Chocolate . . . for Adults Only

If you’ve got a serious chocolate addiction and you’d like to make it as healthy as possible, give this X-rated dark chocolate a try.

I call it X-rated because it is certain to not satisfy young, sugar-craving palates, but is appropriate for only the most serious chocolate craver. This is a way to obtain the rich flavors and textures of cocoa, the health benefits (e.g., blood pressure reduction, antioxidation) of cocoa flavonoids, while obtaining none of the sugars/carbohydrates . . . and certainly no wheat!

It is easy to make, requiring just a few ingredients, a few steps, and a few minutes. Set aside and save for an indulgence, e.g., dip into natural peanut or almond butter.

8 ounces 100% unsweetened chocolate (e.g., two 4 ounce bars)
5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup dry roasted pistachios
1/4 cup whole flaxseeds or chia seeds
Truvia or other non-aqueous sweetener

Using double-boiler method, melt cocoa. Alternatively, melt cocoa in microwave in 15-20 second increments. Stir in coconut oil, pistachios, and flaxseeds or chia seeds. Stir in sweetener gradually, mixing thoroughly; sweeten to taste. (Note that the sweetener must be non-aqueous, as water-based sweeteners will separate in the oils.)

Lay a sheet of parchment paper out on a large baking pan. Pour chocolate mixture slowly onto paper, tilting pan carefully to spread evenly until thickness of thick cardboard obtained. Place pan in refrigerator or freezer for 20 minutes.

Remove chocolate and break by hand into pieces of desired size.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Eve Marie Ross

    How much of the sweetener? I know sweeteners like Stevia are too sweet for me, so I assume it would be a very small amount? Thanks!

  2. Againstthegrain

    When you say 100% unsweetened cocoa, do you mean unsweetened solid squares/bars of chocolate, usually sold in the baking aisle of supermarkets? I think the solid bar is more commonly called “unsweetened chocolate”, or even baking chocolate. So I think the terminology used here is a little confusing.

    When I read cocoa, my first thought was of a completely different form – either the bean itself or powdered cocoa, but not the solid chocolate bar.

    • Yes, Against: the 100% chocolate bars.

      Sorry. I changed the wording on the recipe. I used the 100% Hershey’s chocolate and that worked well, as does Bakers.

  3. AllisonK

    An interesting thing to note…. I have always liked chocolate, but never had cravings so bad that a bar or two couldn’t take care of. Last winter, after my daughter was born, I was craving chocolate like crazy, couldn’t get enough of it. It was so bad, I was up making my own chocolate out of cocoa and butter and sugar at midnight a few times. I couldn’t stop eating it. It was ruling my life!
    I looked up deficiencies and it says if you’re craving chocolate you could be low on magnesium. I don’t trust everything on the internet of course, but magnesium specifically is really hard to overdose on…. so I took a magnesium supplement, and suddenly I didn’t crave chocolate and my midnight concoctions were suddenly not so tasty anymore (when I made one for old times sake, but not at midnight I found it rather gross)….. I don’t know if it was placebo effect or actually worked. Now I’m not trying to say for anybody to avoid chocolate, but if a person finds they have an overwhelming addiction to it, give the magnesium thing a try.

    • Linda Harris

      You are right, Magnesium deficiency will cause a chocolate craving. I was a real chocohollic, so when embarking on the Lets Do Lunch way of eating 2 years ago, I satisfied it with Lindt 85% chocolate. Just a little, 1 or 2 squares, satidsfied and was a healthier choice. But after several months of eating grain-free, the cravings were goon. Either the good stuff I was eating in place of grains was supplying magnesium, or eliminating wheat and other grains stopped robbing my body of magnesium. Whatever, following an unprocessed diet will eliminate all kinds of food addiction.

      • Linda Harris

        Hi Linda Harris from another Linda Harris, chocoholic, who has also almost kept the gravings at bay with an 85% Lindt. But must confess have been known to exceed one to two squares a day.
        Seriously considering The Wheat Belly Way, however did not like his recipe for chocolate as I am against artificial sweeteners of all kinds. Also I am always cautious of a diets that in the long run may not be balanced. I am wondering what you think about moderation, quality and quantity including all food groups.

        So many food rules. Just reading Food Rules, an Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan. So much information in a delightfully illustrated format.

        Love to hear more about your experiences with Wheat Belly.
        Thanks, Linda Harris

        • Lorraine

          Read the Wheat Belly book and you will NEVER go back…that is my opinion about your concern about “balanced! AND…not all “artificial” sweeteners are bad for you…especially since some of the newer ones are not artificial. Really…read the book

  4. Linda Harris

    Here is another recipe I found that is really good.
    No additional sweetning needed.

    No-Bake Brownie Bites in 5 Minutes
    Written by Kimberley Stakal
    Here’s one of my favorite summer dessert recipes. It’s no-bake, vegan and can be completely raw, if desired. Bonus: It takes about, oh, 5 minutes to prepare. Really. These no-bake brownie bites are completely addictive, but unlike regular sugar and flour based brownies, these are chock-full of heart-healthy nuts and stomach-friendly dates. So you can indulge in a bite (or two) and rest assured you’re giving your body a bit of nutrients with your wholesome dessert, not just refined starches. Bon appetite!
    No-Bake Brownie Bites
    (Makes about 24 brownie bites)
    1 cup toasted pecans
    1 cup pitted dates
    ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon sea salt
    ½ cup chopped dried cherries, optional
    ½ cup finely chopped pistachios, optional
    1. Place pecans in a food processor; pulse until coarsely ground. Add dates, cocoa, cinnamon and salt; puree until a thick dough forms.
    2. Spread mixture into a square 8-inch baking pan; pressing down lightly to make an even, thick layer. If desired, sprinkle with cherries and pistachios, pressing them into top of brownie layer to adhere.
    3. For best results, chill 2 to 4 hours to firm up. Cut into squares and serve.

    • Joe

      When the coconut oil melts, stir in the unsweetened cocoa powder, then the other ingredients. Have you ever made low-carb chocolate mousse? Melt some cream cheese (in the microwave) and stir in some unsweetened cocoa powder. Add Truvia as needed.

  5. Ben Boom

    I don’t want to post my wheat experience in this thread as it is too long and I feel it would amount to hijacking. I do plan to write it up and post it later, though. But for the moment, if I can figure out how to insert an image on this blog (somebody may have to figure this out for me if this doesn’t work) I will put up a graphic I did that displays my feelings about this food-like item.

    Here is the IMG code for it:

    And if that doesn’t work (since there’s no “preview function on this thing) here is a direct link to the image:

  6. Valerie H

    I have a recipe for coconut oil fudge. I use honey as a sweetener, but then it is not low-carb :(.
    1/2 cup of virgin coconut oil
    1/2 cup of cocoa powder
    1/4 cup of honey
    dash of sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    melt coconut oil, mix all ingredients in food processor, put in pan and cool or freeze.

    I once tried making this with xylitol and it WOULD NOT dissolve. I put it all on the stove and stirred for a long time. Then I added about 1/4 cup of coffee. The xylitol dissolved in the water from the coffee and it finally came together. It was really good. The honey does a very good job of keeping the recipe held together though. You can eat it right out of the freezer without having to wait for it to warm up.

  7. Posted this on your Heart Scan blog before I saw this here too: As an alternate to the pan & parchment paper (too fussy, extra equipment & cost) you can pour the stuff into quart or gallon size regular or freezer zippy bags then lay the bag flat in your freezer. Been doing this long time now with coconut oil & coco candy, works good & it’s already in a bag for storage. To eat just break it up in the bag before opening, no muss, no fuss.

  8. AJ

    Can we have a non-chocolate recipe (and non-peanut butter) for those of us who don’t like the stuff? Pretty please.

  9. Hi Dr. Davis,

    This is Jennie Harrell of Just wanted to provide my e-mail address for you so I can get you a copy of my new eBook!

    I’m so excited that I came over in time to see this post on chocolate! I just bought a package of 100% cacao (by accident), and I had no idea what I would do with it. Now I know! Thank you!!


    • Hi, Jennie–

      I will email to your address.

      By the way, this basic recipe for 100% cocoa has the potential to yield dozens, if not hundreds, of interesting variations.

  10. You can actually use cocoa powder for this recipe, just add some extra coconut oil. I haven’t tasted my final creation yet, but it all came together just fine and tasted good in its melted state!

  11. Firebird

    No vanilla extract? Are we still looking for a bitter taste, or are these unsweetened bars already containing vanilla?

  12. Patricia

    This recipe looks fantastic! I have input it into a recipe calculator (as flax/almond, flax/pistachio & chia/almond variations) and I’m impressed. So far I am getting 2-4 grams carbohydrate per 1/18th of the recipe once the fiber is deducted. I’m guesstimating on the amount of sweetener needed right not so I am sure the counts will change, especially as I am one who prefers nearly unsweetened chocolate to the candy bar types.

    I hope you don’t mind my using your recipe, my recipe on the calculator site is private. And I wouldn’t mind sharing the counts with you and your fans.

    • That’s great, Patricia!

      Please feel free. It’s really a simple indulgence, but one I enjoy dipping into various things, like almond butter and sunflower seed butter.

  13. what are your thoughts on xylitol?
    thanks! Tracy

    (I followed a link to the WellnessMama blog on Tuesday. To say you’ve sorta turned our family’s lives upside down would be a huge understatement.)

    • Hi, Tracy–

      Please elaborate!

      Yes, xylitol is a fine sweetener. Just be careful of the quantity you use, as it has approximately 50% of the blood sugar-raising capacity as sucrose. But it might be helpful in combatting the bacteria that cause dental cavities.

  14. elaborate on how you’ve turned our lives upside down? ;-)
    Well – I have always thought we were a health conscious family ~ we pretty much always drink water (and it’s filtered), we use about 5 # of sugar in a year (but about 6 gal of honey – mostly in or on bread. raw, unfiltered, of course. and maybe 25 # of Xylitol) I rarely buy things with HFCS, we eat eggs from pastured hens when we can get our hands on them, white flour is for making playdough, not food… I make herbal remedies and I’ve milled my own flour for the past 10 years! Not really your ‘average Americans’…. And yet – I am overweight, and gaining (for no good reason – or so I thought) I have had pain in either my SI joint, or my heel or both since February. My husband (6’2″, maybe 170#) has borderline high blood sugar, occasional high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I knew as I read your post on WellnessMama that change was a-brewing. Since Tuesday, my husband & I have researched, studied, sent each other links to articles, watched Fathead, talked, prayed, and ordered your book. I’ve shed tears over the thought of no more Saturday morning waffles (with real maple syrup,don’t ya know!), Friday night Pizza (on whole wheat crust, freshly ground, of course) & Sunday night popcorn, fruit, and cheese and crackers. I’m wondering what on earth to feed my family of 8 (including 2 teen boys) on our budget. And what the heck do we eat for breakfast besides eggs every stinkin’ day….. (I’m not really feeling the flax as cereal thing – we only have 1 bathroom…..)

    so – yeah ~ you’ve kinda turned our lives upside down (and I’m not saying I’m not grateful…. but I am thoroughly overwhelmed! It wouldn’t be quite so difficult to eliminate wheat for just my husband & I, but a whole family (& a large one at that!) is a daunting thought. Add to that ~ I’ve got 450# of wheat in my pantry…)

  15. Carole Gonzalez

    Well I came back looking for flour less chocolate cake. I have some clues from looking at a bunch of web sites. After making your pumpkin pie several times and with different nut crusts I have found that DaVinci sugarless syrup squirted on the finished pie to adjust sweetness works. I also made your stuffing.
    I have lost an additional 24 pounds since mid June by getting rid of every speck of wheat. I had already gone sugar free and low carb but I wasn’t fussy about a cracker here or there. The interesting thing is that I have got a group of over ten people both here at work and family that have also lost over 400 pounds now. I think that the change in cooking style is vital to making this work.

  16. tam

    I just made this. Laid it on a slant in the fridge, so it’s very thin on one side. *oops* It still melts in your hand, and I feel wierd after I eat it. Maybe I’m not used to so much coconut oil. Maybe I should have chopped the pistachios too.

  17. I love the addition of the chia or flax in the recipe. I make dark chocolate all of the time using coconut butter and raw cacao. My children ages 2 & 5 actually prefer 80% or more dark over regular chocolate;-) Then again, that’s all they’ve ever known…so I encourage moms and dads to introduce dark chocolate very young.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I look forward to trying it!

  18. Marge

    As per Matthew’s comment December 2011, what can I use as a sweetener besides Truvia and other sweeteners with Genetically Modified additives?
    Has anyone tried honey or organic agave?

  19. Is baker’s chocolate (100% cocoa) treated as a ‘safe’ food item, or should we still consider net carbs? Albeit them much lower than its pre-sweetened brothers?


    • Dr. Davis

      The 100% cocoa products I’ve seen are all very low in net carbs, Steve.

      So I believe you are on safe ground with these products.