Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie

Who has eaten dessert for breakfast? Cake, cookies, pie? I certainly have. Apple crisp is my personal favorite, because it is the easiest to “justify” – it’s just fruit with “granola” on top, right. We’ve all been there (I think). It reminds me of this Bill Cosby skit about chocolate cake.

Well, this smoothie is as close to a healthy dessert as I’ve found for breakfast. It is my new go-to. With the end of summer heat sticking around, I find myself wanting something cold after my morning workouts. This is good for you and SUPER delicious. I really feel like I’m drinking a milkshake. Enjoy!

(Sorry for my continued lack of pictures. Life and my desire to eat seem to be getting the better of me lately.)

Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie (Serves 2)

3 pitted dates
1 cup skim milk
½ cup raspberries, chilled/frzoen
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup vanilla fat free greek yogurt
1 banana, sliced, chilled/frozen
1 cup ice (preferably crushed)

1. Place fruit in freezer for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Can use fresh raspberries that you chill/freeze or storebought frozen raspberries.

2. Soak dates in hot water (enough to cover the dates) for 5-10 minutes. Drain water.

3. Blend dates and milk until dates are broken up. Add in remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 312
Protein: 17 gm
Fat: 2 gm
Saturated Fat: 1 gm
Cholesterol: 6 mg
Carbohydrates: 67 gm
Fiber: 10 gm
Sodium: 90 mg

Recipe notes: I have had success making this without the soaked dates as well. I sub in a a teaspoon or two of honey for sweetener. That brings down the fiber quite a bit. Just for mornings when I forget to soak some dates.

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Chocolate Banana Bread

I was invited to participate in an online cookie/holiday treat exchange by Patience Brewster. If
you’re not familiar with Patience, she is an artist that is on a personal mission to bring you joy through the unexpected in her handmade gifts, holiday ornaments and home decor.

I am very excited to participate and share this fun, tasty, and healthy treat with you that is perfect for gifting.  I’m also supposed to tag friends to participate, so Anna Costa, show us what you’ve got!

Everyone gets a ton of cookies, fudge, and homemade candies around Christmas.  Try doing something a little different – give a dessert bread that is rich but still healthy.  Your friends and neighbors will appreciate the variety and your consideration of their waistlines!

Chocolate Banana Bread (Makes 1 large loaf or 2-3 mini loaves, depending on pan size)

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4 very ripe bananas
¼ cup melted butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup white whole wheat flour
½ cup cocoa powder
⅓ cup chopped walnuts, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat loaf pan(s) with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mash bananas. Whisk in butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla.

3. Combine baking soda, salt, flour, and cocoa powder in another bowl. Sift or whisk to remove any lumps. Add to wet mixture. Stir until just combined with a spoon. Gently stir in chopped nuts, if using.

4. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 55-65 minutes (large loaf) or 35-45 minutes (smaller loaves) or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. Then loosen from pan with knife and remove to a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature before wrapping.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving with 10 slices per large loaf)

Calories: 209
Protein: 5 g
Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 3.7 g
Cholesterol: 21 mg
Carbohydrates: 33 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sodium: 196 mg

Recipe Notes: If you are eating this yourself, it is really delicious when it is still a bit warm from the oven.

Source: slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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If broccoli tasted like chocolate…

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I have often joked that if I could ask God one thing, it would be why he chose to make broccoli taste like broccoli and chocolate taste like chocolate.  Why couldn’t the flavors be reversed?

A new study indicates that while we can’t reverse the flavors, we may be able to change the reward these foods give us.  It has been documented before that the reward centers of the brain “light up” more on MRI when we eat or think about eating unhealthy foods compared to when we eat or think about healthy foods.  In this study, overweight people were shown pictures of healthy and unhealthy items while having an MRI before and after 6 months of diet education and following a weight loss diet.  The “after” images showed that the reward centers lit up less for the unhealthy foods and more for the healthy foods than they had at the beginning.  Short version, after following a diet, people got more pleasure from healthy foods and less pleasure from unhealthy foods.

There are always limitations to research.  This was a small study.  They only used a limited number of food images.  Perhaps if they had shown different foods the results would have been different.  But it is encouraging.

Take home message:  Eating healthy foods may get easier in the long run.  Broccoli and carrots may never taste like chocolate, but we may get more pleasure out of eating them if we follow a healthy diet over the long run.

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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