For some of us, nothing satisfies quite like chocolate. In fact, surveys show that chocolate ranks as the #1 most craved food for women. With the holiday season right around the corner, can you indulge in chocolatey treats without blowing your diet? Here are my top chocolate substitutes that will help you indulge and stay on track with your health goals!
My mentality as a dietitian is not to deny yourself that chocolate, but figure out ways to fit it into your diet in different forms that won’t derail you. It is important to me, when working with clients to ensure that their diet plans (and ALL of the Build My Body Beautiful diet plans for that matter) are sustainable long-term.
This way, eating healthy becomes as effortless as brushing teeth every day.
Throughout the span of my entire career, I have been frowning upon restrictive food regimens that create restrictions on the most natural needs of being a human – eating. Let’s say you restrict yourself from eating a certain food (let’s make it chocolate), how long can you really hold the craving at bay?
Don’t kid yourself, it won’t disappear, it will be constantly on your mind until one day you will break down and eat the entire brick of it, followed by an immeasurable dose of guilt right afterwards. This is not a positive environment!
I do not condone eating all the foods you crave either. I mean if you have booked a consultation with me, then you are probably trying to change something about your diet, not just chat about the weather.
So what I do instead is I provide healthy food substitutions that are usually unhealthy. It’s actually quite simple to stay on track this way, you still get to enjoy your food, while not following a rigid diet plan that creates pressure. You get the nutrients, while keeping the flavor.
No more dry chicken breast with plain broccoli!!!
So since statistically almost half of women are chocoholics (myself very much included), I decided that the world needs to know about good chocolate substitutes. One that will kick the cravings to the curb, while nourishing your body and keeping your waistline slim and trim.
Satisfy Your Chocolate Urge — Top Chocolate Substitutes:
A quick note on cocoa powder before we begin.
As you may know it is the key ingredient in producing chocolate, but it is actually extremely healthy for you. First of all, it’s extremely low calorie and very high fibre. This may surprise you, but the calories in chocolate are attributed to sugar and butter, not the cocoa powder itself. It is also full of minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients that are extremely good for you.
It is a great idea to incorporate unsweetened, organic cocoa powder into your daily routine. Not a single cup of coffee that I make at home comes without a spoonful of this chocolatey goodness!
By now, you are probably dying to find out about the chocolate substitutes, so without further due…
Chocolate Recipes: Breakfast
Here are 3 cool ways to enjoy the chocolatey goodness first thing in the morning and get energy for the rest of the day:
- Make up my protein brownie overnight oats:
- mix 1/3 cup
- + 1/3 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
- + 1/2 scoop protein powder
- + 1-2tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- + liquid stevia
- + 3/4 cup almond milk and refrigerate overnight
- Whip up a batch of protein pancakes and add cocoa powder:
- combine 1 mashed banana
- + 1/4 cup egg white
- + 1 scoop protein powder
- + 1tbsp cocoa for make ahead pancake batter
- Chocolate French Toast:
- combine 1tbsp cocoa
- + 1/2 scoop protein powder
- + 1/2 cup egg whites
- + dip Ezekiel bread in it
- fry lightly in 1tbsp of coconut oil
RELATED: HEALTHY CHOCOLATE FUDGE BALLS RECIPE
Chocolate Recipes: Snacks/Desserts
If you feel like treating yourself, here are a few chocolate substitutes you are going to love (hint: they taste even better after a sweaty Body Beautiful bootcamp session):
- Protein chia seed pudding:
- 3tbsp chia seed
- + 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- + 3/4 cup almond milk
- + 1tbsp cocoa
- + stevia
- Whip it all up together and enjoy
- Chocolate (frozen) yogurt:
- Add 1tbsp of cocoa powder to 1/2 tub of Greek yogurt
- + some vanilla extract
- + stevia to taste
- top with nut butter, hemp seeds or berries for omega 3 fix
- **can be frozen for an instant froyo!
- Chocolate protein shake:
- 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
- 3 ice cubes
- unsweetened almond milk
- cocoa powder
- optional add in nut butter
- Blend and enoy
- Chocolate coffee:
- add 1tbsp cocoa powder to your cup of java
- + splash of almond milk
- stevia for a delicious mocha
- Chocolate mousse:
- puree 1/2 very ripe avocado
- + 1 scoop protein powder
- + 2tbsp cocoa
- + 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or water
- + stevia and vanilla in a blender for an instant chocolate pudding
A Word On Food Swaps
The three main ingredients in chocolate are cocoa powder, sugar and butter. The regular table sugar is extremely unhealthy and has been proven to create a mess in your body. I have written an entire blog on why you should reduce sugar intake.
Butter can be okay in small doses and only if you get the one from grass fed cows. The fact is though, 1tbsp of butter equals to 100 calories and in my charts the calories are not worth the nutrients in it.
So what do we do with unhealthy ingredients? That’s right, swap ’em! We did it in every single recipe above. I replaced sugar with stevia (no calorie, natural sweetener) and a substitute for butter is any other healthy form of fat (avocado, nut butter).
In fact, this is the main point in any food swap, not just chocolate substitutes – find the unhealthy ingredients, then swap them for healthy ones.
What do we get? Pure pleasure that is actually healthy!
So boldly go forth, and enjoy the occasional chocolatey treat… and may Portion Control be with you (wink wink)!
Need help with cleaning up your diet? Book a free consultation with me and let’s put together an easy-to-follow diet plan!