I fully admit, I still HAVE to eat chocolate. It’s my main weakness when it comes to eating healthy. I keep a giant bag of dark chocolate chips in my freezer and have a handful probably once a day… Hopefully one day I’ll get myself to eat less of it, but for now I let myself indulge in that one thing. At the end of a day chasing around a two year old wild man and caring for a nursing 5 month old I tell myself it’s ok to have a little chocolate to unwind 😛
Dark chocolate is thankfully much less sugar filled than milk chocolate and does have nutritional benefits! Cocoa beans are high in antioxidants and actually have quite a few health benefits. It has been shown to help curb cravings, help with weight loss, and and even lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Milk chocolate is so diluted with cream, sugar, and other additives that there is hardly any actual cocoa left in it! So choosing dark chocolate is a much better option. I typically try to choose a chocolate that is somewhere around or above 70% cocoa. Sometimes I can’t find chocolate chips with that high of a percentage, but for a chocolate bar I like to choose somewhere between 70 and 80% cocoa.
One of my all time favorite chocolate desserts are chocolate chip cookies. So one of the first recipes I altered after beginning to eat healthy was my trusty chocolate chip cookie recipe. (Or actually my mom’s recipe… most everything I know I learned from her! This should be her blog 😀 ) Thankfully this one worked really well with some easy substitutes, and we typically make them at least once a month! They’re gluten free, sugar free, and can be dairy free as well with just one substitution! So good…
The base flour in this recipe is almond flour, and I definitely suggest trying almond flour as your primary flour substitute when starting to eat gluten free. It works well in most baking recipes and has a 1 to 1 substitute ratio with regular flour. So if you have a favorite recipe but want to make it healthier, try almond flour! Same with substituting coconut sugar for regular sugar- it will have a more mapley, brown sugar flavor, but still so delicious.
I also want to mention that I often mix my almond flour with other flours as well. Flax meal or brown rice are good ones to use. They blend really well with the almond flour and help make the somewhat expensive almond flour seem much more affordable 🙂
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 Cup Almond Flour (Or 1/4 cup flax or brown rice flour + 3/4 cup almond flour)
3/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
1/2 Cup (1 Stick) of Butter, softened (Use coconut oil for dairy free)
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 375. Mix the coconut sugar and butter until smooth. Stir in egg and vanilla. In separate bowl or measuring cup mix the almond flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture into the sugar mixture a little at a time until fully blended. Lastly add in the chocolate chips and spoon onto metal or glass pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown, and enjoy!
Another delicious option is to make these into oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (which is what I made in these images)! The recipe is almost the same, so here are the quick adjustments-
Slightly lessen the amount of flour that you use (use around 3/4 or 4/5 of a cup), and add in 1+ 1/4 cups of oats and 2 Tbsp milk (or dairy free substitute). Mix and cook just the same as the regular version! This is our favorite kind 🙂 It makes the cookies more filling and makes more cookies in the batch! Win/win!