Our favorite healthy chocolate treat

Sweet, bitter, chocolaty AND free of sugar and grains!

Active time: 4 minutes • Total time: 4 minutes

Posted on Jan 19, 2016 by Jack McCann
Tags: recipes dessert newsletter sugar-free

Sugar is an addiction.

powerful and dangerous one. 

In fact, many argue it is as addictive as illicit drugs (if not more). 

If you crave chocolate, you might be like most of us and have a magnesium deficiency in addition to a sugar addiction. 

This can cause a host of symptoms, some of which include: migraines, depression, weight gain, hormone imbalance, heart disease, tooth decay and more. 

All of these are curable with a proper diet rich in magnesium and healthy pasture raised animal fats. I personally know two people who adjusted their diet and their teeth repaired a cavity -- they even have the X-Rays to prove it!

Fortunately chocolate and maple syrup are rich in magnesium... 

Chocolate to the rescue!

A Sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free and flourless chocolate dessert!


  • 1.5oz (1/4 cup) melted extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2.5oz (1/4 cup) maple syrup
  • 1.8oz (1/2 cup) organic raw cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup organic raw cacao nibs
  • 1 cup dried, shredded unsweetened coconut (in bulk or smaller bags)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)


  1. Melt coconut oil in small saucepan and remove from heat.
  2. Add syrup.
  3. Stir in cocoa powder until well combined.
  4. Add in remaining ingredients and combine.
  5. Serve.

You could form these into little balls and refrigerate before serving... we just eat it out of a bowl.  

You also could add in 1/4 cup of rolled oats if you want, I think they just serve to dilute the chocolate flavor, but others like the texture they add.

Check out this cake recipe we made by modifying this recipe.

If you want to shape into balls like this, use a 1oz ice cream scoop and refrigerate ahead of time for easy finger food treats. 

All About Sugar

Sugar Free Diets
If you haven't ever gone 100% sugar free or eat a low sugar diet, you may find these are too bitter for you. You could always double the maple syrup, but I will say that I really enjoy the contrast of the sweet with the bitter. I think it allows the complexity of the chocolate to come through. 

Betsy and I have gone 100% sugar free a few times in our life. Even though we cook nearly 100% of everything from scratch, we still had to purge sugar from things like mustard, ketchup, etc.  

When we first went sugar free, we were amazed at how addictive it really was. I had the most amazing dreams about eating a chocolate chip cookie -- I've never been happier than in that dream! After a few weeks the withdrawal symptoms were gone and I felt much better both mentally and physically. A great book from a MN author about how diet can impact our mental health for the better (or worst) is: The Chemistry of Joy.  I highly recommend reading it before going sugar free or if you find that you're occasionally depressed or anxious and want some more natural options or just want to understand the chemistry going on in your brain that causes you to feel the way you do.  

We are both sugar free right now. This treat is something we've made once a week when we're tired of the diet, but still don't want to cheat too bad. For us, it is plenty sweet, if you try it and find it is bitter, try going sugar free for a few weeks and see how it tastes again. Going 100% sugar free for a couple of months will reset your taste buds and you'll find you can enjoy a very low sugar diet, as even apples taste like treats again! 

Nutrition Consequences
The thing about sugar is that it really is an anti-nutrient, NOT an empty calorie. In her GAPS diet book, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride tells us us that order to digest each glucose molecule our bodies uses TWENTY EIGHT magnesium molecules. 

That means that every time you eat processed sugar, you are depleting your body's store of magnesium, which is essential for every cell in your body to function. It is no surprise that sugar cane and sugar beets have fairly good levels of magnesium, making them more balanced foods if eaten whole. However, the essential minerals are refined out before it becomes table sugar, leaving your body woefully deficient if you eat sugar without the rest of the plant. 

Sugar is an anti-nutrient. It is highly addictive. 

Treat it like a drug or alcohol in your diet. 

Especially avoid giving it to your kids so THEY don't grow up addicted to it.... 
... although if they eat sugar as kids, all is not lost: 
One day when they decide to go sugar free as an adult, they'll probably have the best dream of their life when they bite into that amazing chocolate chip cookie! 


If you want to learn more about sugar, we recommend checking out the documentary Fed Up 

If you want to laugh and commiserate about what it is like to go sugar free, watch this crass and inappropriate video after your kids have gone to bed:

What variation of this recipe was your favorite?

Have you ever gone sugar free? What did you think of it?

What other treats/cheats did you allow for yourself?

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