11 Healthier Ways to Enjoy Chocolate

Cacao Nib Chia Pudding in cups on a red background
Photo: Angela Sackett

Can chocolate be healthy? You bet! With desserts called "Death by Chocolate" and "Sinful Chocolate Cake" it can be easy to forget that chocolate itself has a lot of health benefits. Dark chocolate is full of flavonoids, which act as antioxidants, and also contains theobromine, which can reduce inflammation. Sure, we can all eat one or two squares of dark chocolate a day, but don't forget that you can enjoy chocolate in these healthier takes on your favorite snacks and treats, too!

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Healthy Chocolate Pudding

Would you ever guess that a serving of chocolate pudding would contain 10% of your recommended daily intake of fiber? And what about 13% for magnesium -- an important mineral that most adults aren't getting enough of in their diet? This top-rated chocolate pudding checks all those boxes, plus it satisfies your chocolate craving in under 150 calories!

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Dark Chocolate Popcorn

This recipe makes 16 servings, and with less than 140 calories per serving it's a guilt-free snack. The hard part is trying to keep from eating half the batch! As reviewer bd.weld says, "So simple to make yet flavorful and addicting."

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Chocolate Date Cookies

These top-rated chocolate cookies are sweetened only with dates and include a lot of heart-healthy ingredients like walnuts and oats. Reviewer Weezer gives this recipe five stars and says, "These are delicious! The consistency is light, almost like cake. My health-nut husband enjoys these too!"

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Chocolate Protein Balls

A blue bowl filled with chocolate protein balls
Chocolate Protein Balls. Patrick Latour

Oats, peanut butter, chia and flax seeds, and a touch of honey combine with chopped dark chocolate to make these balls of deliciousness. Try rolling them in unsweetened cocoa powder for a truffle-like experience.

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Almond Butter and Cacao Nib Cookies

Chewy, sweet, salty, and crunchy -- these are everything you want a cookie to be! Cacao nibs are packed with chocolate flavor and that delicious touch of bitterness that fans of dark chocolate love. Not only that, they're super rich in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, as well as healthy fats and vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and iron.

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Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

Nothing beats a chocolate craving like a slice of chocolate cake. Thankfully this version is a healthier take on the typical calorie- and butter-laden cake. To make this chocolate cake even healthier without sacrificing taste, reduce the sugar by 1/2 or even 2/3 of a cup and use plain Greek yogurt instead of the already-sweetened vanilla.

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Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Sorry guacamole, but is there a better way to enjoy avocado? This decadent-tasting chocolate pudding is made with half an avocado per serving and kept plant-based with the addition of coconut milk. The result is a chocolate pudding so rich yet virtuous, giving you half your recommended daily value of fiber and lots of magnesium, folate, potassium, and niacin to boot.

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Superfood Chocolate Chip Cookies

Think of this as a superfood kitchen sink cookie, each one loaded with healthy seeds, nuts, and -- of course -- chocolate. This recipe calls for both dark chocolate chips and cacao nibs, doubling up on flavor and health benefits. Kids and adults alike love these!

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Cacao Nib Chia Pudding

Whip chia seeds, cashews, cocoa powder, and cacao nibs into a creamy, satisfying pudding in just five minutes with this top-rated recipe. With 36% of your recommended daily value of fiber, we won't judge if you make this a chocolaty way to start your day!

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Healthy-ish Chocolate Cake

Loaded with zucchini and walnuts and sweetened primarily with agave nectar and applesauce, this is a healthier take on chocolate cake that's just as dreamy and delicious.

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Healthy Salted Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Truffles

These nutty truffles are dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt, making for a luxuriously healthy treat. Feel free to play around with the ingredients, swapping cashews or walnuts for the pecans and almond butter or even tahini for the peanut butter.

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More Inspiration

carrot cake cupcakes with frosting

Eating healthier doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself! We have loads of ideas for healthier takes on your favorite snacks and treats, like this Healthier Carrot Cake.

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