TACKLE CHOCOLATE CRAVINGS WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT YOUR TEETH
These healthy alternatives to traditional chocolate treats can help your teeth stay strong, even while satisfying your candy cravings.
If you’re like us, you have a sweet spot for chocolate. Milk, dark, and even white chocolate can all be mixed into delicious treats to give them a smooth, delicate flavor that is hard to beat. Unfortunately, too much chocolate can mean a couple of unwanted trips to the dentist, especially if you aren’t caring for your teeth properly.
Thankfully, there are ways to enjoy your preferred treat without putting your oral health at risk. These four dentist-approved chocolate recipes will allow you to satisfy your cravings while still getting much-needed nutrients, making for a guilt-free snack the whole family can enjoy!
1. CHOCOLATE BANANA POP
This frozen treat is a delicious and healthy choice for helping you cool off during warm months. It is recommended to use dark chocolate for an added boost of antioxidants (and less sugar intake), but you can also use semi-sweet milk chocolate if you are feeling particularly indulgent. This is an excellent recipe to make with kids!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 1 to 2 bananas, cut in half
- 4 to 6 oz. of dark chocolate, chopped (or semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter
- Coconut shavings, crushed walnuts, or granola (optional, for topping)
Start by peeling your bananas and cutting them in half. Set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate and butter. Melt for 30 seconds, then stir. This can also be achieved using a Pyrex (or similar heat-safe glass) over a pot of boiling water. Don’t forget to wear oven mitts! The exterior of that bowl is going to be hot!
Use a fork to dip the bananas into the melted chocolate, making sure to cover the entire piece. Cover in desired toppings, or leave plain, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet to harden—place in the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes for optimal results.
2. MAPLE ALMOND FUDGE
This recipe technically isn’t chocolate, but it makes for a great alternative when you have a stubborn craving. Using only four simple ingredients, you can make a deliciously sweet substitute to traditional chocolatey fudge.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 2 cups of smooth almond butter
- ½ cup of coconut oil
- ¼ cup of pure maple syrup
- 1 dash of vanilla extract (about a ¼ tsp)
Start with a muffin tin or a baking sheet. Ultimately, this depends on your preference on how they come out. If you’re cooking for kids, a muffin tin can help to replicate the shape of Reese’s candy!
Next, combine your ingredients. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the almond butter and the coconut oil. Heat for 10 seconds at a time until everything is melted. This can also be done using a double boiler on the stove. Add in your maple syrup. Stir until fully combined.
Pour the mixture into muffin liners or onto your parchment-lined baking sheet. Set in the fridge or the freezer.
3. HIDDEN VEGGIE CHOCOLATE CAKE
When chocolate cake is absolute must-have for a special occasion, you can feel less guilty about enjoying a slice (or two) with this recipe that incorporates zucchini and yogurt. Not only does it give an added boost of nutrients that your body needs, but when shredded finely, the taste of zucchini is indistinguishable from the rich chocolate.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 1 box of chocolate cake mix (moist-style is recommended)
- 1 cup of fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of finely-shredded zucchini, squeezed to remove most of the liquid
Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray a 13-inch x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Using a cheese grater or a similar tool, shred the zucchini into fine strands. Wrap in a cheesecloth or extra strength paper towels and squeeze to extract the liquid.
In a large bowl, combine the chocolate cake mix with yogurt. Add the milk and whisk thoroughly. Pour the cake mixture into the greased pan and place in the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350F.
Before serving, make sure to let cool completely. Skip the sugar-filled frosting and use coconut flakes or a small dash of powdered sugar as a topping!
4. NO-DAIRY CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
The best part about this chocolate ice cream is that it technically isn’t ice cream, which means no processed sugar! If you miss the dairy, pair with a tall glass of milk. Plus, this recipe is keto, paleo, and vegan, so it can be enjoyed by anyone in your life who has dietary restrictions.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 2 cans of coconut milk (for best results, chill overnight before using)
- 4 Tbsp of cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp of a sweetener, such as Stevia or granulated monk fruit
The night before baking, place your coconut milk and a deep 8 x 8-inch pan in the fridge.
Start by mixing the chilled coconut milk in a blender for 30 seconds. It should be thick and creamy before you start adding the other ingredients. Once you’ve achieved the desired consistency, add the cocoa powder and sweetener. You can also opt for agave syrup or honey if you prefer.
Once thoroughly combined, transfer the ice cream mixture to the chilled baking pan. Spread evenly and freeze for 2 to 3 hours. To avoid ice forming or freezer burn, stir every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours.
Let the ice cream thaw at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.
DO YOU NEED DENTAL CARE IN SANDHILLS?
Bela Family Dentistry of Sandhills offers full-scale oral health solutions for the whole family. From the moment our patients walk through the door, we strive to make them as comfortable as possible while providing personalized procedures for cosmetic, reconstructive, and preventative treatments. New patients are welcome to contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive dental services.