Dark chocolate for breakfast? You don't have to ask me twice! That answer will almost always be "OF COURSE!"
Turns out, dark chocolate can actually be quite good for you. Its polyphenols may help boost endothelial function and support healthy blood pressure. In fact, chocolate may actually help reduce blood pressure in those with prehypertension! (Source)
And, compared with milk chocolate, dark chocolate may provide a greater satiety boost. (Source) That means that, you'll likely feel satisfied for longer after indulging in that rich, decadent chocolate goodness.
But not all chocolate (and not all dark chocolate) is created equal. Yet, when products are made with "real" chocolate, you may believe otherwise....that's the tricky, confusing part about food marketing. Terms like "real," "pure," "natural," and "clean," are not regulated terms, which means they can be used to describe almost anything. Case in point: this Keebler Cereal which was recently added to the Health Hall of Shame.
When selecting a dark chocolate, I recommend at minimum 68 or 70% cacao most of the time. At the farthest, darkest, most health-promoting end of the spectrum you get 100% cacao, found in cacao powder and cacao nibs. There's no added sugar, milk, or cocoa butter added here, and these two cacao foods can easily be added to oatmeal, DIY energy bars, over fruit, in trail mix, or in/on smoothie bowls.
So when you want to enjoy chocolate (real chocolate!) for breakfast, here are my top 4 delicious -- and nutritious -- ideas for you to enjoy dark chocolate for breakfast.
Easy Breakfast Waffles
Ancient Grain Waffle with Peanut Butter, Cacao & Berries
On top of two toasted ancient grain, whole grain or gluten-free frozen waffles (I like these from Nature's Path), spread your favorite nut butter, slice and layer over 4-5 strawberries, then sprinkle with a tablespoon of cacao nibs. Delicious!
On-The-Go Chocolate Breakfast Fix
Dark Chocolate Almond Perfect Bar
For those mornings you need to get out the door quick, grab-and-go options like a Dark Chocolate Almond Perfect Bar provide a nutrient-balanced way to enjoy a satisfying breakfast with the dark chocolatey flavor you crave. Beyond the benefits of dark chocolate, each Perfect Bar is loaded with 20+ organic superfoods, like tomato, spinach, kale, and flax seed - but don't worry, you can't even taste them!
Dark Chocolate Smoothie Bowl
Triple Chocolate Smoothie Bowl or Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
DIY Energy Bites
Energy Balls with Cacao Nibs
I like making a big batch of energy balls (like these Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Energy Bites from Ambitious Kitchen) and storing them in my refrigerator or freezer for easy options when I crave a chewy, sweet, chocolatey bite (or two) in the morning.
Well, there you have it! 4 delicious (and healthy!) ways to enjoy dark chocolate for breakfast.
Now tell me: what are your favorite ways to enjoy the foods you love, like dark chocolate, first thing in the morning? Share it with the world in the comments below so we can all get more of the healthy ideas we crave!