Chocolate is an amazing food. It contains a high amount of antioxidants that have been linked to a variety of health benefits, and eating chocolate gives you endorphins, “the happy hormone.” But I’d rather leave refined sweeteners and a high sugar content out of my chocolate. When I buy chocolate, I look for super-dark varieties (and fair trade). I also love to make a variety of treats at home with more natural sweeteners, and less of them too.

Here are 12 of my favorites:


1. Deep Dark Chocolate Tart (pictured above): I hate it when I make this tart. Really … I do. Because every time, I want to have just a “little more” of the delicious, bittersweet tart, and then ... just a little more (and the struggle goes on). It’s hard to resist with its chocolate, nut-based crust, and it’s creamy, dark chocolate, decadent layer of pure chocolate goodness.


2. No-Bake Raw Macaroons: With coconut cream, coconut flakes, cocoa powder and honey, you can stir together a sweet little treat that’s perfect for little hands (as well as my own).  


3. Chocolate Whipping Cream: This is amazing. A swirl of maple syrup and a scoop of chocolate transforms whipping cream into a decadent delight. Serve with berries to dip into it, use to top hot cocoa, or dollop on cake. 


4. All-Natural Thin Mint Cookies: This gluten-free version is a definite favorite in this household. 


5. Brownie Pudding Cake: This is a sweet treat that is quite popular. This is my gluten- and dairy-free version based on an old favorite recipe. Naturally sweetened and using whole grain, it also has the advantage of being frugal to serve to a crowd! 


6. Chocolate Banana Freezer Pie: This recipe is mostly sweetened with bananas! It makes an icy chocolate treat. 


7. Decadent “Larabar” Truffles: Mostly sweetened with dates, these truffles are rich and satisfying. 


8. Delicious and Simple Truffles: For a more traditional treat, this simple recipe will have you rolling truffles in no time. And, you can even have a couple small truffles without consuming much sweetener if you use a dark chocolate! 


9. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: This dairy-free, coconut-based ice cream is my daughter’s favorite flavor. Who can resist mint and chocolate? 


10. Berry Chocolate Tart: A shortbread crust is topped with a chocolate layer, and then a berry layer, a winning combination. 


11. Chocolate Milk “Frappe”: This coffee-free icy chocolate milk is the perfect pick-me up in the afternoon. Plus, it’s only lightly sweetened. 


12. Chai Hot Cocoa: If you are looking for a warm drink, this lightly sweetened hot cocoa is spicy and rich. 


I'd love to hear your favorite chocolate desserts, too! 

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