Chocolate CAN Be Healthy…

First, I must apologize for missing last week.  Things have been a little crazy around here.

But now, the holidays are over, and you’re feeling a little guilty.  You did the best you could, but there may or may not have been a stray sugar cookie or ten that wandered your way.  There might have been a cheese plate here and there that commanded your attention.  Perhaps–despite your best intentions–you still managed to stuff your face during Christmas dinner at your mom’s house.

But not now.  No sir…you are back on track and there is no way you are going to be tempted back off the wagon.  You are hitting the gym hard.

Starting next week, for sure.

But there are still treats to be had, dammit.  Even though you have sworn off all that crap for the new year.  Pulled out your running shoes.  Renewed your gym membership.  Cleaned out your fridge.  Limited your alcohol intake.

But that cheesecake looks soooo good.  And the odd cookie every so often doesn’t hurt, right?

It’s true…trouble is, we convince ourselves that “every so often” is a lot less, well, often than it actually is.  We tell ourselves we’ve worked hard enough to “work it off”.  We slide into denial faster than you can say “chocolate bomb.”

There are all sorts of justifications to fend off deprivation and that horrible empty feeling that accompanies the word “diet”.

But guess what?  I’m not going to preach to you about how you should stay on the wagon.  Instead, I’m going to offer a really tasty, healthy, satisfying solution to your sweets craving that won’t leave you feeling like you just got dumped by your chocolate boyfriend.

When I discovered this week’s recipe, I thought perhaps I had stumbled onto a little slice of heaven.  These tiny bites are gluten-free, grain-free, egg- and refined sugar-free, and have no soy or nuts.  They are decadent but not unhealthy, and can help you squeak through your post-holiday blues without feeling totally guilty about what you’re stuffing in your mouth.

A few notes: first, the recipe called for a silicone mold, but I just froze them in an 8×8″ glass baking dish, with a little parchment paper, and sliced them after they became firm.  Also, I may have used a banana that was a tad too ripe, or perhaps I should have used less…I’m not a giant fan of overly banana-ish baked goods or anything else, but I think this could be solved by adjusting the amount.

Frozen Chocolate and Banana Fudge Bites

Ingredients

1½ ounces 100% unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
1 cup bananas
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
4 tablespoons sunflower seed butter (a.k.a sunbutter)
1 tablespoon raw honey (optional)
3 tablespoons coconut milk, full fat
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Instructions

1. Melt the chocolate slowly in a bowl over simmering water (double boiler). (I don’t have one, so I just melted the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat.)
2. Meanwhile, add the bananas, cacao powder, sunbutter, honey, coconut milk, vanilla and salt to a food processor and process until creamy and smooth.
3. When the chocolate is completely melted, remove from heat and add the banana mixture.
4. Stir until everything is well combined.
5. Fill your silicon brownie mold. Alternatively, you can line a pan with parchment paper and pour the fudge mixture evenly on the pan, then after frozen cut into squares.
6. Cover and freeze until set, approximately 3-4 hours. Drizzle top with melted dark chocolate.

*Recipe courtesy of livinghealthywithchocolate.com*

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