What The World Needs Now is... Chocolate!

There’s some unhealthy quarantine trends happening out there that I’m assuming will end once the world re-opens (I’m looking at you late night Netflix, booze, Doritos). If chocolate has been your weakness – or your craving – now is the time to give these three recipes a try to satisfy that sweet tooth and arm yourself with a more nutritious alternative to keep alive once the other vices get cut off. All of them are dairy free, grain free and refined sugar free, and the rest of your house will be none the wiser (if you share any with them).

All three recipes call for cacao powder – not to be confused with cocoa powder. While both powders come from the same cacao bean, they are processed at different temperatures leaving more plant based nutrients and antioxidants intact in cacao powder but also making it more bitter tasting. You can certainly use cocoa in these recipes in a 1:1 ratio, but if you do decide to try cacao I highly recommend the Navitas brand.

I also include the weight of most ingredients because a kitchen scale is a baker’s best friend. There are fewer dishes to clean up and more accuracy in your measurements, not to mention a huge time savings.

Chocolate Beet Muffins

I highly recommend calling these just “chocolate muffins” to your kids, and I assure you they will have no idea there are beets baked into them. These are moist, delicious and incredibly filling which makes them a good option for breakfast, a snack or a dessert. With an ingredient list this nutrient dense and an outcome so versatile, how can you go wrong?

Makes 16-18 muffins

  • 1 cup (256 g) almond butter

  • 2 very ripe large bananas (think all brown, super soft – these babies are baking gold!)

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/3 cup (106 g) raw honey

  • ½ cup cacao powder

  • ½ cup (52 g) ground flaxseed

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 cups peeled, shredded beets (don’t squeeze excess water, and save those stems and greens to sauté for a more savory dish!!)

  • Chocolate chips, vegan or regular, optional

Prepare a couple muffin pans by spreading softened coconut oil in the cavities (preferred option) or with cooking spray or liners. Preheat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together almond butter and banana until smooth. Mash the banana with the back of the spoon if necessary. Add the eggs and mix again. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and finally fold in the beets. Distribute the batter among muffin cups and sprinkle 4-5 chocolate chips on top. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until they are set and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan. Store leftovers, if there are any, in the fridge.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

A USAToday poll in late 2019 found the most popular candy among Americans the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup – for good reason! – but have you looked at that ingredient list?! Sugar, milkfat, lecithin, preservatives…and I think despite knowing this we might still eat one if it were handed to us. Am I right?? Like most things, you’ll find the homemade version of these superior to the factory produced, store bought one.

I use my mini muffin pan for these and line it with mini muffin liners. The liners make removing from the pan significantly easier, and it also gives the cups that traditional fluted look of a Reese’s.

Makes 16-18 cups

  • ½ cup (100 ml) unrefined coconut oil, melted

  • ½ cup cacao powder

  • 3-4 tablespoons (45-60 ml) pure maple syrup or honey

  • All natural, unsweetened peanut butter or sunflower butter if allergic

  • Coarse sea salt, optional but delicious

Whisk together the melted coconut oil, cacao powder and maple syrup. Pour into prepared muffin liners enough to fill the bottom (you will use about half of your mixture). Put the pan in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes or until set. Spoon a small dollop of peanut butter into the middle of the hard chocolate then pour the rest of the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter until it is covered. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. **Keep in mind here that coconut oil is finicky and congeals quickly, so if the mixture has hardened even the slightest bit while your pan was in the fridge for those 10-15 minutes, bop the remaining mixture into the microwave for a few seconds to completely melt it again. Otherwise, the final product won’t set.

Put the pan back into the fridge for another 10-15 minutes or until set and then they are ready to enjoy!

Chocolate Mousse Cakes

These are well worth the extra effort, particularly if you have something to celebrate like an anniversary or making it to an anniversary in quarantine. All worth celebrating.

I go back to my muffin tins for these for individual portions, either regular sized or the mini muffins for bite sized.

Makes 14-16 regular sized cakes


  • ¼ cup (28 g) almond flour

  • ½ cup (60 g) plus 2 tablespoons (14 g) coconut flour

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ cup (50 ml)coconut oil, soft

  • ¼ cup (84 g) honey

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Prepare a couple muffin pans by spreading softened coconut oil in the cavities (preferred option) or with cooking spray or liners. Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl with a hand mixer, add dry ingredients and mix again until combined well. Press the dough evenly into the bottoms of the muffin cavities and up the sides a bit. Don’t make them too thick, but don’t make them so thin that you can see parts of the muffin pan on the bottom. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, keeping a close eye on them so they don’t brown too much.

While they cool, make the filling.

  • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked in warm water for about an hour (the secret to vegan creaminess!)

  • ½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup

  • ½ cup (120 ml) non-dairy milk

  • 1/3 cup (~ 75 ml) coconut oil, melted

  • 1/3 cup cacao powder

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Healthy pinch of salt

Blend everything together in a blender until very, very smooth and pour evenly over your crusts. Transfer the pan to the freezer for 2-3 hours, use a knife to separate the edges from the pan and enjoy! Delicious with fresh berries, warmed, pitted cherries, or whipped cream if you’re feeling extra frisky : )

By FitGuana Trainer & Coach Kim Hadermayer



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