This chocolate spread is something I came up with as a delicious morning breakfast option that was an alternative to eggs. It’s great to mix up what you have for breakfast daily.
Turns out this makes an amazing snack at any time of the day.
There’s no added sugar, it’s complete with protein, healthy fat AND chocolate (my favorite food group).
Speaking of chocolate, I use raw cacao powder in this recipe. It’s basically the purest form of unprocessed chocolate, all powdered up. Plain cocoa powder is also beneficial – it’s just processed at a higher heat and can lose some of the purity of the nutritional value.
Just a few of the benefits of pure dark chocolate include:
- natural mood elevation and anti-depressant
- highest plant-based source of iron (pair your dark chocolate with a vitamin-C rich fruit like the strawberries pictured for maximum absorption)
- more calcium than cow’s milk
- more antioxidants than blueberries, tea, wine and goji berries
- rich in magnesium, for heart and brain health
Once I came up with this, I had to share it so I started posting it on my Instagram stories. I’d toast some home made buckwheat bread (gluten free, btw) and
gob giant spoonfuls spread it on the toast.
Let me know what you serve it with in comments below, and keep reading for a little more backstory on my latest healthy creation!
Dark Chocolate Protein Spread
Key: big T=tablespoon tsp=teaspoon
1-2 T cacao powder (dark chocolate powder) get organic, I use this one
(you're welcome to try this with a vegan or plant based protein - the consistency of collagen protein really makes this recipe work, but do let me know if you try an alternative and how it does!)
2 T nut butter of your choice (can also use Sunbutter for nut-free) I usually rotate between cashew butter, almond butter and walnut butter - if you can find hazelnut butter you'll have a real Nutella experience 🙂
1-2 T water
1: In a small bowl, stir together cacao powder and collagen protein. If you take any powdered supplements, like a glutamine powder, you can also mix that in.
2: Add your nut butter. It's best if it's slightly soft. I usually buy nut butter packets that I keep for this exact purpose, as one packet is the perfect amount for your mixture - but you can also just scoop it right out of the jar.
3: Drizzle in about 1-2 T water. Then stir. You'll be able to tell if you need to add a little more water. Too much water and it will be runny (but still delicious). Too little water and it won't combine completely.
Some more of the back story around what prompted me to try to create something new – it was actually my health.
I first created the Body Fuel System after having gone through a real health scare. I was in my early 30’s at the time, and my energy had completely dropped off the charts. I was having trouble sleeping, I had no power for my workouts, and I was tired constantly.
Back then, I was overtraining, under eating and reaching for a lot of pre-made shortcut options and what I thought healthy foods were.
There was a lot of added sugar, processed foods, endless salads and things that sounded like they’d make me “skinny” – but actually didn’t provide me with the energy I needed to be truly healthy and fit.
You may have experienced something like this at some point in your life, or know someone who has (be sure to tell me about it in the comments section).
I went to my naturopath and after blood testing, they determined I had adrenal fatigue and my hormones were out of whack.
In addition to working with my doctor to bring my hormones back into alignment, I also began to research and put together recipes and protocols for myself that were based on my original college studies of nutrition in indigenous cultures.
Along the way I started this blog, and was invited to teach cooking classes at Whole Foods Market after a store employee lost 50 pounds in one year from reading the blog and using my recipes (you can read my 5-Step Food Prep and Recipe Guide here, and watch a video of that very employee introducing me to a cooking class)!
The Body Fuel System followed soon after, and I’ve been turning out healthy recipes and easily accessible workouts ever since.
This year I turned 40, and about halfway through the year, my energy dropped. It wasn’t anything like what I experienced when I was younger but it concerned me, and I immediately looked at my diet.
If you’re in Rock Your Life, you probably heard me talk in class about the blood and gut biome testing I did that gave me some amazing data. It turned out, I was deficient in a few key vitamins – and I was having a reaction to eggs.
No matter how healthy you are, it’s always a good idea to pay attention to how you’re feeling, as the body is always in a dynamic state of adaptation, which is why I say there isn’t one “perfect diet” for everyone. Different things work for different people at different times.
My MD and ND both advised a break from eggs for me 6 months, to allow my body to reset itself (along with some custom vitamins to help balance me out) and I happily went back to my kitchen to try concocting some new recipes with various ingredients that would meet my nutrient needs – which is really where this recipe came from!
So whether you’re looking for an alternative to eggs, looking for a new delicious spread, or just LOVE chocolate – enjoy this and let me know how it goes and what you have it with!
Drop me a line below and join the conversation, and if you enjoyed this post share it with friends!
- Balzer, Jan, et al. “Sustained Benefits in Vascular Function Through Flavanol-Containing Cocoa in Medicated Diabetic Patients: A Double-Masked, Randomized, Controlled Trial.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology. June 2008. Web. http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/51/22/2141
- David L. Katz, Kim Doughty, and Ather Ali. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. October 2011, 15(10): 2779-2811.https://doi.org/10.1089/ars.2010.3697
- Ellinger, Sabine, et al. “Epicatechin ingested via cocoa products reduces blood pressure in humans: a nonlinear regression model with a Bayesian approach.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. March 16, 2012. Web. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/95/6/1365.abstract
- Francis, S. T. Phd, et al. “The Effect of Flavanol-rich Cocoa on the fMRI Response to a Cognitive Task in Healthy Young People.” Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. June 2006. Web. http://journals.lww.com/cardiovascularpharm/Abstract/2006/06001/The_Effect_of_Flavanol_rich_Cocoa_on_the_fMRI.18.aspx
- Harvard Women’s Health Watch. “Chocolate: Pros and Cons of This Sweet Treat.” Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School. February 2014. Web. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/chocolate-pros-and-cons-of-this-sweet-treat
- Matsui, Naoko, et al. “Ingested cocoa can prevent high-fat diet-induced obesity by regulating the expression of genes for fatty acid metabolism.” Nutrition Journal. May 2005. Web. http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(05)00058-4/fulltext
- R.M. Lamuela-Raventos, A., et al. “Review: Health Effects of Cocoa Flavonoids.” SAGE Journals. June 1, 2015. Web. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1082013205054498
- Steinberg, FM, et al. “Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: implications for cardiovascular health.” US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. February 2003. Web.