And your heart does too.

Dark chocolate can be the ultimate secret weapon when you’re craving a treat.

It’s made from just cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar. The higher the percentage of solids, the more pure, rich chocolate flavor it has.

Cocoa is rich in flavanols. Flavanols act like antioxidants, which can help to protect against heart disease and lower your risk for diabetes.1 Cocoa-rich dark chocolate contains two-to-three times more flavanols than milk chocolate.

When choosing chocolate, choose at least 70% cocoa to get flavanols, minerals (iron, magnesium) and less sugar. Remember that dark chocolate is fairly high in calories (150-170 calories per ounce). When you indulge, be mindful of portion size. Have a square after a meal or before bedtime as a treat.

Sparingly add dark chocolate to oatmeal, frozen treats or smoothies. Or, try our healthy and delicious recipes.

Speak with a dietitian today

A dessert plate featuring strawberries and a strawberry topped chocolate bar

Dark chocolate dessert bar

Choose your toppings to satisfy your taste buds. Store half the bar or share it.

Makes 2 servings | Prep: 3 minutes | Cook: 2 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 oz high-quality dark chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp dried cranberries or dried strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp crushed peanuts or chopped almonds

Preparation

  • Place a sheet of parchment paper over a dinner plate and set aside.
  • Melt dark chocolate in the microwave for about 1 minute. Stir and microwave for another 20-30 seconds if necessary.
  • Using the back of a spoon, spread the melted chocolate on the parchment-lined plate. Add topping combination, sprinkling on top of chocolate. Lightly press into the formed bar. Place in the refrigerator for 5 minutes or until hardened. Break in half for 2 servings.

Nutrition per serving

½ bar serving

Calories 68; Total fat 5 g; Saturated fat 2 g; Sodium 0 mg; Cholesterol 0 mg; Carbs 7 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 2 g; Potassium 117 mg

Dark chocolate muffins set on a table outdoors

Dark chocolate banana muffins

These muffins are packed with whole grains and bananas. They are a tasty breakfast or snack option.

Makes 12 servings | Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips, divided
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a regular-sized muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Mix bananas, honey, vanilla, egg, oil and Greek yogurt until well combined. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined. Stir in ⅓ cup chocolate chips.
  • Pour batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top. Bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of a muffin.

Nutrition per serving

1 muffin per serving, makes 12 servings

Calories 177; Total fat 7g; Saturated fat 2 g; Sodium 135 mg; Cholesterol 16 g; Carbs 29 g; Fiber 4 g; Sugars 15 g; Protein 4 g; Potassium 117 mg

2 smoothies set on a table topped with chocolate and served with bananas on the side

Dark chocolate breakfast smoothie

Start your day with this creamy, dreamy, balanced meal-in-a-glass.

Makes 1 serving | Prep: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup oats, old-fashioned or quick-cooking
  • 3 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • ½ cup almond milk, vanilla, unsweetened
  • Ice to thicken

Preparation

  • Place all ingredients except ice in a high-speed blender. Puree until smooth. Add a handful of ice and blend. Add more until you’ve reached desired consistency.

Nutrition per serving

1 per serving, makes 1 serving

Calories 415; Total fat 6 g; Saturated fat 1 g; Sodium 366 mg; Cholesterol 0 mg; Carbs 50 g; Fiber 13 g; Sugars 22 g; Protein 33 g; Potassium 592 mg

Share one of these tasty treats with someone you love.

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Want more healthy recipes? These 5 hearty soup, stew and chili recipes are easy to prepare, healthy and delicious.

Published February 1, 2023

 

1https://www.heart.org/en/news/2019/02/12/are-there-health-benefits-from-chocolate

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