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18 Oh-So-Good Chocolate Dessert Recipes

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

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If you dream of the chocolate cake of your childhood, whip up this-just-as-good tasting and better-for-your-body version.

Serves: 16

Ingredients:

For cake:

Cooking spray

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

5 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 egg whites

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For frosting:

1/2 cup light butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on the highest speed, beat egg whites for 90 seconds. Add applesauce, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add half the flour mixture and beat on a low setting until just mixed. Add remaining flour mixture and beat on high for 2 minutes. Transfer batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and sides of the cake begin to pull away from the pan. Remove from oven and cool completely.

2. To make frosting, beat butter in a small bowl until smooth and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar; beat on low until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon each buttermilk and cocoa powder; beat until smooth. Add half the remaining sugar, buttermilk, and cocoa powder; beat well. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.

3. Spread icing over cooled cake and scatter nuts evenly on top. Slice and serve.

Nutrition score per serving (1/16 cake): 280 calories, 5.8g fat, 59g carbs, 4g protein, 2.5g fiber

Secret Ingredient Brownies

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We promise you can't taste the beets, but they do enhance the chocolate flavor in these moist goodies.

Serves: 9

Ingredients:

Cooking spray

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar

8 large egg whites

1 cup canned, sliced beets, drained and diced

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat an 8-inch square metal baking pan with cooking spray. Using a fine sieve, sift cocoa powder and 1/3 cup sugar to remove lumps. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on the highest speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar until just incorporated. Gently fold in half the cocoa mixture. Fold in remaining cocoa mixture, then beets and nuts.

3. Transfer batter to prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until top is cracked and slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

4. Remove from the oven and cool on wire rack 5 minutes. Run a knife around sides of the pan and invert brownies onto a rack. Immediately flip onto a second rack (so brownies are top-up) to cool. Cut into nine bars. Store brownies in a plastic container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Nutrition score per serving (2 1/2-inch by 2 1/2-inch square): 151 calories, 7g fat (1g saturated), 19g carbs, 6g protein, 3g fiber, 23mg calcium, 2mg iron, 87mg sodium

Mocha Pudding Cake

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The consistency of the cake depends on its serving temperature. It will be gooey when warm but becomes thicker as it cools. Eat as you like!

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Cooking spray

1 egg

1 1∕2 teaspoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon lowfat milk

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, divided

5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 cup vanilla frozen yogurt

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray four 1/2-cup custard cups with cooking spray.


2. In a bowl, whisk together egg, cooled melted butter, and milk. In another bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, and salt.

3. Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour in egg mixture. Stir until just combined and flour is no longer visible. Evenly divide batter into prepared custard cups.

4. In a small bowl, combine espresso and remaining 2 tablespoons each brown sugar and cocoa. Add boiling water and stir until all ingredients have dissolved. Evenly pour hot espresso mixture over batter (about 3 tablespoons per cup). Place cups on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until espresso is just absorbed and cakes are set.

5. Remove from oven and set on a rack to cool for about 15 to 30 minutes. Top each pudding cake with a spoonful of frozen yogurt and raspberries.

Nutrition score per serving (1 cake): 230 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated), 45g carbs, 6g protein, 4g fiber, 97mg calcium, 2mg iron, 228mg sodium

Chocolate Chip Cookie Makeover

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With less than half the fat of most homemade varieties, these revamped treats won’t take a bite out of your calorie budget.

Serves: 30

Ingredients:

3/4 cup rolled oats

1
 1/4 cups all-purpose flour


1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup extra-light olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread oats on a baking sheet; toast for 10 minutes. Remove and turn off the oven.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat together oil, butter, and sugars with an electric mixer. Add egg, egg white, and vanilla, beating until well combined. Fold in oats, flour mixture, and chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

3. Place rounded teaspoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and golden brown. Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Nutrition score per serving (two cookies):
 108 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated), 15g carbs, 2g protein, 1g fiber, 1mg iron, 7mg calcium, 66mg sodium

Recipe provided by Sandy Gluck

Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

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A cupcake isn't a cupcake without topping, but buttercream icing can get boring. Switch things up with marshmallow fluff!

Serves: 12

Ingredients:

For cupcakes:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk

For frosting:

1∕2 cup sugar

1∕4 cup water

1 large egg white

1∕2 teaspoon pure vanilla

1∕8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 pinch of salt

Directions:

1. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition. Beat in coffee and vanilla. Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until batter is smooth.

3. Fill cupcake cups 2∕3 full (you’ll have some batter left, which you can discard) and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. To make frosting, combine sugar and water in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly for 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Beat egg white, vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar syrup; beat until stiff peaks form and mixture is glossy in texture, about 7 minutes more. Frost chocolate cupcakes just before serving.

Nutrition score per serving (1 cupcake): 139 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated), 22g carbs, 3g protein, 1g fiber, 22mg calcium, 1mg iron, 137mg sodium

Chocolate Peanut Coconut Bars


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If a Snickers and a Mounds had a baby, it would taste like this—but our "candy bar" is much healthier than anything you can find in stores.

Serves: 20

Ingredients:


1 cup raw or roasted peanuts


1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


1/2 cup chocolate chips

4 cups cooked sticky rice (such as calrose or jasmine

2 tablespoons brown sugar


1 tablespoon salt


1 tablespoon honey or molasses (if needed)


Directions:

1. Reserve some peanuts, coconut, and chocolate chips for topping. Combine remaining peanuts and coconut plus rice, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse into a thick, crumbly paste. Add honey or molasses if mixture is dry. Add chocolate chips; pulse until they melt and combine into mixture.

2. Spread mixture evenly in a 9-inch-square baking pan and press to 1-inch thickness. Top with reserved peanuts coconut, and chocolate chips. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour before cutting into approximately 2-by-2-inch pieces.

Nutrition score per serving (1 bar): 161 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated), 22g carbs, 3g protein, 2g fiber, 26mg calcium, 1mg iron, 350mg sodium

Recipe provided by The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes

Chocolate Soufflé

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This treat takes just 5 minutes to prepare and its light texture ensures you won't feel weighed-down after chowing down.

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup 2% milk

1/2 cup cold water

4 egg whites, at room temperature

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

4 teaspoons sugar

3 egg yolks, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Cooking spray

For the raspberry sauce:

1 pint fresh raspberries

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift powdered sugar, cocoa, and flour into the top of a double boiler. Add milk and water and whisk over medium heat until creamy. Continue to gently whisk mixture without stopping for about 8 to 10 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Remove pan from heat and set aside. In a mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until peaks begin to form. Slowly add sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

2. Blend egg yolks and almond extract into chocolate mixture. Fold in half the egg white mixture, then fold in remaining half. Spoon batter into 8 10-ounce ramekins (mini soufflé dishes) spritzed with cooking spray, leaving a 1/2-inch space at the top. (You can refrigerate uncooked soufflé at this point for up to 24 hours before baking.) Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 17 minutes or until soufflés are puffy but still jiggle a little in the center.

3. Meanwhile blend raspberries in a food processor. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Spoon sauce over each soufflé and serve.

Nutrition score per serving (1 soufflé with 1 teaspoon sauce): 142 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated), 27g carbs, 5g protein, 4g fber, 41mg calcium, 1mg iron, 43mg sodium

Dark Chocolate Cherry Bark

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Chocolate doesn’t have to be rare luxury when you make it with a deliciously dark variety, plenty of heart-healthy nuts, and tart cherries.

Serves: 24

Ingredients:

3/4 cup almonds (or any nut of your preference such as pistachios or macadamias)

12 ounces dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa), divided

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup dried tart cherries (or dates or dried apricots)

1 sprinkle coarse sea salt (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toast nuts until they smell nice and roasted, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

2. Fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch water and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Set a large heat-proof bowl atop saucepan, making sure water doesn't touch bottom of the bowl. Place dark chocolate in bowl; cook, stirring, until smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan; stir in vanilla extract, toasted nuts, and dried cherries. Pour onto baking sheet, spreading into an even layer about 1/4-inch thick, and sprinkle lightly with sea salt, if desired. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Break into 24 pieces. Serve in odd, mismatched shapes.

Nutrition score per serving (1/24 recipe): 123 calories, 8.5g fat (3g saturated), 10g carbs, 2g protein, 2 g fiber

Recipe provided by Alyssa Shelasky of Apron Anxiety and New York Magazine’s Grub Street

Chocolate Panna Cotta

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This classy dessert is guaranteed to impress guests, especially when you tell them it's gluten-free and vegan.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

4 teaspoons agar agar powder*

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chopped almonds, for garnish (optional)

Coconut flakes, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. Combine almond milk and agar agar in a saucepan, and let sit for 5 minutes to allow agar agar to soften.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together cocoa powder, coconut oil, and agave nectar until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

3. Bring almond milk, agar agar, and vanilla to a simmer, then reduce and cook for 8 minutes. Add chocolate mixture and stir to combine for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and pour into four ramekins** or small glasses. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and serve topped with almonds and coconut, if desired.

*Agar agar powder is a natural thickener/gelling agent made from seaweed. It's available in most grocery stores in the Asian food aisle.

**To release panna cotta from ramekins, run a knife around edges of panna cotta and place individual ramekin into warm water for approximately 30 seconds. Put a plate on top of the ramekin and turn over to release panna cotta

Nutrition score per serving (without topping): 211 calories, 15.8g fat (12.3g saturated), 20.1g carbs, 116.2g sugar, .5g protein, 2.1g fiber, 91mg sodium

Recipe provided by Pamela Braun of MyMansBelly.com

Raspberry Chocolate Angel Food Cake

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Pair your favorite berries with this airy cake, which contains cancer-fighting polyphenols thanks to the cocoa powder.

Serves: 20

Ingredients:

For cake:

Cooking spray

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups plus 1/4 cup evaporated cane juice

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

12 egg whites

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, slightly thawed

For whipped cream:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 tablespoon evaporated cane juice

Seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-inch tube or Bundt pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, flour, 1/3 cup evaporated cane juice, and salt; sift by hand. In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until frothy. Fold in 1 cup evaporated cane juice, extracts, and flour mixture.

2. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool; loosen sides and bottom of cake with a knife and turn upside down onto a plate to remove from pan.

3. About 15 minutes before serving, combine raspberries and remaining 1/4 cup evaporated cane juice in a medium bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together heavy cream, evaporated cane juice, and vanilla seeds. Top each slice with raspberries and whipped cream immediately before serving.

Nutrition score per serving (1/20 cake with 1 tablespoon raspberries and 1 tablespoon whipped cream): 145 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated), 25g carbs, 3g protein, 3g fiber, 18mg calcium, 1mg iron, 58mg sodium

Mexican Chocolate Sorbet

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This icy, spicy dish will satisfy an ice cream craving with fiber and healthy fats to boot.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

2 cups water

1 cup sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 cup raw almonds

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons sugar

Canola oil spray

Directions:

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine water and sugar. When sugar dissolves, whisk in cocoa, then add cloves and cinnamon stick. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and refrigerate chocolate mixture for at least 2 hours.

2. Use a mesh colander to strain mixture into a bowl, then pour it into an ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions. (If you don't have an ice-cream maker, freeze mixture in ice cube trays; texture will be more icy than creamy.)

3. Meanwhile, toast almonds: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place almonds in a pie tin and toast for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Mix cinnamon and sugar in a medium bowl. Remove almonds from oven, spray with canola oil, and toss in cinnamon sugar. Transfer almonds to a plate to dry.

4. When mixture is frozen, it's ready to eat; or for a firmer consistency, place in a freezer-safe container and freeze for several hours. (If you've made ice cubes, put them in a shallow bowl and, using a sturdy four-pronged fork, grate into a shaved-ice consistency.) Garnish with almonds and serve.

Nutrition score per serving (1/2 cup): 196 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated), 42g carbs, 4g protein, 5g fiber, 38mg calcium, 3mg iron, 5mg sodium

Spiced Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting

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Surprise! Avocado makes super moist cupcakes and rich, creamy frosting—and all you'll taste is vegan chocolate goodness.

Serves: 24

Ingredients:

For cupcakes:

1 large avocado

1/4 cup vegetable oil


1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


2 tablespoons ground ginger


1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder


1 teaspoon baking soda


1/2 teaspoon salt


1 cup water

1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups soy milk

2 tablespoons white vinegar

For frosting:

2 avocados

1/2 cup maple syrup or honey

2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder

1 pinch salt


1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

1 can (13.5 ounces) full-fat coconut milk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cupcake tins with cupcake papers. In a food processor or mixer, mash avocado flesh until totally smooth. Add oil, vanilla, and spices and beat until completely mixed, about 3 minutes. Add sugars and beat until uniform, about 1 minute.

2. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

3. Boil water and whisk with cocoa powder until no lumps remain. Add soy milk and vinegar. Add dry and liquid ingredients to avocado mixture and mix until just combined. Pour batter into cupcake tins, filling cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until cupcake tops spring back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

4. While cupcakes bake, make frosting by pureeing avocado flesh in a food processor until smooth. Add maple syrup, cocoa powder, and salt and mix about 3 to 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed, until thoroughly mixed. Add melted chocolate and mix until combined. Open can of coconut milk and transfer thick coconut cream from the top to a separate bowl. Add remaining liquid to food processor and mix until completely blended. Using an electric mixer, beat coconut cream until light and fluffy. Beat into frosting until nice and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Allow to cool in fridge for 2 hours before piping onto cupcakes.

Nutrition score per serving: 244 calories, 10.5g fat (5.5g saturated), 40g carbs, 3.5g protein, 3g fiber, 187mg sodium

Recipe provided by Big Bake Theory

Single-Serving Chocolate Buckwheat Microwave Cake

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You don't need a party to whip up a waistline-friendly chocolate treat!

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons regular unsweetened cocoa powder

2 to 3 packets Truvia

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:

Line a 5-by-5-inch microwavable dish with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. In a bowl, stir together flax and almond milk. Stir in applesauce, cocoa powder, Truvia, and salt. Add buckwheat flour and stir, then mix in baking powder. Scoop batter into the prepared dish and microwave for about 3 minutes, or until middle is no longer wet and cake has formed a perfect crown. Let cool slightly.

Nutrition score per serving: 200 calories, 6g fat, 35g carbs, 7g protein

Recipe provided by Chockohlawtay

No-Bake Dark Chocolate Caramel Bites with Sea Salt

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You don't even have to turn the oven on to enjoy this sweet and slightly savory vegan treat.

Serves: 18

Ingredients:

7 ounces dates


1 tablespoon tahini 


1/3 cup dark chocolate chips


1 teaspoon coconut oil


Sea salt, for garnish

Directions:

1. Purée dates and tahini in a blender for about a minute, then freeze mixture for 15 minutes. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Measure out mixture by the teaspoon, roll, flatten to quarter-size bites, and lay on prepared sheet. 


2. Melt chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler, stirring frequently. (If you don’t have a double boiler, place a stainless-steel bowl on top of a pot of boiling water so that the bowl rests in the water but doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot, and melt ingredients in the bowl.) Using a fork, dip cookies into chocolate to lightly coat and return to cookie sheet. 


3. When all cookies are coated, lightly dust with sea salt to taste. Place cookie sheet in freezer for 20 minutes, then move to refrigerator. Serve cold, or at room temperature if you prefer them softer, but store in refrigerator.

Nutrition score per serving: 60 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated), 11g carbs, 0.5g protein, 1g fiber

Mason Jar Mini Peanut Butter Cups

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These vegan peanut butter cups owe their silky smooth texture to a secret healthy ingredient: organic tofu! You'll need five 125-milliliter mason jars (or small ramekins) for this recipe.

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

For crust:

1 heaping 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs (10 squares)

1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)

1 tablespoon coconut oil (or Earth Balance)

2 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder

For filling:

1/2 cup Sucanat or brown sugar, processed into powder (or 3 to 5 tablespoons powdered sugar)

7 ounces soft/silken organic tofu, roughly chopped

1/4 cup natural peanut butter

1 tablespoon almond milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Salt to taste

For chocolate shell:

2 1/2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil (or Earth Balance)

Directions:

1. In a food processor, process crust ingredients until crumbs are a bit damp. Place 2 tablespoons crust into each mason jar and spread out evenly and flatten with fingers. Quickly wipe out food processor bowl.

2. If making homemade powdered sugar, place Sucanat in a high-speed blender and blend until a powder forms. Leave lid on to allow to settle. Add all filling ingredients to a food processor and process until silky smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add 3 tablespoons filling to each jar and spread gently with a spoon. Place jars into freezer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes to firm up a bit.

3. Remove jars from freezer and melt chocolate and coconut oil on stove-top or in microwave. Spoon 1 teaspoon melted chocolate on top of filling and quickly twist jar around to coat all sides. Repeat for remaining jars. Chill in fridge or freezer to firm up chocolate or dig in as is.

Nutrition score per serving: 280 calories, 14.8g fat, 31.5g carbs, 22.5g sugar, 8.3g protein

Recipe provided by Oh She Glows

Chocolate Mousse of the Gods

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Make the rich mousse ahead of time and refrigerate, then assemble the parfaits just before serving.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

2 large Hass avocados, cubed (about 2 cups)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 to 4 tablespoons organic evaporated cane juice or organic sugar (optional)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 cup cocoa powder

1 pint raspberries

1 handful fresh mint leaves, chopped

Shaved dark chocolate (optional)

Directions:

1. Place first seven ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Sift cocoa powder with a metal strainer to remove lumps, then add to avocado mixture and blend until smooth. (At this point you can refrigerate mousse in a tightly sealed container for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.)

2. When ready to serve, evenly distribute half the raspberries among four wine goblets or martini glasses. Add 1 dollop mousse to each, followed by 1 sprinkle mint, remaining raspberries, and another dollop mousse. (If you have more mousse than you need to serve four, extra can be refrigerated or frozen.) Top with more mint and shaved chocolate, if desired, and serve.

Nutrition score per serving (1 cup mousse, 1/2 cup raspberries): 205 calories, 11g fat (2g saturated), 32g carbs, 4g protein, 10g fiber, 50mg calcium, 2mg iron, 31mg sodium

Vegan, Gluten-Free Layered Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Raspberries

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Don't be put off by the long name, this recipe isn't that difficult to make and will be loved by dieters and non-dieters alike!

Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

For cake:

1/4 cup warm water

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed or chia seeds

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup basil sugar* (or coconut sugar, sucanat, or muscovado)

3 cups zucchini, grated and squeezed

1 cup almond flour

1/2 cup cacao powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 cup organic dark chocolate chips

Berries of choice

For raw chocolate frosting:

1 medium avocado

1/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup

1 pinch sea salt

1/3 cup cacao powder

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together flax or chia with warm water; set aside. In another bowl, combine coconut oil, vanilla extract, and sugar. Stir in flax mixture and zucchini. Add flour, cacao powder, sea salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips and stir until just combined. Pour mixture into an 8-by-8-inch pan and bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack.

2. To make frosting, combine avocado flesh, honey, and sea salt in a food processor and blend, stopping to scrape the sides of the processor as needed, about 1 to 2 minutes until smooth. Add cacao powder and blend again till smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust sweetness, if necessary.

3. Cut cooled cake in half. Frost one piece and top with fresh berries. Stack second cake layer on top, frost, and sprinkle with more berries. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator for several hours before eating.

*To make basil sugar, combine coconut sugar and several huge handfuls fresh basil in a food processor until fully incorporated.

Nutrition score per serving: 267 calories, 14.5g fat (8g saturated), 39g carbs, 3g protein, 7g fiber, 304mg sodium

Recipe provided by Kibby’s Blended Life

Orange-Chocolate Meringue Cookies

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A quick dip in chocolate gives these light, airy cookies a touch of decadence. (Don't make them on a damp day, or they'll come out soggy.)

Serves: 30

Ingredients:

2 egg whites

1 pinch salt

1 pinch cream of tartar

1/2 cup sugar, divided

Zest of 1 orange

1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

2 teaspoons vegetable shortening

Directions:

1. Set racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 250 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.

2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Add salt and cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until soft and shiny peaks form. Fold in remaining sugar and orange zest until just combined. Spoon or pipe mixture onto baking sheets about 1/2 inch apart (see how in this guide to making meringue easy). Bake for 45 minutes or until crisp, then turn off oven and cool meringues with oven door open about 1/2 inch for approximately 45 minutes. Remove baking sheets from oven and cool cookies completely on a rack for about 15 minutes.

3. In a small saucepan, heat chocolate chips and vegetable shortening over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes or until just melted and mixture becomes smooth. Transfer chocolate to a small, shallow bowl and dip in cookies. To store, layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper and place in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Nutrition score per serving (2 cookies): 56 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated), 8g carbs,