaks form.  On your hand mixer low speed, gradually beat in cocoa, 1 tbsp at a time.  Fold in coconut and vanilla.

Drop teaspoonfuls (5ml) of dough, 1 inch apart onto greased baking sheets.  Bake at 325 degrees F for 15-17 minutes or until outsides are dry, but insides are still soft.  With spatula, immediately transfer cookies to racks; let cool.

4. Chocolate Covered Dates.  Makes a lot. 

This is a delight that I discovered when travelling through Dubai, where dates are a specialty.

28 oz (794g) organic pitted dates
Organic almonds, count one per date (you get to count)
1 lb good quality dark chocolate (approximately)

Stuff each date with an almond.  Place to one side. 
In bottom of double boiler, bring water to a simmer.  Remove from heat.  Add chocolate pieces to top of double boiler and stir frequently until melted.  Do not overheat.
Drop dates into melted chocolate, make sure they are covered.  Remove date and place
on 11 by 15 pan, lined with waxed paper.  When all dates are covered, refrigerate for 1h or until firm.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  Enjoy!


5.  Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

with allspice and cinnamon, this recipe is from the Rebar Cookbook.  Yields 9 large cupcakes.

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 c olive oil
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2c buttermilk
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup cocoa sifted
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp allspice
1.5 tsp cinnamon

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease large muffin pans and line w muffin cups.

2. In a medium bowl mix together the sugar, butter and oil.  Beat in eggs, one at a time until well incorporated.  Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, zucchini and chocolate chips.

3. In a separate bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients.  Add the liquid ingredients and mix until well combined.  Spoon batter into large muffin pans.  Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

This recipe can be used to make cake and is especially great for children's birthday cakes.