Yes, You Can Still Eat Chocolate.

Do you miss dessert?  As my grandpa used to say, “Does a bear $hit in the woods?”

I find most people fall into 1 of 3 camps when it comes to cravings: salty, sweet or both.  If you like sweet things, and are trying to stay on track, here is a super simple, fast dessert that will *not* leave you with leftovers that you will then have to try to not eat.  It’s also free of nuts, unlike most paleo ‘desserts’.  And it will give you a chocolate fix.

When I was working to lose weight, I never actually gave up chocolate.  I just got really picky about what kind I ate, and how much.  I mean REALLY picky.  Dark chocolate has health benefits and is low in sugar.  The problem is most of us are not eating dark chocolate.  And not all ‘dark’ chocolate is created equal.  Like right now, I’m going to call out dark chocolate M&M’s.  They are no better than regular M&M’s.  Seriously people.  The good news is, there are a few common brands of dark chocolate that can be trusted, so you don’t have to give up chocolate completely!

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Green & Blacks is the best brand out there, in my opinion.  This stuff is the real deal.  You can tell by reading the label because the ingredient list is short and the sugar content is very low.  They also make milk chocolate bars, so be careful when you are looking for them.  You want 70% or higher.  The bars are expensive, yes.  But that just helps you remember not to eat the whole thing in one sitting. 😉  Or an afternoon.  Or even in a week.  Dark chocolate should be savored, consumed in small amounts or used as a garnish.

If you buy the bar, you will see just how small the squares are.  A little goes a long way.  I try to eat no more than 3 squares at a time.  For example, I might keep a bar in my car, and then when I go to the movies, bring in 3 squares and leave the rest of the bar in the car.  Or I might chop up 4 squares and sprinkle them into a paleo banana bread, just to give the hint of chocolate.  Chocolate isn’t an everyday thing, but it’s not something I avoid either.  It’s a matter of moderation.  Finding that level of moderation, rather than avoiding it completely, is a great way to manage cravings before they get out of control.

Some people have told me they don’t like the taste of dark chocolate.  But it’s like anything.  A lot of foods taste weird when you first start eating healthy, because you are accustomed to an extreme level of sweetness or salt in food and that comes from eating so much processed food.  Eventually, when you are eating fresh ingredients consistently, your tastebuds adjust.  Something that once tasted great is now SUPER sweet, to the point of being unappetizing.

If you are used to the sweetness, try the idea below.  I love to finish a steak dinner with this dessert.  You can melt the chocolate quickly in saucepan or double boiler (I don’t recommend the microwave) and bam! you have a satisfying and sweet dessert.  The sweetness comes from the fruit, which balances the lack of sweetness in the dark chocolate.  I specifically picked the kiwi because they are tart, so they add another level of flavor dessert.  Kiwi’s and bananas are also pretty cheap, which is always a good thing, especially if you’ve just dropped a good amount of $$$ on a steak 🙂

Give it a try!  Even if you are skeptical of the dark chocolate – what’s the worse that could happen!?

Fruit & Chocolate (Serves 2)

4 squares Green and Blacks 70-85% Dark Chocolate, melted
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup fresh raspberries (any kind of berry will work)
1 kiwi, skinned and diced

Combine fruit evenly in 2 small bowls. Drizzle chocolate on top. Enjoy!

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