6 Ways to enjoy healthier chocolate treats and still meet your weight-loss goals

  • 2 Minutes Read
Sue Heikkinen
Sue Heikkinen, MS, RDN, CDCES, BC-ADM, ACE-PT - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist Educator

Who doesn't want to include more chocolate treats in their diet, and if it is healthier-big win, right? Yes, chocolate has antioxidants and nutrients like magnesium, but most importantly, it's delicious! There are many ways you can incorporate healthier chocolate treats without excess calories and sugar.

Healthier chocolate treats

Try one of these 6 dietitian-recommended ways to enjoy healthier chocolate treats

Yes, chocolate can be good for you if you focus on better varieties: dark chocolate, cacao nibs, or cocoa powder instead of sugary milk chocolate, chocolate baked goods, and mocha drinks. We have you covered with ideas and recipes to get the most out of this delicious treat.

1. Bake with cocoa powder

Add cocoa powder to your favorite pancake, waffle, or muffin recipe. You typically can add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder as a substitute for the same amount of flour.

Unless a recipe specifically calls for Dutch-processed cocoa powder, stick with natural cocoa powder (bonus: higher antioxidant content). Dutch cocoa powder is milder, but it's alkaline nature could affect the results of your baking.

Recipe to try: Vegan Chocolate Muffins MyNetDiary Premium Recipe

2. Incorporate cacao nibs

Cacao nibs are as close as you can get to the chocolate source-they are simply roasted, dried, and crushed cacao beans. Cacao nibs are bitter, but they pack a robust chocolate flavor without added sugar. Try adding antioxidant-packed nibs to trail mix, oatmeal, or granola. They make a healthier substitute for chocolate chips in baking treats.

Recipe to try: Cocoa-Nut Energy Bites from Bon Appetit

3. Make a chocolate dip

Nothing turns fruit into decadence more than chocolate for dipping. Share our healthier chocolate fondue with someone special, or try a chocolate yogurt dip for an everyday snack. Both pair well with sliced bananas, strawberries, or cherries.

Recipes to try:
Dark Chocolate Fondue MyNetDiary Premium Recipe
Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip with Cinnamon and Spice from Stonyfield Farms

4. Mix up a mocha

Love the flavor of mocha but not all the calories and sugar? After all, a 270 calorie tall Starbucks Mocha takes a big chunk out of your calorie budget. Treat yourself to some healthier chocolate and coffee alternatives to the highly caloric and expensive coffee shop versions.

Recipe to try: Peppermint Mocha MyNetDiary Premium Recipe

5. Pair with fruit

The sweetness of chocolate provides a perfect balance to the tartness of many fruits. Serve a few dark chocolate chips or a dark chocolate square with dried cherries, dates, or figs for a simple yet elegant dessert.

Stuff a fresh raspberry or pitted cherry with a chocolate chip for the perfect flavor and texture combination.

Create a "chocolate board"-a sweet alternative to a cheese board, if you're feeling fancy! Arrange several varieties of dark chocolate, fresh and dried fruits, and nuts on a serving platter for a treat your guests won't forget!

6. Enjoy mindfully

No matter what form of chocolate you choose to enjoy as healthier treats, employ mindful eating strategies. Enjoy the taste, texture, and aroma with no guilt, leading to greater satisfaction. This approach may indeed be the healthiest way to enjoy chocolate!

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Foods & Recipes->Chocolate
Jan 26, 2022

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