Don’t you hate it? You are doing so well – eating your fruits and veggies, whole grain bread and low fat milk. Your are well pleased with your new healthy habits and your progress toward your weight loss goals.
And then it hits you from out of the blue. Chocolate. You see a commercial or the brownie in a friend’s hand and it starts. Chocolate. Chocolate. “No, no,” you say. “I’ll be good!” You shove it out of your mind and move on to something else. But then it’s back again, stronger than before – Chocolate. Chocolate. Like a deafening chant, your mind is obsessing now. Chocolate! Your sweet tooth is crying out in agony! Chocolate! CHOCOLATE!! I NEED CHOCOLATE!!!
So, go ahead and satisfy that craving. Guilt-free.
Yes, I really said it. GUILT FREE! As much as you want (within reason)!
Now, I learned early on in my nurses training the value of good nutrition, avoiding high fat and high sugar,etc. So why am I recommending you to go ahead and eat chocolate?
Well, it’s not really just any old chocolate, so don’t grab the nearest candy bar! However, I have a very simple recipe for a chocolate milk shake that is rich, thick and extremely satisfying, but won’t cause a spike your blood sugar or fill your gut with artificial ingredients or extra calories.
This recipe, I dare say, is every bit as tasty as the chocolate at our nearby gourmet chocolate restaurant. I use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder, though if you do not like dark chocolate you could use the regular cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is a natural source of flavanol antioxidants, and one tablespoon has 2 grams of fiber, no sugar, and only 0.5 gram of fat! Plus, it has only 10 calories! Milk, of course, is an excellent source of protein, and each cup of 1% milk contains 2.5 grams of fat and only 110 calories. Try it with skim milk for even lower fat and calories. To sweeten this delicious beverage, I use Stevia – an all natural, calorie-free sweetener that comes from the sweet leaves of the Stevia plant. I use Stevia in many foods and recommend this sweetener to all of my clients because it doesn’t raise blood sugar like table sugar, and is not artificial or highly altered with potentially negative effects like Splenda, Nutrisweet or saccharin. It even has some antioxidant properties! If you are not familiar with stevia, you can now find it in common stores like Walmart in the baking section near the sugar, and it’s available in a bulk package or single serve packets.
So for a sweet, healthy, chocolaty milk shake that satisfies your cravings, put 2 cups of cold skim or 1% milk into a blender, and add one heaping tablespoon each of cocoa powder and stevia powder. (You can alter the amount of each ingredient to suit your own desired taste and sweetness.) Add a few cubes of ice if you like it very cold and have a blender that can handle ice. Blend on low speed until powder is mixed in – to avoid puffing it into a cloud – and then high speed for 10-20 seconds. The longer you blend, the lighter the texture will become. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy – guilt-free!
This is also ‘kid tested and mother approved.’ My daughters endorse it with a double thumbs up!
If you have a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance and cannot drink milk, try substituting milk with soy or almond milk.
To your health!