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Chocolate For Breakfast: It’s Not Just Dessert Anymore

By Dr. Michael Richardson
Updated August 28, 2017

“Chocolate” and “healthy” aren’t two words that people usually pair together.

When you add breakfast into the mix, your first reaction probably is that it isn’t a great idea.

But in reality, chocolate isn’t considered part of breakfast because when we think of it, our minds automatically go to things like cakes, candy bars and other sugar-packed desserts.

When you look past all the extra, not healthy ingredients behind chocolate, there is still cocoa, and that definitely deserves a spot in your breakfast routine.

The Benefits Of Cocoa Powder

You get cocoa powder from the beans after they are roasted and ground. This powder packs quite a punch, according to Organic Facts. It’s full of antioxidants, packed with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron and full of protein and fiber.

On top of all that, cocoa powder has very low cholesterol content and doesn’t do badly in the calorie department, either.

Research has also shown it can lower blood pressure, may help boost your mood and has a positive effect on your brain.

Just one tablespoon of this powder can transform your breakfast dish, and it can be used in more than one type of morning meal.

Do try to use raw cocoa powder or unsweetened powder to keep it as healthy as possible, since adding too many fats and sweeteners can tilt your breakfast into a dessert.

If you’re ready to start enjoying the sweet taste of chocolate as you start your day, try one of the delicious cocoa powder breakfast recipes below!

Chocolate And Strawberry Oats (Makes 2 Servings)

What you need:

1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons of chia seeds
1-1/2 cups of almond milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup of frozen or fresh strawberries
1 medium-size banana
1 teaspoon of matcha
2 medjool dates (pitted)
2/3 of a cup of rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of flaxseed (ground)
A pinch of sea salt

Optional topping choices

Fresh berries
Chopped nuts
Hemp seeds
Coconut (unsweetened)
Goji berries
Quinoa flakes

What to do:

Place the salt, matcha, vanilla extract, dates, flaxseed, cocoa powder, strawberries, banana and the almond milk into a blender. Blend it on a high setting until it’s smooth.

Add the chia seeds and oats to a medium-sized bowl and mix. Add the contents from the blender into the bowl and stir.

Then, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least three hours but preferably overnight. This will give the chia seeds and oats enough time to absorb all the liquid and thicken up.

Once the refrigeration period has passed, stir the oats and divide it between two bowls. Top it with the additional choices you decided on.

Flour-Less Super Muffins (Makes 8 to 9 Muffins)

What you need:

1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/3 cup of rolled oats
1/4 of a teaspoon of salt
3/4 of a teaspoon of baking powder
1/3 cup of applesauce or an overripe banana
1/8 of a teaspoon of baking soda
1 can of black beans
1/3 cup of honey or pure maple syrup
1/4 cup of peanut butter (or an allergy-friendly substitute)
3 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips
2-1/2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract

Optional topping

Additional chocolate chips

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and line eight to nine muffin cups. Drain the black beans and rinse them thoroughly, and then pat them dry; this will eliminate the bean flavor.

Place all the ingredients except the chocolate chips into a blender, and blend until it’s smooth.

Then, stir in the chips and portion the mixture into the muffin cups.

Avoid overfilling, as if you do, the muffins will sink in the center. Add the chocolate chips to the top if you desire, and then bake for 12 minutes.

Note that these muffins may look underdone at 12 minutes, but that is correct.

Move them into a container after your baking is done, and leave covered overnight in your fridge.

This will firm up overnight, as the texture is supposed to be more fudge-like and not fluffy like traditional muffins.

You can keep these muffins in your fridge for three to four days, and they will also last for two to three weeks frozen.

Brownie Breakfast Bar (Makes 12 to 16 Bars)

What you need:

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 can of black beans
2 tablespoons of peanut butter (or an allergy-friendly substitute)
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
Just slightly under 1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 of a cup of chocolate chips
1 cup and two tablespoons of rolled oats
1/2 a cup of agave, honey or pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
Chocolate coating (shown below)

What to do:

Line an 8″ by 8″ pan with wax or parchment paper. Drain the can of beans, and rinse them completely to remove the bean flavor.

Put all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips into a food processor, and process until it’s as smooth as possible.

If you must use a blender, be sure to stop regularly to ensure your ingredients are blending evenly.

Once you have a smoothly blended mixture, stir in your chocolate chips.

Fold the mixture into the paper-lined pan, and freeze for at least two hours before making the coating below.

The Chocolate Coating

For the coating, you can melt 1/2 of a cup of chocolate chips with two tablespoons of oil to get a thin sauce, or you can mix together the following: 1/4 of a cup of agave or pure maple syrup; 1/4 of a cup of cocoa powder; and 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil.

Chocolate-For-Breakfast--It's-Not-Just-Dessert-Anymore-PIN Once your choice of sauce is finished, spread it over your bars, and then freeze them again so it sets.

Once it’s set, you can cut it into bars.

To help prevent the thin chocolate coating shell from cracking, cut the bars right before the chocolate is fully frozen or after it has thawed a bit.

Store your leftovers in the freezer and thaw before you eat them. Note that you can have the bars out at room temperature with no mess if you use the coating without the coconut oil.

The recipes above are good starting points for a healthy yet chocolatey breakfast, but there’s even more you can do with cocoa powder.

Experiment with your favorite breakfast dishes to see just where else cocoa powder may work, especially if you’re already an oats or granola fan.

You may have some misses, especially since a little powder can go a long way, but the hits will be more than worth it for all your efforts.

This simple ingredient packs both a tasty and nutritional punch, so start enjoying a sweeter breakfast today without adding calories by creating some chocolatey breakfasts of your own!


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Katherine Hurst
By Dr. Michael Richardson
Passionate about sharing the latest scientifically sound health, fitness and nutrition advice and information, Dr Richardson received his Master of Science in Nutrition from New York University, and a Bachelor Degree from New Jersey University. He has since gone on to specialize in sports nutrition, weight management and helping his patients to heal physical ailments by making changes to their eating habits and lifestyles.

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