Guilt-Free Homemade Dark Chocolate

Hey everyone! It’s February, which means it’s Heart Health Month! This is the month that greater awareness is brought to the risk factors and prevention of heart disease, the #1 health risk nation-wide.

Heart disease is a highly preventable disease. Adding natural, nutrient-rich foods to your diet can go a long way towards preventing the number one killer of Americans. Foods such as vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains and some fruit can provide micronutrients that allow your body to function optimally. But it’s not just the vitamins and minerals in these foods that are beneficial, but also the antioxidants, which help protect against free-radical damage.

In addition to the foods above, another heart-healthy food that is extraordinarily high in its antioxidant potential is cacao, from which chocolate is made.

Epicatechin, the powerful antioxidant found in chocolate has been shown to decrease the incidence of stroke, help protect against heart failure and protect against the onset of diabetes. However, through the manufacturing process, a lot of this antioxidant is processed out because of its bitter qualities, eliminating some it’s antioxidant potential. Additionally, commercially made chocolate is usually very high in sugar, all of which offsets the benefits of cacao.

In today’s video I am going to show you how to make a delicious dark chocolate, inspired by a recipe shared with me by my friend Catherine Boyer, a NYC-based psychotherapist, that is sweetened with natural ingredients and keeps the antioxidants in the end product. By using a combination of Xylitol, a plant based sugar-alcohol that is lower in calories and has less of an insulin response than sugar, combined with coconut palm nectar, a delicious, low-glycemic sugar substitute that gives the final product a caramel-like flavor, you will be able to enjoy a lower calorie treat without missing out on flavor.

So go ahead, indulge in a little chocolate guilt-free! Your heart and your taste buds will thank you for it!

Have a healthy Monday!

Share Your Thoughts...

19 comments on “Guilt-Free Homemade Dark Chocolate

  1. AvatarBonnie

    Dear Barbara – Where do you find Coconut Palm Nectar. I searched on Amazon and found an 11 oz jar for $55.00…Yikes!
    I have found Coconut Nectar or Coconut Palm Syrup. Wondering if these would work the same?

  2. AvatarBhavna Mehta

    Hi Barbara – thanks for the great recipe – we tried it a few days ago with a bit of maple syrup instead of the coconut palm sweetener.

    I wonder what ingredient is it that makes the mixture dry up towards the end, that made it so easy to scoop up and spread on a plate. Although the xylitol did not melt very well but after it cooled off, the bites tasted fine.

    I tried this again but had added Sin-free sugar by UBB (do you have any opinion about that?), some xylitol, a bit of maple syrup and some coconut oil. The mixture did not dry up as well and it was hard to get it spread out.

    Thanks for any insight you can provide. I realize that I have too many variables but thought I’d ask anyway.

    Thanks again for your video!
    -Bhavna Mehta

    1. AvatarBarbara Mendez, RPh, MS Post author

      Hi Bhavna…
      I think it is the absence of something to smooth it out (like dairy) that makes it easy to scoop up. When you added the coconut oil, you added an ingredient to smooth it out but perhaps too much? It is defintietly not “beautiful looking” chocolate but it does the trick to satisfy a craving.
      Thanks for commenting! And I am glad to know you made the chocolate.

      1. AvatarBhavna Mehta

        Thanks so much for responding Barbara. You are right! the coconut oil is not a good idea. I tried without and it was easy to scoop up. I do like the taste of coconut so will try again with coconut flakes.
        Thanks again for the recipe! yes, it does satisfy cravings.

  3. AvatarJon Sheppard

    I took your challenge Barbara !! Having had the chocolate now, I can say that it IS terrific!!! Delicious and made me feel better knowing it is a healthy alternative
    Thanks so much !!

  4. AvatarNancy Méndez

    Nos encantan tus recetas y nos encantas tu. Love this chocolate recipe for kids and us. Kisses from Barcelona. XOXO

  5. AvatarIraida Mendez

    Another delicious recipe! Thank you, Barbara!. I will try it, you know that I like a little something sweet after my meals. That sounds good and healthy!. Love, MOM

  6. AvatarAnna

    Barbara – Happy Monday. I look forward to your Motivational Monday emails. Please …please keep them coming. I learn so much!


  7. AvatarCatherine Boyer

    What fun to see this variation of my favorite recipe on your blog! I make these all the time… I love your method of making bite-sized pieces. I’d been dropping teaspoonfuls onto a plate, which is much more labor intensive.

    If anyone wants a baking chocolate recommendation, my favorite is Scharffen Berger. I think it’s worth the price difference over supermarket baking chocolate, but all chocolate is good. 🙂 And isn’t it wonderful to hear from Barbara about the many health benefits!

    1. AvatarBarbara Mendez, RPh, MS Post author

      Hi Catherine! I thought I replied to this but I see I didn’t~ Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! And watch out for next week’s video where I do yet another variation for Valentine’s Day~
      Stay well~


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