On today’s episode of “Chocolate Completes Me,” I will share three more delicious and healthy chocolate desserts that your whole family will love.
Before I do though, I feel the need to clear something up. Since writing my first couple posts about healthy, all-natural concoctions my whole family loves, people have asked me things like, “Do you have allergies? Are you vegan? Why not just eat the real thing?”
I have no allergies. I am not vegan. I do eat ALL the things! Including these decadent and healthy chocolate desserts that I am sharing with you, that are suitable to be consumed any time of day or night. If I have a pint of ice cream for breakfast, you will most definitely judge me. If I have banana oatmeal chocolate chip bars, you might just ask for one. Nutritious and delicious is the name of my game and I think I’m winning.
In addition, I am not claiming these recipes are “healthy” as in they provide all your daily vitamins, give you energy, and make your skin look great.
Nah. These are not some kind of miracle desserts. I call these recipes “healthy” because they offer some nutritional value while simultaneously satisfying my sweet tooth.
And don’t come at me looking for imposter desserts. I like to use real ingredients, high-quality syrups, nut butters, and cocoas. I prefer to avoid protein powders, sugar substitutes, and imitation flavoring. Many of the options I cite also omit butter, flour, eggs, and refined sugar – all of which are more typical (and less healthy) baking ingredients. So, to clarify, my definition of healthy chocolate desserts means all-natural, high protein, minimally processed, real food. If you haven’t noticed, I never skimp on the chocolate.
Any more questions? HMU. If not, let’s bake.
Double Chocolate Black Bean Cookies
Yes, another bean-based cookie! My five-year-old claims to love these just as much as our soon-to-be-famous chickpea cookies! This black bean version is very similar to those, and they offer double chocolatey goodness, so it isn’t hard to see why they’ve earned a place in our regular healthy chocolate dessert rotation.
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed, patted dry
- 1/2 cup peanut butter, see note
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
- Rinse the black beans well in a colander. Use a paper towel to pat them dry. It’s fine if they are still slightly wet but try to get as much water off the beans as possible.
- Add all ingredients except the chocolate chips to a food processor. Process until a thick, smooth dough forms. There should be no lumps or clumps at all. You may need to stop the food processor to scrape the sides with a rubber spatula and re-start a couple of times.
- Stir in the chocolate chips until well distributed throughout the dough.
- Take a large portion (about ½ to ⅔ cup) of dough in your hands and form it into a ball, then press it into a disc. You will need to form the dough to the shape you want, as they will not spread or rise during the baking process. If desired, top the dough with more chocolate chips.
- Place dough discs on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until cookies have set up and have small cracks.
- Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks (although I guarantee you will finish them way sooner).
Thank you, Roasted Root, for helping us double down on our bean (and chocolate) consumption!
Crispy Crunch Bars
These crispy chocolatey dessert bars are like a Krackle bar on steroids. The texture is a perfect combination of crunchy rice puffed cereal held together by silky smooth, mouth-watering chocolate. It is the closest thing to a chocolate bar that I make (also note – the least healthy out of all the family-friendly chocolate desserts that I offer), and it might be one of the reasons why my family keeps me around. To increase nutritional value add any type of nuts, dried fruit, or seeds that you like!
- 3 c crispy rice cereal
- 1 c peanut butter
- 1 1/4 c chocolate chips
- ½ c maple syrup
- ¼ c coconut oil
- Line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish or deep baking tray of choice with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add crispy rice cereal into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a saucepan on the stovetop, combine all your other ingredients and heat on low until melted. Do not stop stirring or the mixture could burn. Remove from stovetop and whisk until completely incorporated.
- Pour the chocolate/peanut butter mixture over the crispy rice cereal and mix until combined. Pour into the lined baking dish, smooth out and flatten the mixture, and refrigerate until firm (at least an hour).
- Remove and cut into bars.
Crunch bars can be stored at room temperature, in a sealable container. They will keep fresh for up to 2 weeks.
Wrap individual bars in parchment paper and place them in the freezer in a freezer-safe container. They‘re good for up to 6 months. (Ha! As if they’d last that long.)
Thank you, Big Man’s World, for making this small lady’s day.
Peanut Butter Cup Oat Bites
This recipe is so easy – just five ingredients and two steps, and you don’t even have to turn on the oven. I’ve made it so many times that even my kids know the measurements by heart now. I do tweak the original a little, so I encourage you to experiment to see what you prefer. We occasionally add chopped pretzels into the base for a salty kick, or you can sprinkle finely crushed pretzels on top. I love how adding a touch of coconut oil to the chocolate topping makes for a smooth and glossy coat, allowing the mixture to spread more easily and have the optional toppings fall into it nicely. Shredded coconut is another delightful way to dress it up, but feel free to get creative here!
These are a favorite for my peanut butter cup loving kin! My husband could eat the whole batch – if my kids don’t get to it first.
Peanut Butter Oat Bars
- 1 c unsalted natural creamy peanut butter
- 1/3 c maple syrup
- 1 ¼ c rolled oats
- 1/4 c coconut oil
- 1/2 c good quality dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 c peanut butter
- Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
Make the Peanut Butter Oat Bars
- In a saucepan on the stove top, heat peanut butter and maple syrup until well mixed.
- Add oats. Stir and fold until thoroughly combined.
- Pour this mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Using a rubber spatula, smooth into an even, tightly-packed layer. Set aside.
Make the Chocolate Topping
- In a saucepan on the stove top, heat coconut oil, chocolate chips, and peanut butter on low heat until they soften, melt, and become smooth.
Assemble the Bars
- Pour this chocolate mixture over the bars.
- Using a clean rubber spatula, smooth into an even layer.
- Let cool on the counter for five minutes before adding any additional optional toppings.
- Freeze for 30-40 minutes, or until firm.
- Remove from the freezer and slice into small squares. Enjoy!
Store in a container in the refrigerator or freezer so you can easily grab a square (or two) as desired.
Please report back after trying any of these family-friendly healthy chocolate desserts. I truly believe they are something everyone will love so much that they’ll end up in the regular rotation in your house, too!
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