Donna Reish, author of over 100 language arts books for students grades two through twelve, blogger, weight loss coach, and Intermittent Fasting teacher, brings the topic of chocolate to us! In this departure from Donna’s typical  broadcasts, Broadcast #50 is about how to move from creamy milk chocolate to a healthier or sugar-free chocolate to help you reduce sugar and cravings in your life. She begins with the power of dilution explaining how you can dilute the dark chocolate taste or stevia taste with either nut butter or cream, depending on how “loose” or soft you want it to be. 

After instructions on how to do those dilutions, Donna talks about three other ways to “dilute” the dark chocolate or stevia taste through mix ins, layers, or even dipping. She describes kid-friendly approaches to this as well as low carb approaches. She explains how to use these chocolates in recipes, such as Reishes’ Cups, Take 5 Bars, chocolate cheesecake mousse, chocolate-chip cheesecake dip, and more. 

Watch the video as Donna explains how you can move from a love (okay, partial-addiction) to creamy milk chocolate treats to something a little healthier, less sugary, and minimally dopamine-spiking!

(Learn about how milk chocolate and other sugary treats/processed foods cause dopamine spikes/addictive eating behaviors in Donna’s Broadcast #49: Six Seductive Concentrated Cravings!)

 

Also note that many of the items Donna refers to or describes in the video are available for purchase through her Amazon affiliate links at the end of the outline!

A. Why Change?

 

1. Reduce sugar (get my free Sugar-Free Solutions e-book here!)
2. Decrease overeating from dopamine spikes (most people do not have the dopamine spikes/cravings from sugar-free chocolates or dark chocolates that they do from Dove Creamy Milk Chocolate—Learn about dopamine spikes in my recent broadcast #49!)

B. Start With Dark Chocolate or a Healthy Sugar-Free Chocolate

 

1. 60-100% cacao chocolate

a. Many like the 60-80% out of hand
b. Those with sugar and milk chocolate cravings do not
c. We can “dilute” that dark chocolate for something creamier while still keeping it sugar free, dark chocolate, and less “seductive” in flavor and cravings

2. Healthy sugar-free chocolate

a. Lily’s stevia-sweetened milk chocolate bars
b. Lily’s stevia-sweetened dark chocolate bars
c. Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate chips
d. We can “dilute” that sugar-free chocolate for something less “sugar-free tasting”/stevia flavored while still keeping it sugar free and less “seductive” in flavor and cravings

C. Use the “Power of Dilution” to Change the Taste of the Chocolate First, if Desired –With Peanut Butter or Other Nut Butter

 

1. How to

a. Melt approximately 1 ½ ounce of dark chocolate or sugar-free chocolate (watch closely!) *You can find melting instructions in my free e-book, Sugar-Free Solutions
b. When chocolate is glossy (but not melted yet), stir and then add ¼ cup nut butter
c. Spoon into a container lined with parchment
d. Freeze until firm
e. Cut and store

2. Tips and tidbits

a. This firms up better than the cream method (“ganache”) below
b. Doesn’t need refrigerated or frozen to store unless your nut butter was extremely loose—experiment with this
c. Has a peanut butter chocolate taste but definitely cuts the dark chocolate or sugar-free taste
d. Can be used with mix ins (see below) for treats that are acceptable to kids and non-sugar free people
e. Cuts the expense of the sugar free chocolate if using that (especially is using mix ins too)
f. Can cut into squares or can put in molds or can drop onto parchment and freeze for individual candies
g. Can sweeten more with a sugar-free, healthy powdered sweetener like this or a sugar-free drop like this. Be sure to do it after melting and a tiny bit at a time and taste as you go.
h. Can be used melted as a fondue or dip for fruits, cookies, etc.
i. Experiment with the amount of nut butter/chocolate, freezing, cut vs. drop, storing, carrying in your purse, etc.

 

D. Use the “Power of Dilution” to Change the Taste of the Chocolate First, if Desired –With Cream (“Ganache”)

 

1. How to

a. Heat ¼ cup of full fat cream in micro or stove top or double boiler until boiling/bubbly (1-2 minutes in the micro—watch closely_
b. Mix in 1.5 ounces of chocolate broken up into small pieces (or chocolate chips). Stir until melted.
c. Spoon into a container lined with parchment
d. Freeze until firm
e. Cut and store

2. Tips and Tidbits

a. This doesn’t firm up as well as the nut butter version but actually is the beginning of what is known as “ganache”—a type of chocolaty frosting.
b. Needs refrigerated or frozen.
c. Has a creamy taste—and can be even creamier if you add more cream, but then it will be a definite “spoon fudge”!
d. Can be used with mix ins (see below) for treats that are acceptable to kids and non-sugar free people
e. Can cut into squares or can put in molds and freeze for individual candies
f. Can be used melted as a fondue or dip for fruits, cookies, etc.
g. Experiment with the amount of cream/chocolate, freezing, cut vs. drop, storing, carrying in your purse, etc.
h. Can sweeten more with a sugar-free, healthy powdered sweetener like this or a sugar-free drop like this. Be sure to do it after melting and a tiny bit at a time and taste as you go.

 

E. Mix In’s

 

1. What are Mix In’s

a. Can mix into the cream/chocolate or pb/chocolate or straight up melted chocolate
b. Has the diluting power that cuts through the dark chocolate or stevia taste
c. Can do drops or pour and cut (See Take 5 Bars here)
d. Some dark chocolates already have these (i.e. dark chocolate Hershey’s with nuts, dark chocolate covered pretzels, etc.
e. Some sugar-free chocolates already have these
f. How to: Melt, stir in, drop or pour, freeze, cut in squares, store or eat!
g. By adding less-calorie-dense mix ins, you are also decreasing the total caloric load—chocolate and pretzels, for example.

2. Ideas

a. Kid friendly/not all low carb: pretzels, pretzel flats, cereal, cracker crumbs, graham crackers/Vanilla wafers, potato chips, peanuts, pecans, almonds, oats, cookie crumbles, crushed popcorn etc.
b. Low carb: pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, crisped low carb tortillas, chia seeds, coconut flakes, seeds, sugar-free chocolate chips, low carb cereal or crackers or chips, low carb peanut butter cookies crumbled.

F. Layers

 

1. What are layers?

a. Layer of chocolate, filling, layer of chocolate
b. Like making your own sugar-free candy bar of sorts
c. Filling is enclosed with top and bottom layer of chocolate, so “wetter” fillings like nut butter, cream cheese, sugar-free caramel, etc. work well in layers (See my sugar-free cream cheese dips to layer with your chocolate)
d. “Fancier” example is sugar-free Girl Scout Tagalongs

2. Tips

a. Process

i. Melt chocolate or create melted pb chocolate or melted cream chocolate
ii. Pour into bowl and partially freeze
iii. Fill with filling
iv. Pour another batch of melted chocolate mixture
v. Freeze until firm
vi. Cut into SMALL squares! 😊

b. These work well for double diluting! You’re diluting the dark chocolate or sugar-free chocolate with cream or nut butter then further diluting with layers!
c. Might not need to dilute with nut butter or cream with the layers! Also, with just using the sugar-free chocolate or dark chocolate, these are sturdy at room temperature.

G. Dips

 

1. How to

a. More peanut butter or more cream makes a creamy chocolate that can be used for dipping or spreading. (You will basically be making a “ganache” frosting with the cream version.)
b. Same process as for diluting but more nut butter or more cream
c. Won’t need to “mold” it in a container as it will stay spreadable in fridge more than likely.

2. Ideas

a. Can use either one as a fondue type chocolate with no sugar!
b. Kid-friendly/non-low carb dippers: marshmallows, stick pretzels, graham crackers, Vanilla wafers, apples, strawberries, bananas, cake squares, cookies, crackers, cereal bars, granola bars, rice cakes
c. Low carb/sugar-free dippers: sugar-free marshmallows, crisped low carb tortilla strips (see link above for how to do this), sugar-free peanut butter cookies (see link above for how to do this), low carb pretzels/crackers, strawberries.
d. Another favorite: Melted chocolate with a scoop of peanut butter beside it—dip crackers or cookies into them for the “lazy girl’s Tagalong cookies”
e. Another favorite: Cream cheese dip (link above) with crushed chocolate pieces throughout
f. Another favorite: Cream cheese dip with the melted chocolate stirred in while chocolate is still warm for a “chocolate mousse” or “chocolate cheesecake dip”

H. Closing

 

1. Moving away from creamy milk chocolate has helped me control my sugar intake greatly.
2. It takes so much less of these chocolates to satisfy me—or maybe I just don’t love them as much?
3. These are not low calorie snacks. They still have the same number of calories as packaged milk chocolates, but you will likely eat way less overall due to the craving-power being reduced without the sugary milk chocolate.
4. Research is mixed on whether something like stevia spikes insulin, but it leans way towards no than yes….experiment for yourself, but you will probably not feel that spike then let down that we commonly feel with sugar candy and chocolate.
5. The more time you have between processed foods, pastries, candy, etc., the less you want them. Period. This can fill in that gap!

 

 

Let me know what worked for you!!! Love and hope!

Livin’ the lifestyle,
Donna

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