Nourishing Healthy Chocolate Chips: A Healthier Indulgence

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Do you love chocolate but worry about the unhealthy ingredients? Good news! There are chocolate chips made with better-for-you ingredients. They let you meet your sweet tooth without derailing your healthy eating goals. They call these “healthy chocolate chips.””

Moreover, just like regular chocolate chips, producers make chocolate chips from cocoa beans. But regular chips contain lots of sugar, unhealthy fats, and artificial ingredients. Healthy versions use natural sweeteners like monk fruit or coconut sugar. They contain beneficial fats sourced from nuts or coconut oil rather than heavily processed vegetable oils.

Furthermore, the outcome is a chocolate chip that boasts reduced sugar content, increased fiber and antioxidants, and devoid of artificial additives. So you can enjoy that rich chocolate flavor without sabotaging your diet!

Healthy chocolate chips
Healthy chocolate chips

Benefits of Eating Healthy Chocolate Chips

Eating healthy chocolate chips in moderation can provide some great benefits:

1. Nutrient Boost

Regular chocolate chips are pretty nutrient-void. But healthy versions made with natural ingredients like nuts, seeds, and coconut can provide:

– Fiber to aid digestion

– Nourishing fats to promote brain and heart well-being

– Minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc

– Antioxidants to fight inflammation

2. Meet Sweet Cravings

Having a stash of chocolate chips on hand can help curb cravings for sweets. It’s much better than reaching for a candy bar or cookies. Moreover, the sweetness comes from natural sources like coconut sugar or monk fruit.

3. Potential Health Benefits

Dark chocolate and cocoa provide plant compounds that may:

-Enhance blood circulation and reduce blood pressure levels

– Reduce inflammation

– Boost brain function

– Protect skin from sun damage

So, enjoying healthy chocolate chips gives you the benefits of cocoa. You avoid the downsides of regular chocolate: added sugars and unhealthy fats.

How to Use Healthy Chocolate Chips

You can use healthy chocolate chips in all the same ways as regular chocolate chips! Here are some delicious ideas:

In Baked Goods

– Stir into pancake, muffin, or bread batters

– Mix into cookie, brownie, or bar recipes

– Sprinkle over coffee cakes or sweet breads

– Fold into homemade granola or trail mixes

Sweet Snacks & Desserts

– Top yogurt, cottage cheese, or fresh fruit

– Mix into overnight oats or chia puddings

– Drizzle over frozen banana “nice cream”

– Make chocolate-dipped strawberries, pretzels, or nuts

Fun for Kids

– Press into energy ball or granola bar recipes

– Bake into homemade graham crackers

– Top peanut butter-filled celery “coins”

– Swirl into smoothies or milkshakes

Choosing Healthy Chocolate Chips

Not all chocolate chips labeled “healthy” or “dark” offer the same quality. Here’s what to look for to find the best quality:

1. Cocoa Percentage

To get the most antioxidants, choose chips made with at least 60% cocoa. Moreover, even better if they are 70% or higher.

2. Minimal Ingredients

The list of ingredients should be short. You should be able to recognize them. Moreover, it should have no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Avoid chips with hydrogenated oils.

3. Natural Sweeteners

Instead of loads of white sugar, look for chips sweetened with unrefined sources like:

– Coconut sugar

– Monk fruit

– Maple syrup

– Dates or date syrup

4. Healthy Fats

Aim for chips with beneficial fats from nuts, seeds, or coconut oil rather than highly processed vegetable oils.

Top Brands to Try

Ready to swap your regular chocolate chips for some healthy ones? Below are some leading brands to consider:

– Hu Kitchen Simple Mills

– Lilys

– Enjoy Life

– Pascha

– Eating Evolved

– Trader Joe’s

Easy Recipe: Healthy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

– 1 cup oat flour

– 1 tsp baking powder

– salt 1/4 tsp 

– 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

– 1/4 cup maple syrup

– 1 egg

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 1/2 cup healthy chocolate chips

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay parchment paper onto a baking sheet.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the oat flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. In another bowl, mix the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla.

4. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ones and stir until just mixed.

5. Fold in the chocolate chips.

6. Scoop dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet.

7. Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned on the edges.

8. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Healthy chocolate chips
Healthy chocolate chips

Conclusion

Healthy chocolate chips let you enjoy the chocolate flavor you crave. They have more nutrients and less sugar. Look for chips made from natural, unprocessed ingredients for the biggest health boost. Moreover, use them in all your favorite baked goods, snacks, and desserts for a tasty dose of antioxidants!

FAQs 

What is the difference between regular and healthy chocolate chips?

Manufacturers typically use white sugar. They also use hydrogenated oils and artificial ingredients to make regular chocolate chips. Chocolate chips use natural sweeteners. These come from coconut sugar. Moreover, they have healthier fats from nuts or coconut oil. They have no artificial additives.

Are chocolate chips good for you?

In moderation, healthy chocolate chips made from high-quality ingredients. They can provide antioxidants and some nutrients, like fiber, iron, and magnesium. But they should still consumed as an occasional treat due to their sugar and fat content.

Which is healthier – milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips?

Dark chocolate chips will be healthier than milk chocolate. They made from a higher percentage of cocoa solids, which contain beneficial plant compounds.  Moreover, milk chocolate chips also contain more sugar.

How many healthy chocolate chips should I eat per day?

There is no standard recommendation. But, most experts suggest limiting chocolate to 1-2 ounces or about 1/4 cup of chips per day. Moreover, this is part of a balanced diet.

Can diabetics eat healthy chocolate chips?

Chocolate chips have low-glycemic sweeteners like monk fruit. They may be better for diabetics than regular sugar chips. But they should still consumed in moderation due to their carbohydrate content.

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