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Sugar sense: 5 healthier ways to enjoy chocolate

January 9th 2015 / Ayesha Muttucumaru Google+ Ayesha Muttucumaru

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Trying to be good this January? A moment on the lips need not mean a lifetime on the hips, with these delicious chocolate substitutes at hand

The chocoholics among us will understand that when sugar cravings take hold, there’s very little that will satisfy them other than the nearest bar of Dairy Milk. But what if we were to tell you that there were ways of providing the requisite chocolate fix, with minimal guilt afterwards?

Yes friends, there is such a thing.

We are big believers in moderation over deprivation here at Get The Gloss. We know that it’s unrealistic (and downright mean) to say that you should cut out chocolate completely in your quest to de-bloat the traditional post-Crimbo belly. So let’s meet halfway instead and say, why not swap the Cadbury’s for one of these healthier cocoa alternatives instead?

We asked author, founder and creator of Honestly Healthy Natasha Corrett for her favourite chocolate alternatives to stop us losing our minds when we're trying to lose weight. Proving that healthier cocoa companions actually exist, we’ve finally found a menu of dessert alternatives that are not only great for our taste buds, but are also more forgiving on our waistlines too.

1. Honestly Healthy Chocolate Bounty Balls

“I love the Velvety Bounty Bar recipe from my book, Honestly Healthy For Life, £25 and there is something so satisfying about making your own chocolates! You know exactly what is in them that way - no preservatives or additives or other secret nasties.

“These ones are like little balls of light coco-nutty amazingness. I just make a batch and keep them in the fridge. If my fiancé doesn't munch them all, I make them last for a while as I just have one every now and then and it satisfies my chocolate sweet fix no end.”

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VELVETY BOUNTY BARS RECIPE

Makes 24

Ingredients:

For the filling:

85g (3oz/½ cup) raw cashew nuts

8 tbsp desiccated coconut (dry unsweetened coconut)

1 tbsp coconut oil

3 tbsp xylitol

For the chocolate:

225g (8oz/1 cup) raw cacao butter

12 tbsp raw cacao powder

130g (4½oz/⅓ cup) agave syrup

½ tsp vanilla extract

Method:

1. Soak the cashews for 1 hour in water that just covers them and then drain.

2. In a blender or food processor, whizz all the ingredients for the filling together to give a textured paste. Push teaspoonfuls of the mixture into a silicone ice-cube tray and put into the freezer for 1 hour.

3. Meanwhile, melt the raw cacao butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in a bain marie, and then allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Next, mix in the cacao powder. Once incorporated, add the agave and vanilla extract.

4. Leave the chocolate to cool down, until it’s thick enough to run off the back of a spoon – this thicker chocolate will give your bars a wonderful coating.

5. Take the filling mixture out of the freezer and pop the shapes out of the ice-cube tray. Dip them into the chocolate mixture, one at a time, taking them out with a fork so that they are covered all over.

6. Put them onto a baking tray (cookie sheet) lined with baking parchment and pop back into the freezer to set for 15 minutes.

7. These are triple-dipped delights, so take them out of the freezer, dip in the chocolate and return to the freezer to set twice more and then keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them.

8. The chocolate coating for these Bounty bars also makes the perfect dipping chocolate for fruit of all kinds.

Nutritional Nugget

Desiccated coconut (dry unsweetened coconut) is rich in protein and cholesterol-lowering essential fats.

Tash’s Tips

Hide these in the freezer, out of sight, as they are so delicious you will want to eat them all!

Honestly Healthy For Life: Healthy Alternatives for Everyday Eating by Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson. Photography by Lisa Lindner. Published by Jacqui Small, £25.

MORE GLOSS: 5 ways to snack yourself slim

2. Ombar

£1.99. Buy online

“Although making your own is always best, if you are on the move and need a pick-me-up then I love Ombars.

“I love the coconut one and always try to choose the darkest chocolate. That way I just need one or two squares to satisfy any cravings. If I have milk chocolate I tend to eat much more!”

3. Booja Booja Chocolate Ice Cream

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£5.95. Buy online

“I love making my own ice cream but when things get hectic and I have run out, I stock up on Booja Booja.

“It's not for everyday eating but it's the healthiest option out there. I have a sweet tooth and it's important for me to be able to have the things I love. I don't want to feel deprived - it hinders your relationship with food. All you need to do is find a healthy alternative and this is one such number. Sometimes I mix some chopped toasted almonds through it for a nutty crunch.”

MORE GLOSS: 5 kitchen switch-ups to a flatter stomach

4. Raw Chocolate Co Organic Raw Chocolate Coated Mulberries

£4.80. Buy online

“These are amazing - sometimes when I am on-the-go I make sure I have some of these stashed in the car or my bag. They give me a little energy burst and the raw cacao lifts my mood. Raw cacao is a superfood in itself. It helps us in so many ways.”

5. Honestly Healthy Chocolate Brownies

“I actually have three chocolate brownie recipes on my website. That might be a bit of an indication of how much I like them!! My view is that if I have a craving for something, get into the kitchen and make it yourself.

“It helps you to think about your food and not just mindlessly grab something from the shelf to be eaten without concentrating. All my recipes are cows’ dairy-free, refined sugar and wheat-free so I never feel bad if I indulge my sweet tooth. One of my favourite brownie recipes on the site comes with an amazing chocolate sauce too.”

Make your own Gooey Vegan Chocolate Brownies at home, by following Natasha’s easy-to-follow recipe:

GOOEY VEGAN CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

Number of servings: 8

Ingredients:

100g dates

2 tbsp chia seeds

6 tbsp water

1 tbsp vanilla

4 tbsp rice milk

70g tahini

45g coconut oil (melted over a medium heat)

30g coconut flour

50g raw cacao powder

80g organic agave

½ tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp Himalayan salt

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 175°C.

2. Soak the dates in a bowl of hot water for 20 minutes and then strain and discard the water.

3. In a separate bowl of cold water soak the chia seeds.

4. In a blender put the melted coconut oil, tahini, rice milk, agave, vanilla essence and soaked dates and blend until smooth (a few small lump of dates is ok and will add a nice texture to the brownie).

5. In a bowl weigh out the salt, baking powder, coconut flour and cacao powder.

6. Pour the mixture out of the blender and combine with the flour, salt and baking powder and cacao and add the soaked chia seeds (they should have soaked up most of the water).

7. The mixture is thick so don’t expect it to be runny. Put into a lined brownie tray about 1 inch thick and put into the oven for 20 minutes.

8. Take out the oven and leave to cool and enjoy the gooeyness of these heavenly chocolatey treats.

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