Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Grocery shopping is an extra sweet experience for chocolate lovers this month. Supermarket displays are filled with everything their chocolate-loving hearts could possibly desire. Of course there are plenty of decadent desserts, but shoppers should notice more “responsible” chocolate treats available this year too. As we have said before “go ahead, eat the chocolate.” If, however, you are looking for more nutritious options, Guiding Stars makes your search simple. 

Guiding Stars-earning desserts frequently use unsweetened cocoa powder. Cocoa, which is a staple in most bakers’ pantries, provides intense chocolate without any added sugar. Cooking with unsweetened cocoa powder allows you to control the amount of sugar in whatever you are making. Some shoppers are surprised to learn that unsweetened cocoa powder earns our highest star rating for nutrition. In this edition of Surprising Stars, let’s focus on this incredibly versatile ingredient and review some delicious ways it can be used to satisfy chocolate cravings.  

Mix up a beverage. 

Hot cocoa mix contains nutrients we should limit in our diets for good health, like saturated fat and added sugar. Instead, use unsweetened cocoa powder to make a rich chocolate smoothie. Our Peanut Butter Banana Cocoa Smoothie has wonderful flavor your whole family will enjoy.  It also earns 3 Guiding Stars.

Sweeten with dates.

Start with unsweetened cocoa powder then sweeten naturally using dates. Next, combine with nuts or nut butter. This puts you well on your way to a satisfying treat, like our Chocolate Date Snack Bars. These no-bake bars are full of fiber, healthful fat, and protein, providing energy that lasts.   

Chocolate Date Snack Bars
Chocolate Date Snack Bars – 3 Guiding Stars

Spice it up.

Mix unsweetened cocoa powder with cinnamon and cayenne to spice it up. This unique chocolate flavor blends with an avocado base in our Mexican-Spiced Chocolate Avocado Mousse, to form a lively, well-balanced treat. Providing a solid third of your daily fiber, this mousse will also fill you up.

Blend into a frozen dessert.

You can make a delicious frozen dessert with just two ingredients: unsweetened cocoa powder and frozen fruit. We use banana in our Dark Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream. Chop up a few bananas and keep them in your freezer so you can whip up this “ice cream” at a moment’s notice. If you want an extra sweet treat, use extra ripe bananas.