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Five Recipes To Indulge Your Chocolate Craving

Valentines Day. Galentines Day. February Any Day. Whatever the reason, the winter blues often has us craving chocolate this time of year.

Dark chocolate, which contains 50 – 90% cocoa solids (compared to the 10 – 50% of milk chocolate), not only pleases our palates and gives us a decent dose of caffeine, but may be good for our hearts as well; cocoa phenols have been shown to lower blood pressure and improve vascular function. In addition, it is also rich in iron, copper, magnesium, zinc and antioxidants. Chocoholics, rejoice!       

For all of your chocolate needs this winter, look no further than these five recipes. Gluten-free, dairy-free, and chocolate-full, you and your loved ones will love these healthy-ish desserts.


Chocolate Covered Strawberries 

Why deviate from a classic? Chocolate dipped strawberries are simple to prepare, crowd-pleasing, and beautiful on a plate. Begin by choosing the firmest strawberries you can find and any high-quality high-cocoa dairy-free chocolate in your grocery store. Then, proceed to getting your double-boiler on! You can easily make one at home with a small pot filled a quarter of the way with water, and a metal or heat-proof glass mixing bowl that fits snugly on top of the pot. Heat the water to a boil, and constantly stir the chocolate in the bowl to melt. Otherwise, a microwave works well, too – just be mindful to not overheat the chocolate or it will seize up. If you’d like to eat more in-season, choose California-grown mandarin oranges instead.   


Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate truffles are thus named after their resemblance to the wild fungal truffle mushroom; the small brown orb of sweet chocolate ganache will look much more authentic the more imperfect it is, so feel free to get messy with it. The two are not commonly combined, though adding a quarter teaspoon of pure truffle oil to your recipe will leave you with a unique, earthy and rich dessert. Sounds strange, tastes delicious.

Chocolate truffles are a deceivingly simple dessert to prepare. While the fussy variations may be filled with various types of chocolate ganache, fruit cremes, or amaretto, you can make these indulgent desserts at home with just two ingredients


Chocolate Cake

No chocolate dessert list is complete without a chocolate cake. Classic and decadent, suitable for a party or an indulgent afternoon alone with a cup of black coffee, this dessert is a staple for good reason. For that, we’re going to give you options. Here’s a recipe that is fairly straight forward, substituting gluten-free flour and coconut cream for wheat and dairy, and using chocolate frosting and raspberries to up the fancy-factor. Here’s another recipe that is a bit more classic and subtle, incorporating buckwheat and almond flour to ground it and provide some added protein and fiber. Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong with chocolate + cake.


Chocolate Berry Tart

Almond-coconut crust. Chocolate ganache. Fresh berries. What more could you possibly ask for? This is a great recipe to employ the help of the kids – have them choose the toppings and sprinkle onto the melted chocolate in a fun pattern. Berries are beautiful, but sliced banana, chopped almonds, chocolate shavings, shredded coconut, sprinkles or even gumdrops would all be tasty nestled in to this simple tart.


Chocolate Mudslide Cookies 

Luckily, we consider cookies to be in-season all year long, and these flourless morsels are about as good as they get. A mere 7 ingredients and about a half hour of total time to make, these rich and chewy cookies will succeed in satisfying your sweet tooth and chocolate craving. Use raw cocoa powder to increase the nutritional value, which is made by cold-pressing the raw cocoa beans; this process keeps the living enzymes of the bean intact.

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