The Healthy Food Guide team believe that making small diet and lifestyle changes brings the best long-term gains. We look at the science behind the headlines and promote a balanced way of eating.

Evidence is mounting that small quantities may be good for us, so try these ideas to enjoy chocolate without munching a whole bar…

1. Make a choccy chilli
It might seem odd to put chocolate in chilli con carne, but trust us, adding a few squares once the sauce is simmering will add depth to the spicy flavour.

2. Serve a fruity fondue
Finely chop a bar of dark chocolate into small chunks and put them in a pan with a carton of low-fat custard. Gently heat until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove from the heat, allow it to cool slightly, then serve with a plate of chopped bananas, chunks of pineapple, mango and melon for everyone to dip into.

3. Satisfy sweet cereal cravings
You know chocolate-coated cereal is all wrong, but if you find it hard to resist, sprinkle a little grated chocolate over unsweetened muesli or wholegrain cereal – you’ll have the great taste for a fraction of the sugar.

4. Sip a dreamy hot choc
Add a splash of cold milk to good quality cocoa powder to make a paste, then stir into a mug of hot 1% fat or semi-skimmed milk. This comforting concoction is full of goodness, as it combines antioxidant-rich cocoa with milk, which is a great source of protein, bone-building calcium and a variety of other vitamins and minerals.

5. Make a Mexican mole
In a pan sprayed with oil, sauté 2 chopped onions until tender. Add 3 chillies, 2 crushed garlic cloves, ½tsp cinnamon, 1tsp ground cumin, a can of chopped tomatoes and 1 square of dark chocolate. Stir until melted, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 min. Pour over roast chicken or beef and serve with rice.

6. Grate it over dessert
Create the impression of a chocolate-rich dessert by filling a meringue nest with low-fat Greek yogurt, fresh fruit and a grating of dark chocolate. Your taste buds won’t believe this dessert doesn’t have heaps of chocolate running all the way through it.

7. Jazz up your oats
For a subtle chocolate fix, add 1tsp good quality cocoa powder to your bowl of porridge in the morning. Top with sliced banana to get the first helping of your five-a-day.

8. Splash over a salad
Melt 25g dark chocolate with 100ml balsamic vinegar. Cool at room temperature, then drizzle over a spinach, walnut and goat’s cheese salad.

9. Chocolate-coated raisins
Melt a little dark chocolate, then stir in some raisins. Spread on to a piece of greaseproof paper and chill until the chocolate has set.

10. Make the HFG roulade

The strong flavours in our recipe mean you can use less chocolate. When you taste it, you’ll be amazed it’s low in calories!


READ: Is there really a link between chocolate and health?