Today is National Chocolate Day! I’m a strong supporter of all things chocolate, and at the request of one of my readers, I decided to share a chocolate recipe in honor of the holiday 🙂
I worked with a dietician for a couple of months this summer while planning my wedding. It was a very eye-opening experience for many reasons, but the biggest was that I had not realized how many bad habits I had learned over the years from the various weight loss programs I had done. Even the revered Weight Watchers had caused me to strike some very healthy foods from my regular diet- foods like nuts, avocados, and peanut butter that are healthy, but high in points. Why spend 4 points on a little bit of peanut butter when I can have a bunch of Fiber One brownies for the same amount? When the dietician actually encouraged me to not only eat these foods, but to eat them more than once a day, I was in heaven! And I couldn’t believe what that, along with the other changes she suggested, did for my junk food cravings. I just plain did not want junk anymore. I never, ever felt that way while on Weight Watchers or any other weight loss program I’d done. What bad habits have you all picked up from dieting?
I came up with this recipe as a late night snack. I always found myself craving peanut butter and chocolate late at night. The first time I showed this snack to her, she loved it! It is under 200 calories, provides a good balance of carbs, fat and protein, along with plenty of vitamins and minerals. In addition, cocoa powder seems to be loaded with antioxidants and is linked with every positive health effect under the sun, it seems! I found this interesting article on NPR about how it works with your gut microbes to lower blood pressure and body weight. Umm, I don’t know about you all, but I like to eat things that will lower my body weight!
I have also learned this- you really want to buy good quality cocoa powder and not the cheap Hershey’s stuff. I have always bought Hershey’s, but this time when I needed more, my grocery store didn’t have any and I had to buy the more expensive Ghirardelli. Wow, what a difference in taste!! Worth every penny I spent for the higher end stuff.
Don’t worry about the cocoa powder not being sweet- bananas are so sweet that mixed with a little bit of cocoa, you get a nice dark chocolate flavor. If chocolate isn’t your thing, you could easily swap out the cocoa powder for cinnamon (also very good for you!) or pumpkin pie spice, or maybe mix the two together- that would be delish! Almond or cashew butter would also be amazing here, as would a sprinkle of coconut or a little sea salt on top.
Cocoa Dusted Peanut Butter Banana
- 1 banana, peeled
- 1 T creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 t unsweetened cocoa powder
Spread peanut butter on banana. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and eat with fork.