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With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, chocolate treats start to populate our minds more frequently. And while eating tons of sweets isn’t considered healthy, modern healthcare professionals understand that chocolate is no longer the root of all evil and can be enjoyed on occasion. Here are our top chocolate picks for those day that you want to indulge.
This awesome dessert — made with bananas, stevia, and maple syrup — is a cakey classic boasting a mere 137 calories per slice, with plenty of fiber and protein.
Medical science is just beginning to understand the heart-healthy benefits of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate can lower your blood pressure, and it contains antioxidants that fight the effects of aging and reduce your risk of cancer.
That is the good news. The bad news is moderation is still a key factor. Sugar is sugar no matter how you dress it up, but when you pair it up with dark chocolate, aim for at least 70 percent cacao. Combine dark chocolate with fruit to make it a sweeter and healthier combination. Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate, for example, introduce two superfoods into your diet.
For something a little fancier, try Cran-Marnier truffles, made with dark chocolate and Gran Marnier liquor. They weigh in at just 110 calories per serving and 15g carbs. If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day treat for someone under the drinking age, substitute orange juice for the alcohol.
With dark chocolate and natural sugar, the portions can go up, as long as you don’t go overboard. A good rule of thumb is to try to keep dark chocolate servings under 100 grams.
In some cases, you can counterbalance the sugar in chocolate by including some healthy ingredients to your treat. Frozen chocolate bananas do have quite a few calories, but they also have vitamins C and B6, plus lots of good fiber and potassium.
How about giving the standard hot chocolate a healthy and interesting twist using coconut? This recipe makes a delicious and different hot chocolate to warm a cold, snowy February night.
For something sweet & salty, mix bittersweet chocolate with Chex cereal, pretzels or popcorn for a high-fiber treat you can enjoy while watching a movie or favorite TV show.
Valentine’s Day and chocolate seem to go together, but finding a healthy combination is tricky. There is no reason health professionals can’t find a way to treat themselves without ruining their healthy diet completely. Make any of the suggested recipes and feel no guilt during a chocolate-filled day.
Love sweet treats? Learn more about travel nursing from Fastaff.