dard chocolate

Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond Bites

Introduction

Ever want a chocolate treat that’s quick and easy but not loaded with sugar?  I wanted to share this dark chocolate recipe with you — it’s intensely chocolate and not very sweet which is what I like.

 

The Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is like that — deeply rich with just a touch of sweetness.  

Believe it or note, it’s loaded with antioxidants like polyphenols, flavanoids, and catechins.  In fact, it’s one of the best antioxidant sources we know.

According to one study, it has more polyphenols and flavanoids than blueberries or acai berries.  Dark chocolate is also considered a fermented food, however, it contains no active cultures.

Dark chocolate may help reduce inflammation which is the root cause of almost all chronic disease. A 2018 study found that eating 30 gm of chocolate with 84% cocoa significantly reduced inflammation markers in people with type II diabetes. 

Dark chocolate may help decrease blood pressure and improve cholesterol by lowering LDL and raising HDL.  A little dark chocolate may also improve insulin sensitivity which is a risk factor for chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Brain function may also benefit from a bit of this tasty treat. The flavanols in cocoa may help improve blood flow to the brain and cognitive function in seniors .

The Drawbacks

Chocolate is high in calories and fat so a little goes a long way. The darker the chocolate, the lower it is in sugar, so choose 70% or higher cocoa content.  

All chocolate is not created equal so it’s important to look for a quality product. The higher the % cocoa solids, the higher the antioxidant and nutrient content of the chocolate.  Try to buy organic if possible to reduce your exposure to unnecessary chemicals and toxins.

The Recipe

 I made these in about 15 minutes after I got home from work yesterday.  However, if you prefer a sweeter treat, try adding a bit of honey, monk fruit or stevia to your taste.  Hope you enjoy it!

 

Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond Bites
 
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Susan Taylor RD, LD
Serves: 3 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces organic dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao), chopped
  • 1 cup toasted unsweetened organic coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and set aside.
  2. You can either put the chocolate in the microwave to melt it or use a double boiler. If using the microwave, heat on high just until almost melted.
  3. For the double boiler, use the following method: Bring a few inches of water to a boil in the bottom half of a double boiler over high heat. Put the chocolate in the top half of the double boiler and place it in the bottom half. Heat, stirring often, until the chocolate is almost melted, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk until completely melted.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  6. Drop the mixture by the spoonful onto the prepared baking sheet. Set aside to cool and get firm. Serve when firm, or store in an airtight container in layers separated by waxed paper for up to 2 weeks.
Serving size: 1 piece

About the author

Susan Taylor, RDN LD is a registered dietitian / nutritionist with 20+ years experience in the nutrition field.  Susan has worked in a variety of clinical settings including hospitals, longterm care, rehab, and private practice. She currently enjoys life in the Charleston, SC area and is always looking for ways to fit in a little more beach time.