I’ve got to say, I’ve never met a chocolate dessert that I haven’t loved! While I’m a fan of the occasional spot of indulgence, I love to get creative in the kitchen and re-create healthier versions of traditional treats. Plus, I’m a firm believer that mindful indulgence plays an important role in the healthy life, which is why I treat myself a few times a week. If you’re looking for some nutritious treats to satisfy your cravings, these chocolate-laden recipes are bound to hit the spot.
Chocolate, Raspberry & Peanut Butter Brownies
Makes: 8–10 serves Ingredients
2 organic eggs
¼ cup coconut flour
⅓ cup raw cacao powder
¼ cup smooth peanut butter, plus 1 tbsp to swirl
¼ cup maple or rice malt syrup
¼ cup + 1 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp chia seeds
⅓ cup 85% dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tin with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until combined. Then add the coconut flour and raw cacao powder. Stir to combine.
3. Add peanut butter, maple or rice malt syrup, almond milk and chia seeds and mix until just combined. Stir through chopped dark chocolate and raspberries.
4. Spoon the mixture evenly into the baking tin. Top with dollops of extra peanut butter and then run a knife through the dollops to create a swirl.
5. Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until you insert a skewer and it comes out clean.
6. Remove the brownie from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Once slightly cooled, cut into brownie squares. Serve warm and enjoy! Store in an airtight container for 3–4 days.
Vegan Banana Chocolate Muffins
Makes: 8-10 Ingredients
2 cups almond meal
3 tbsp chia seeds soaked in ⅓ cup water for 10 minutes
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3 dates, pitted
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
pinch of sea salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
½ block (50g) dark or raw chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tsp chia seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a muffin tin with olive oil or coconut spray.
2. In a blender, add all of the ingredients, except the chocolate and 1 tsp chia seeds. Blitz until you’ve reached a smooth consistency.
3. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tray, pressing pieces of chocolate into the middle of the muffins and also on top. Sprinkle with extra chia seeds and cinnamon.
4. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until the muffins are golden and cooked through.
5. Serve warm with a dollop of ricotta or almond butter. Enjoy!
Gooey Salted Chocolate & Hazelnut Cookies
Makes: 8-10 Ingredients
1 ¼ cups almond meal
¼ cup raw cacao powder
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2-4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
1 large organic egg
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir the almond meal, raw cacao powder, baking powder, cinnamon and seas salt until combined.
3. In another mixing bowl, whisk the coconut oil, maple syrup and almond butter until well combined.
4. Add egg to the wet mixture and whisk for a further 2-3 minutes, until light and bubbly.
5. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, until just combined. Stir in chopped chocolate and hazelnuts.
6. Roll tablespoon-sized amounts of dough into balls then flatten slightly on a lined baking tray.
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden around the edges.
8. Sprinkle with sea salt and eat while warm. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
1. Preheat oven to 160°. Use the coconut oil to lightly grease two, small ovenproof bowls.
2. Place all ingredients, except for coconut oil, in a bowl and use a fork or whisk to combine until there are no clumps and mixture is light and bubbly.
3. Spoon mixture equally into each bowl.
4. Spoon 1 tbsp of peanut butter into the middle of each bowl.
5. Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
6. Serve immediately, with fresh berries and a little extra peanut butter. Note: Try to mix the ingredients for around 5 minutes to incorporate plenty of air – this is the key to a light and fluffy fondant.
Chocolate, Fig & Pistachio Bark
Serves: 6 Ingredients
½ cup virgin organic coconut oil
½ cup raw cacao powder
1 tbsp hulled tahini
3–4 tbsp maple syrup, rice malt syrup, raw honey or coconut sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra, for sprinkling
pinch of Celtic sea salt
1/3 cup pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
1/3 cup dried figs, cut into small chunks
1. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the cacao powder, tahini and sweetener of choice, whisking constantly to stop any lumps forming. Stir in the cinnamon and salt, then remove from the heat.
3. Set the pan aside for about 5 minutes so the mixture cools slightly and begins to set.
4. Pour the mixture evenly onto the baking paper – you want the bark to be about 5–8 mm thick.
5. Scatter the pistachios and figs over the chocolate mixture and finish with a sprinkle of extra cinnamon if you wish.
6. Cover with plastic film and put it in the freezer for 30–40 minutes or until set firm. You can then break it into irregular shards. For the best texture, enjoy it straight from the freezer. ABOUT JESSICA SEPEL
Jessica Sepel is a clinical nutritionist, best-selling author, international health blogger and the beloved voice behind JSHealth and @jshealth. She is passionate about helping people overcome fad dieting and disordered eating, having gone through her own struggles with food. Her philosophy is focused around balance, rest and building a healthy relationship with food. She recently launched the JSHealth App, which features a world-first nutrition clinic, hundreds of healthy recipes, a daily meal planner, health guides, body love support and much more.