Life is far too short not to indulge in what brings our taste buds (and bellies) pleasure. If you need an excuse to enjoy a chocolatey treat (unlike myself – I never need an excuse to eat?!), I’ve got you covered! From homemade chocolate oatmeal, to hot chocolate with a nutty twist, these recipes will satisfy your sweet tooth without the post indulgence guilt. Bonus: I had the pleasure of sharing my good-for-you chocolate recipes on Canada A.M. (video below).
DYK: Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa content), like red grapes, blueberries and black and green tea, is packed with flavonoids, phytochemicals with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties. Numerous studies have hinted that dark chocolate may play a role in heart health by lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol levels.
Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal with Apples
Turn a few pantry staple ingredients into a: Nutritious breakfast on-the-go!! No cooking required.
1 cup (250 mL) large flake oats
½ cup (125 mL) dried cherries or dried cranberries
¼ cup (60 mL) quality cocoa powder
3 tbsp. (45 mL) chia seeds
1 cup (250 mL) milk
¼ cup (60 mL) Canadian maple syrup
2 tsp (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
1 apple, grated (*skin left on)
¼ cup (60 mL) green pumpkin seeds
Place all ingredients (except for grated apple and seeds) in a large bowl and stir until well combined (*do not be alarmed if the mixture looks ‘wet’ – once the muesli has sat overnight, the oats will absorb most of the milk). Cover and refrigerate overnight. To serve; stir in grated apple and seeds. Divide evenly between serving bowls. Makes 8, ½ cup (125 mL) servings.
Chocolate, Fig and Rosemary Bark
Sweet, salty, savoury and spicy – this bark makes an elegant homemade hostess gift (think Easter) or after dinner indulgence.
3/4 cup (175 mL) peanuts
1/2 cup (125 mL) very finely chopped dried Black Mission figs (*or dried cranberries)
1 tbsp. (15 mL) roughly chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
300 g (10 oz) 72% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
¼ tsp (1 mL) sea salt
Toss together peanuts, figs, rosemary and cayenne pepper. Measure out ¼ cup (60 mL) nut/fruit mixture and set aside. Place chocolate in a large microwave safe glass dish and heat for 2 minutes, stopping and stirring every 20 seconds or until chocolate has melted. Add remaining nut/fruit mixture to chocolate and stir until evenly combined. Using a rubber spatula, spread chocolate mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet (about an 8” inch circle). Sprinkle evenly with reserved ¼ cup (60 mL) nut/fruit mixture and sprinkle evenly with sea salt. Chill for 30 minutes or until hard. Break into snack size pieces. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to one month.
Cafe Mocha Tofu Mousse
There is a health food store in my town that makes an awesome Chocolate Tofu Pie. I’ve been known to go in for a kale smoothie (post yoga class), and leave with a piece of pie. I call it balance. Here is my spin on Muskoka Natural Health Market’s awesome tofu pie.
1 tsp (5 mL) each; quality ground coffee and hot water
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract
500 g (1 lb) silken tofu, drained and chopped in chunks
125 g (4 oz) dark chocolate, melted
3 tbsp. (45 mL) Canadian Maple Syrup
2 tbsp. (30 mL) quality cocoa powder
Stir together coffee, hot water and vanilla. Set aside. Place tofu in the bowl of a food processor (fitted with a metal blade) and pulse until smooth. Add melted chocolate, maple syrup and cocoa. Pulse until very well combined. Scrape down sides of bowl when needed. Add coffee/vanilla mixture and pulse until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Garnish with raspberries. Makes 4, ½ cup (125 mL) servings.
Additional flavour options:
Chocolate Orange: stir in 1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated orange zest to prepared mousse and garnish with candied orange peel.
Coconut Bliss: stir in ½ tsp (2 mL) coconut extract and garnish with toasted coconut.
Adult Indulgence: stir in 2 tsp (10 mL) quality whisky (*or dark rum) and garnish with chocolate covered espresso beans.
Charmaine is a regular guest on Rogers Daytime York Region, CHCH Morning Live, Canada AM & Breakfast Television and food writer for Running Room Magazine sharing her love and enthusiasm for all things food, cooking and running.
Charmaine is a proud ambassador of Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon: a celebration of Women & Fitness, come join in the FUN June 6th, 2016. Hope to see many of you at the start line in 2016! Click here to register.
Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active boys, Tyler & Colgan.
Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy, wholesome dishes all while keeping budget and time in mind. For more tasty recipes visit www.charmainebroughton.com