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Our Favorite Guilt-Free Ways to Eat Chocolate
Get Your Fix
Plain Ol' Dark Chocolate
Let's start with what we're all really craving: A hunk of plain chocolate. Diet disaster, right? Wrong. A one-ounce piece of dark chocolate amounts to only 151 calories, and its positive attributes don't stop there.
The flavonoids in chocolate are heart healthy, can lower cholesterol, and can even help prevent certain cancers, such as skin cancer. Dark chocolate is by far the healthiest option, as it contains less sugar and more antioxidants than milk chocolate or white chocolate. Stick to a small one-ounce serving when you really need it, and you can satisfy your next craving guilt-free.
Dark Chocolate-Covered Graham Crackers
- 4 small graham-cracker rectangles
- 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
Microwave chocolate chips for 30 seconds, until just melted.
Spread graham crackers with chocolate and let sit for 10 minutes, until chocolate has hardened.
Joseph De Leo
Chocolate Soy "Egg" Cream
- 4 tablespoons plain low-fat soy milk
- 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
- 1 1/4 cups seltzer water
- 1 pretzel rod (optional)
In a tall glass, stir together the soy milk and chocolate sauce. Top with the seltzer; stir. Serve with a pretzel if desired.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups canola oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, beat together oil, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Roll into small balls; flatten slightly onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Freeze the extras.
Big Fudgy Bittersweet Brownies
1 large egg
1 egg white
3 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 ounces high-quality unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup buckwheat or presifted whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8-inch-square nonstick baking pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, egg white, yogurt, and vanilla extract; set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, oil, salt, and 3 tablespoons water, stirring constantly for 3 minutes on medium-high heat. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa and chocolate until chocolate melts, then add egg mixture. Add all flour, stirring until batter is smooth.
Pour batter into baking pan. Bake 25 minutes, or until top is firm. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into squares.
Chocolate-Covered Soy Nuts
A handful of these babies (about 1/4 of a cup) will set you back just 140 calories — and it packs in 5g of protein! Consider this a FITNESS-approved way to get your fix.
Banana with Dark Chocolate-Honey Sauce
2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Small pinch of salt
1 small banana, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon chopped toasted walnuts
In a double boiler or microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the honey, butter, and salt, stirring frequently. Serve the chocolate sauce and walnuts in bowls for dipping, accompanied by the banana chunks.
Joseph De Leo
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Apricots
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
24 dried apricots
4 tablespoons chopped pistachios
Melt chocolate chips. Dip half of each apricot in chocolate. Place on waxed paper. Sprinkle with pistachios. Let chocolate set in fridge.
Chocolate Pudding with Graham Cracker Pieces
This super-easy snack/dessert clocks in at just 150 calories, satisfying your sweet tooth without breaking the calorie bank.
1 low-fat chocolate pudding cup
1 graham cracker square
Crush graham cracker square and sprinkle over chocolate pudding. Enjoy!
Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, January 2009.