The good news is, not all chocolate eats are horrible for you—in fact, a mounting body of evidence shows that cocoa (especially dark chocolate) is actually good for your health. So if you have a sweet tooth that needs satisfying, here are 10 healthy (and inventive!) recipes using chocolate that won’t completely kill your diet.
Spiced Hot Dark Chocolate
Kicked up hot chocolate recipe includes a hint of cayenne pepper for an extra punch of flavor. Bonus: It also uses soy milk instead of cow’s milk, which makes it lactose-intolerant friendly.
Chocolate Banana Soft Serve
via Fit Sugar
Whip up this soft serve at home in your food processor. All it takes is three ingredients.
Cocoa-and-Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops
via Food & Wine
The flavor here won’t be overwhelmingly chocolatey, but that’s a good thing. As the recipe advises, think of it more as a deconstructed Mexican mole sauce.
Vegan Thin Mints
via Fit Sugar
The classic Girl Scout cookies get a very vegan makeover. Don’t be afraid of the weird-sounding ingredients: your local Whole Foods Market should stock most, if not all, of them.
I’m always looking for ways to add a little pizzazz to my salmon. Here’s one I’ll be giving a whirl shortly.
Peanut Butter Protein Fudgecicles
via Damy Health
Proving you can add protein powder to anything. Literally, anything.
Black Bean Chili with Chocolate
via Healthy Green Kitchen
Confession: I am a chili fiend. (Seriously, I’m 99 percent sure I could live on the stuff, so don’t be surprised if you see a chili recipe roundup on this here blog sometime soon …). I am definitely adding this chocolate-laced black-bean chili to the list.
Given my newfound love of avocados, color me curious.
Black Bean, Sweet Potato, Kale, Coconut and Cocoa Soup
via Sweetness of Life
Good lord, that name’s a mouthful. Worth it, though, because I’d love to have a mouth full of that soup.
Chocolate Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
via Choosing Raw
Yes, you can pour chocolate on your salad. The chocolate vinaigrette made with this recipe was used to top a strawberry, avocado and roasted beet salad, which you should probably save until summer. But in the meantime, you can douse your winter salads and veggies with the chocolate dressing just the same.