Here’s some sweet news: Having a little chocolate while you welcome the sunrise can actually be healthy! The key is to choose the most nutritious types of chocolate and add them to already heart-healthy recipes.
Enjoy these delicious, nutritious ways to satisfy chocolate cravings while still in your pajamas.
The chocolate family
Using these forms of chocolate will let you eat it before lunch without regret.
These smashed-up roasted cacao beans are small-but-mighty nutritional powerhouses with healthy levels of heart-friendly antioxidants, dietary fiber, and magnesium. Think of them as 100 percent potent chocolate crunch.
Not all bars are created equal. What you need to understand is the cocoa percentage: how much of the bar is made up of cocoa solids versus other stuff like sugar and lecithin. The key is to read the product label looking for “dark” bars or packaged chocolate chunks that state they’re at least 60 percent cocoa and do not contain sugar as the first ingredient, which means your breakfast gets less of the sweet stuff and more chocolate-derived antioxidants. Better yet, seek out brands that are certified fair trade, so cacao farmers get a bigger slice of the pie and don’t employ forced child labor.
With cacao powder, you get bold chocolaty flavor without the fatty cocoa butter. Ideally, you want to stir natural or “raw” cacao powder into your oatmeal and pancake batter since it hasn’t been treated with alkali. It will also contain more antioxidants and have a deeper flavor than Dutch-processed powder, which is often spelled “cocoa.”
Here are some more ways to eat chocolate for breakfast.
- Swirl a handful of dark chocolate chunks into a pot of steamy oatmeal.
- Stir cacao powder into batter for pancakes or waffles.
- Blend cacao powder into breakfast smoothies.
- Drizzle melted dark chocolate over a bowl of yogurt and berries.
- Sprinkle cacao nibs into a bowl of granola and milk.
- Try grinding cacao nibs with your coffee beans.
- Cover a slice of sourdough bread with nut butter, apple slices, and dark chocolate shavings.