Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oatmeal

Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oatmeal

Don’t let cough syrup give cherries a bad rap. One taste of these juicy, summer rubies, and you’ll be declaring a new favorite fruit in no time. Fresh cherries have a pretty short season here in New England (peaking late June through mid July), but they are so deliciously addicting that most people can put down several weeks worth of cherries while simply standing in front of the refrigerator. Not that I know anything about that.

Delicious enough to enjoy straight out of a bowl, cherries are also the perfect natural sweetener, and that’s how I’m showcasing them in this chilled, chocolately recipe. These succulent little stone fruits eliminate the need for added sugars, while tangy yogurt and rich cocoa deepen the flavor. Overnight oatmeal is usually a breakfast pick, but I like to keep a bowl of this chocolate cherry concoction in the fridge for dessert, especially on hot summer nights.

Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oatmeal

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup fresh pitted cherries (Don’t buy a cherry pitter! Use this trick)
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat organic)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds

Optional garnishes: sliced almonds, fresh cherries

Method:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, mash cherries with a potato masher or a large fork, under cherries are smooshed and juices are released.
  2. Add all other ingredients to bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Transfer mixture to a mason jar or a breakfast bowl, and set covered in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Serve cold, after mixture has chilled and the porridge has thickened (at least 8 hours).
  5. Top with optional garnishes, such as fresh cherries or sliced almonds, if desired.

Nutrition per Serving: 260 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 44g carbohydrates (10g fiber, 16g sugar*), 15g protein, 4mg cholesterol, 30mg sodium, 16% Iron, 12% Calcium, 1% Vitamin A, 12% Vitamin C

*all sugars are naturally occurring, none are added sugars

– Kelly

Advertisements

Chocolate Cranberry Milkshake

Chocolate Cranberry Milkshake (No sugar!)

Like any self-respecting locavore, I aim to feature seasonal farmers market produce whenever possible. But alas, my penny-pinching food budget has the final say, which is why I tend to avoid picking up groceries until every scrap of food in the cupboard has been eaten.

That brings me to this chocolate cranberry milkshake. More indulgent than fresh fruit, but more nourishing than a chocolate milkshake, this cocoa-cranberry beverage is the perfect balance of nutritious and delicious. Cranberries may not be popular this time of year, but if they’re in my freezer, they’re fair game. Eating healthy need not be expensive; so if you’re out of fresh fruit, don’t hesitate to use up what you have on hand (frozen fruit, dried fruit, or fruit canned in water or juice). Par for the course with my other milkshake recipes, this one is sweetened with fruit alone, meaning you don’t have to worry about nutrient-empty added sugars.

Chocolate Cranberry Milkshake (Healthy! No sugar!)

Cranberry Chocolate Milkshake

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup frozen cranberries (unsweetened)
  • 1 ripe banana, frozen
  • 1 date, pitted and chopped (or 1 Tbsp date paste)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used organic nonfat milk)

Method: Add all ingredients to blender, and blend to combine.

Chocolate Cranberry Milkshake (Secretly healthy! No added sugar!)

Nutrition: 280 calories, 7g fat (1g saturated fat), 59g carbohydrates (9g fiber, 43g sugar*), 9g protein, 4mg cholesterol, 80mg sodium, 8% Iron, 26% Calcium, 10% Vitamin A, 29% Vitamin C

*none of these sugars are the dangerous added sugars – all are naturally occurring

– Kelly

Recipes on My Radar: Healthier Desserts

I may be a dietitian, but I, too, have an active sweet tooth that needs to be tamed on a regular (if not daily) basis. Rather than deprive myself of treats entirely, or settle onto the couch with a nightly pint of Ben and Jerry’s, I try to make dessert recipes that feature healthy ingredients, like whole grains, fruit, and nuts, and are naturally sweetened as much as possible. That way, sweets aren’t a total nutritional loss.

These first two cookie recipes I’m sharing have tahini, which is a creamy paste of ground up sesame seeds (you might know it as the other ingredient in hummus, besides chickpeas). Nut butters and seeds are used in desserts all the time (peanut butter and chocolate, anyone?) so I thought I would get a little more creative with my tahini and give some whole grain cookies a nutrition boost. That being said, I don’t bake often. So the last recipe I’m leaving you with is the dessert I end up making at least once per week (#guilty). Curious? Read on!

Almond Butter Tahini Blueberry cookies

Almond Butter Blueberry Cookies from Green Kitchen Stories // These cookies certainly aren’t “light” or “low cal,” but they are filled with wholesome ingredients like nut butter, whole grains, and fruit. I subbed whole wheat flour for the buckwheat flour in this recipe, but kept everything else the same. The combination of blueberries and maple is reminiscent of a blueberry pancake, making these vegan cookies the perfect morning snack. It is a rare treat to feel nourished, rather than lousy, after eating a cookie (or two…) but these definitely do the trick!

Whole Grain Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Whole Wheat Tahini Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Food Fanatic // These delightful chocolate chunk cookies aren’t quite as superfood-packed as the recipe above, but I highly recommend this creative, healthier take on my all-time favorite dessert. I subbed canola oil for vegetable oil, but followed the rest of this recipe to a T. If you’re looking for a way to sneak some whole grains into the cookie jar, then look no further!

Dark Chocolate Banana Oatmeal

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal (inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie) // There is no chocolate craving that this decadent porridge recipe can’t take care of. I know that not everyone is as oatmeal obsessed as I am, but this dish is a great gateway into the wonderful world of oats. When heated, the banana beautifully melts into the oatmeal, so all it takes is a good stir to get the sweetness to distribute evenly throughout (no other sweeteners are necessary). This recipe calls for 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, but I use a HEAPING 2 tablespoons, in addition to some ground flaxseed and a generous splash of milk.

– Kelly

 

Two Healthy, No-Sugar Chocolate Milkshakes (PB & Mocha)

Healthy Chocolate Milkshakes (with NO added sugar)

The weather outside might be frightful (40 degrees and rainy – lovely), but inside I am peeling off layers and blending up cold beverages to stay cool in my cozy Boston apartment. Final exams are right around the corner for all of my loved ones in college and grad school, and that means snacks need to be quick, easy, and somewhat sinful tasting.

This Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake is energizing and filling, so you don’t have to worry about your stomach rumbling embarrassingly on the quiet floor of the library. For something rich and caffeinated to power you through a late-night study session, try the Dark Chocolate Mocha Milkshake recipe. It has the deep chocolaty taste of your favorite flavored coffee drink, without the stomach ache or sugar crash from those liquid calorie bombs.

Either way, both luscious milkshakes are made from nourishing whole foods and contain no added sugars, which means you won’t have to worry about the dreaded finals week bulge. So to my friends, sweating alongside me in their overheated apartments while churning out research papers, and to my brothers, making their way through the balmy 70 degree Texas weather to and from the campus library, this post is for you.

No Sugar Added Chocolate Milkshake Recipes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake (Serves 1)

  • 1 ripe banana, frozen
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used organic nonfat milk)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (no added sugars or oils!)

Method: Add all ingredients to blender, and blend to combine.

Nutrition: 270 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 43g carbohydrates (25g sugar*, 6g fiber), 12g protein, 9% Vitamin A, 17% Vitamin C, 24% Calcium, 8% Iron

*All sugars are naturally occurring – none are the dangerous added sugars

Healthy Chocolate Milkshakes -  No sugar

Dark Chocolate Mocha Milkshake (Serves 1)

  • 1 ripe banana, frozen
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used organic nonfat milk)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder

Method: Add all ingredients to blender, and blend to combine.

Nutrition: 200 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 43g carbohydrates (24g sugar*, 7g fiber), 10g protein, 9% Vitamin A, 17% Vitamin C, 25% Calcium, 11% Iron

*All sugars are naturally occurring – none are the dangerous added sugars

–  Kelly