Tag Archives: Chocolate

Categories Recipes, Snacking

No-Bake Granola Bars

No-Bake Granola Bars

Author Shani - Lemon Tree Nutrition
The shelves at the grocery store are packed with granola bars. Why bother making them at home? Because these seriously beat any granola bars I have ever had. They are incredibly delicious, satisfying and simple to make. When feeling like having something sweet and nutritious, these will become your favourite go-to granola bars.
Prep Time 30 mins
Refrigeration 4 hrs

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • Small saucepan
  • Medium bowl
  • Baking pan, 9x9 inches
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients
  

  • 200gr pitted date fruits
  • 1.5 cups large oats
  • 1 cup almonds or hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • ½ cup sesame paste
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder optional
  • A pinch sea salt
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Place dates in the food processor and pulse until small, sticky crumbs are formed. These may come together to a ball as you process. Move into a medium bowl and set aside. No need to clean the food processor yet.
  • Lightly toast the almonds or hazelnuts. Place in the food processor and pulse into medium-size pieces. Add the nuts to the bowl of dates.
  • Lightly toast the oats. Add to the bowl of dates and nuts.
  • Place the honey (or maple), sesame paste and cinnamon powder (if using)  in a small saucepan and warm up. Stir to combine. Do not boil or overheat.
  • Pour the warm mixture onto the dates, nuts and oats. Add a pinch of salt.
  • Mix well with a fork, ensuring the dates pieces are well spread in the mixture.
  • Allow mixture to cool a bit.
  • Add chocolate chips and mix in with a fork.
  • Line your 9x9 pan with parchment paper leaving enough paper edges for easy removal of the bars after cooling. Pour the mixture in, flattening and levelling it in the pan.
  • Cover with Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Using the edges of the parchment paper, carefully remove the bar from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into 8-10 even bars. Keep refrigerated in an air-tight glass container for up to a week.

Notes

Nut-free version - Replace the nuts with sunflower seeds. 
Vegan version - Use maple syrup (instead of honey) and vegan chocolate chips.
Categories Recipes, Snacking

Chocolate-Hazelnut Energy Bites

Chocolate-Hazelnut Energy Bites

Author Shani - Lemon Tree Nutrition
I love chocolate. So if I can have both a nourishing and chocolaty snack - now that’s a bonus! These little bites are definitely my go-to whenever I have these cravings. I keep them in the freezer in a container to grab as a pre- or post-workout snack. Sometimes they just call my name and I just have to answer. Wouldn’t you?
Prep Time 15 mins

Equipment

  • Food processor or a powerful blender
  • 2 small bowls

Ingredients
  

  • 15 Medjool dates pitted
  • Some boiling water
  • 1.5 cup raw hazelnuts
  • ¾ desiccated coconut unsweetened
  • cup good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional

Instructions
 

  • Place the dates in a heat-proof bowl and carefully cover with boiling water. Allow the dates to soak for about 20 minutes.
  • While the dates are soaking, place the raw hazelnuts on a baking tray and bake at 350 F or 180 C for 5 minutes or until hazelnuts are warm to the touch. Carefully remove from the oven and divide hazelnuts into 1 cup and 0.5 cups.
  • Place 0.5 cups of hazelnuts in the food processor and process to a meal texture. Place the hazelnut meal in a small bowl and set it aside. No need to clean the food processor container before the next step. Simply place it back on its engine.
  • Drain the softened dates discarding the water.
  • In the food processor place dates, the remaining whole hazelnuts (1 cup) and the desiccated coconut. Process until a crumbly mixture has formed.
  • Add the cocoa powder, cinnamon and vanilla extract (if using). Blend until a sticky dough-like texture has formed, and most of the mixture is coming together. Stop blending to scrape the sides if needed.
  • With a teaspoon, scoop enough mixture to create 1-1.5 inch size balls. Roll the balls in the hazelnut meal.
  • Keep bites refrigerated or place in a freezable container to enjoy later.

Notes

For additional coating options, roll the balls in a ⅓ cup cocoa powder or desiccated coconut.
Categories Recipes, Snacking

Scrumptious Chocolate-Banana Muffins

Scrumptious Chocolate-Banana Muffins

Author Shani - Lemon Tree Nutrition
I love a fruit & chocolate combo. Maybe it is the different flavours and textures that complement each other or because I feel chocolate makes everything better. So I took some ripe bananas I had on the counter and combined them with some rich cocoa powder into these gorgeous, soft, chocolaty muffins. With whole wheat flour for extra fibre and some protein powder for a more filling treat, these muffins will keep you fuller for longer. Plus, all ingredients go into one bowl to save on dirty dishes and work. In about 45 minutes from now, you could bite into your new favourite muffin.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins

Equipment

  • Bowl
  • 12-muffin baking tray
  • Parchment paper baking cups

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ripe, large bananas peeled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder optional
  • Dark chocolate chips optional

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 350 F or 180 C.
  • Line a muffin baking tray with parchment paper baking cups. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl mash the bananas with a fork.
  • Add to the mashed bananas the sugar, eggs, oil and cocoa powder and mix with the fork until combined.
  • Add to the mixture flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add chocolate protein powder if using. Mix with the fork until well combined. Overmixing can decrease fluffiness.
  • Fill each baking cup with the chocolate mixture to reach ⅔ of its height. Top with some chocolate chips, if using.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Muffins are ready when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out almost dry with a few crumbs attached, and the muffins’ top is a bit bouncy.
  • Let cool in the baking tray for about 5 minutes before carefully transferring the muffins onto a cooling rack.

Notes

These muffins freeze well. To freeze, muffins should be completely cooled to room temperature and kept frozen in an air-tight container.
Categories Recipes, Sipping - Warm

Naturally sweetened hot chocolate with spices

Naturally sweetened hot chocolate with spices

Author Shani - Lemon Tree Nutrition
Hot chocolate goes together with cold nights, a cozy blanket and a good book, Christmas time etc. The store-bought version may be full of sugars and additives, so here is a healthier, nourishing and satisfying version.
The spices listed can be omitted or personalized based on your preferences. The use of dates to sweeten this hot chocolate provides many benefits. Dates are a good source of iron, magnesium, fibre, vitamin B6 and potassium.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 mins

Equipment

  • A small pot
  • Blender with a lid
  • Your favourite mug

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup of preferred milk (dairy or plant-based)
  • 3-4 Medjool dates pitted
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder unsweetened
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • A pinch of ginger powder and grated nutmeg optional

Optional

  • Whipped cream dairy or plant-based
  • Grated dark chocolate regular or vegan
  • 1 cinnamon stick for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Place the pitted dates in a small bowl and top with about ½ cup of boiling water. Set aside.
  • In a small pot, place your milk of choice and heat until small bubbles form on the surface. Remove from heat and carefully pour into your blender.
  • Drain the dates and add to the blender. Add the cocoa and spices.
  • Start blending on a low and carefully increase speed to allow all ingredients to blend and for the mixture to be smooth.
  • Carefully pour into a mug.
  • To serve, garnish with whipping cream and a cinnamon stick, top with grated dark chocolate, sprinkle some cinnamon powder.

Notes

*This beverage can be made dairy or plant-based. You can increase or decrease the number of dates used to adjust the sweetness to your preference.
Categories Recipes, Snacking

Fudgy Banana Bake

Fudgy Banana Bake

Author Shani - Lemon Tree Nutrition
Got some overripe bananas? Use them in this fudgy, chocolaty banana bake. This treat is not overly sweet, yet quite satisfying due to its protein and fibre content. Pair it with a nice cup of tea, relax and enjoy.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender
  • Baking pan, 7x11 inches
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cup large oats
  • 6-7 medium-size overripe bananas cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 10 pitted Medjool dates soaked in hot water for at least 1 hour
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 4 tablespoons coconut sugar you can add 1-2 extra tablespoons if you prefer sweeter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup raw walnuts roughly chopped

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 350° F or 180° C
  • Line a 7x11 inch tall sided baking pan with parchment paper
  • In a food processor or blender, place 2 cups of oats and process into flour
  • Add the bananas and blend until well combined with the flour
  • Drain the dates saving ½ cup of the soaking water and add the dates to the banana-flour mixture, as well as the ½ cup of soaking water and blend
  • Add cocoa powder, coconut sugar, eggs, protein powder and baking powder
  • Blend until well combined to a smooth mixture
  • Transfer mixture into the prepared baking pan
  • Top with chopped walnuts
  • Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the centre is firm
  • Allow to cool at room temperature and cut into desired size squares

Notes

After a day on the countertop, place the rest in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.