Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Let's Talk Chocolate

It's yet another rainy day (I can only imagine what April, a month with a reputation for having lots of "showers", is going to be like) and we all know how Kelly's mood is DIRECTLY related to the weather. Therefore I thought I'd talk today about something mood boosting: chocolate.

Chocolate has started to gain quite the good reputation the last few years as studies have shown that dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Plus, it contains serotonin, which is a natural way to boost your mood (hence the post today!).

Whoa hoo- chocolate is healthy! Well, except I am really not a big fan of dark chocolate, and consuming a bag of mini eggs probably does not count as healthy, huh? Oops. Seriously though, just like I don't try to pretend I'm getting my calcium intake from ice cream (though I'm sure I am getting some), I don't really like to pretend eating chocolate is healthy for me. Sure, if it has some nutritional benefits, that's a bonus- but mainly for me it's just a treat :)

This week though, I've managed to incorporate some chocolate into meals/snacks that I do consider pretty healthy.

First, I made my first ever batch of overnight oats on Sunday night. I have been meaning to try these forever, but I had the fear that I would hate them and waste time and oatmeal. I went to the gym on Monday morning so I wanted to have a breakfast that would be quick to make and I could easily bring to work with me. That's when I thought of overnight oats. What could be quicker to make? And in a small tupperware container it's quite portable. In a container I put:

1/2 cup of oatmeal
1/2 cup of almond milk
1/2 of a frozen banana
1/4 tsp of Gharardelli unsweetened cocoa powder (you really don't need a lot!)

I put the top on the container and stored it in the fridge over night. In the morning, I literally did not have to do anything, I just grabbed it and went to work.

The results? DELICIOUS. Not too chocolately, but just the right amount of sweetness and chocolate for the morning. I was a little concerned that I would not stay full, but I added a few Cheerios on the side and I was fine. Next time I'd probably add a few almonds on top and be good. You will definitely be seeing more overnight oats in my future.

My second chocolate discovery was Oikos chocolate greek yogurt. I've been searching for this forever...

I was really impressed by the nutrition facts on this baby, including 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein and 10% of your daily calcium requirements. It does have 16 grams of sugar, but considering this is most likely a dessert, there is certainly worse when it comes to yogurt :)

I couldn't help but compare the nutrition information on this to another favorite dessert of mine, ZenSoy pudding:

I love the flavor with a mixture of Vanilla and Chocolate. This dessert has 10 more calories and 4 extra grams of sugar (basically an extra teaspoon). But, it also has slightly more calcium at 15% of your daily value instead of 10%. The MAJOR perk of the yogurt as opposed to the pudding is the increase in protein you get from the yogurt. The Oikos chocolate flavor has 10 grams of protein, and the pudding only has 3 grams. Also, according to Gina, the protein in greek yogurt is a slow protein which is absorbed slowly. Studies have shown this kind of protein provides your muscles with energy throughout the night to help repair and rebuild them while you sleep. Since I usually eat dessert within a few hours of going to bed, this is pretty important to me when choosing a dessert.

Oh, and by the way- the chocolate yogurt tastes pretty delicious too, but maybe not delicious enough for me to give up the zensoy pudding forever (or ice cream!).

If I am not even attempting to be healthy (or care about my stomach at all), I have lots of chocolate favorites:
-chocolate moose (anyone had chocolate moose cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory? heaven on earth)
-chocolate fudge
-chocolate truffles- my favorites are filled with vanilla or mint
-soft chocolate chip cookies

I know it seems like I love all things chocolate, but I am not a fan of chocolate ice cream or chocolate cake at all!

What is your favorite "healthy" chocolate treat?
What about your favorite "we won't even pretend it's healthy" chocolate?


  1. Chocolate makes my world go round. Have you seen my latest chocolate breakfasts? My favorite chocolate treat is Godiva's dark chocolate bar. Alicia Silverstone has this amazing recipe I can't wait to try that involves almond butter and chocolate (vegan reese's cups). Oh chocolate, what would I do without you?

  2. Great to know about the overnight oats! I haven't tried them yet but know that once the weather gets warmer (and stays) that they'll be the perfect breakfast!

  3. Thise sound like some great healthy ways to get your chocolate fix. I love to have a light hot chocolate every evening and it seems to curb the craving.

  4. i know its hard to believe but i am not a HUGE fan of chocolate for desserts I Do love however key lime pie OMG bring that on and I would devour the whole thing in a sitting (i am not kidding) That chocolate chobani, however looks so good and you are so right about it being a dessert in most cases and with 16g of sugar, thats not too bad at all!!

  5. I love dark chocolate covered almonds! I eat 5 of them every day after lunch. Mmm.

  6. ah chocolate, every woman's best friend :) have you ever tried cocoa covered almonds?! they are incredible!

  7. I love a good brownie! Or basically any chocolate. Overnight oats are AMAZING.

  8. We think the same way! Chocolate is a (fairly) frequent treat for me, so I try not to have too much at once (although it's hard sometimes, I understand!). I like putting a few chips on my oatmeal, so that it melts right in - mmm. I like your idea of mixing cocoa into overnight oats.

    I've never seen that flavor of Oikos! Why doesn't my Stop and Shop carry them??

  9. I love dark chocolate. I haven't always, but it's grown on me for sure! My favorite treat is the Yoplait Whips - Chocolate Mousse. Except it MUST be frozen! Then it tastes like a rich chocolate yogurt/ice cream. Mmmm

    I am going to have to try that overnight oasts! And the Oikos yogurt! Mmm.

    I'm with you on not pretending things are healthy. If it's not healthy - it's unhealthy. We all deserve treats though, and thats when I do unhealthy things! Just in moderation!

  10. Hmmmmm. Mini eggs....

    Overnight oats are not too bad hey? They weren't my favourite but I could definitely handle eating them on a regular basis!

  11. I think you know my stance on this one : )

  12. I was at a cafe today with the BIGGEST chocolate brownies. I managed to resist in favor of a huge berry cobbler instead. Not that I don't adore chocolate but I figured at least I was getting in a few servings of fruit instead. ;)

  13. I love any kind of chocolate and sure eat a lot of it here in Germany. I also love white chocolate which is NOT healthy because it's not even really chocolate. It would be interesting to see a comparison of the healthiness of dark chocolate compared to white.

  14. I've been searching for the chocolate Oikos too. Where did you find it?!

    Never feel bad for posting about chocolate! I have some everyday in some way or form.

  15. My favorite chocolate is dark chocolate - like my sister said, it has grown on me though. Now i love the somewhat bitter taste of it.

    As far as treats that I KNOW aren't healthy? My treat of choice is peanut butter cups!

  16. I'm not a huge fan of chocolate. but when I'm in the mood for it, I make sure to go for the good stuff. Lindor Truffles are my favorite. Mmm, they melt in my mouth and usually 2 is enough to keep me happy w/out overdoing it.

  17. I love to add cocoa powder and shredded coconut to my greek yogurt so good! My not healthy chocolate addiction...um....cookies anyone?

  18. ohh too much talk about chocolate! my favorite way to have chocolate is straight up.. maybe with some caramel.. lol

  19. You had me at chocolate...now I am salivating and a little mad because I've already had my treat for the day and now want chocolate :)

  20. Chocolate is definitely one of my favourite things to talk about ;) For the healthy version, lately I've been loving chocolate "protein pudding" which is just chocolate protein powder dissolved with a little water. But for the not-so-healthy stuff, FUDGE. I think you know the kind I mean - the rich, smooth kind that melts in your mouth. I don't like ice cream or cake either, I like my chocolate straight up with no extra fluff :)

  21. Oh, man. Dark chocolate is my favorite! It took me a while to really get used to it and now I love it. And I love how rich it is that I really can't sit down and eat a whole bag of dark chocolate. I eat 2 or 3 and feel totally satisfied.