When I think of chocolate frosting I immediately think of chocolate cake – my absolute favorite treat in the world! I literally have a very large cake in the oven as I write this post; a healthy one of course! And that’s the thing, over the years, and since converting to a plant based diet I have gradually discovered healthy plant derived alternatives to all the things I love as I just don’t want to miss out on tasty sweet treats; heaven forbid!
This healthy vegan frosting is one of those delicious discoveries I made whilst experimenting for healthy alternatives to your average high fat, high sugar fare.
For starters, it’s super healthy because it contains all things coconut, which also happens to give it a fantastic taste and creaminess. And being as coconut is super healthful (yes, even its fats in moderation) I try to add it into my diet a lot. Here are some of the reasons you should consider adding more coconut oil into your life.
Coconut oil Benefits
- WEIGHT LOSS – Yes, sounds crazy right? But no no, coconut oil helps the body to burn fat more efficiently, and this includes that dangerous middle fat that seems to accumulate around the stomach. You know the stuff that seems to be really hard to get rid of even with diet and exercise. Well, turns out coconut oil may help with that, which I have to agree with myself, as when I eat more of this oil (though, no more than 2 tablespoons a day) I do feel fuller and more satiated.
- CALORIE BURNER – Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which may help boost calorie burn by up to 5%. This study showed that at 1-2 tablespoons per day, coconut oil produced the burning of an 120 extra calories. It is not however recommended that you eat more than this amount per day as it is still a saturated fat – albeit a healthier one.
- APPETITE SUPPRESSANT – Studies show that coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids have an ability to increase feelings of fullness unlike most other fats. This in turn leads to less hunger pangs, which of course means less snacking.
This gorgeous, decadent recipe also contains raw cacao powder which is not only abundant in nutrition, but a seriously indulgent treat for all chocolate lovers. Loving all things chocolate myself, I use raw cacao powder in lots of my raw food recipes and this one is certainly no exception. Just be careful (and this goes for whatever recipe you are using your raw cacao in) not to cook it, as this will render it no longer raw; or if you do heat it it should not reach temperatures above 42 degrees Celsius if you want to keep all its healthful nutrients and enzymes in tact.
Just use normal (and much cheaper) cacao powder if you plan to use it in your cooked bakes as it still contains lots of nutrition, but raw is definitely superior.
Raw Cacao Benefits
- HIGH MAGNESIUM CONTENT
- GREAT SOURCE OF PLANT BASED IRON
- ANTIOXIDANTS – Raw cacao powder contains a whopping 40 TIMES more antioxidants than raw blueberries. Antioxidants are needed for anti aging of the body both inside and also out, and they alsi help neatralise free radicals in the bloodstream to keep you in tip top condition and looking radiant.
- HIGHER CALCIUM CONTENT THAN COWS MILK
- HEART FRIENDLY – Cacao contains over 700 compounds and antioxidants called flavenols that are anti inflammatory and may help protect you from cardiovascular disease and stroke. Cacao’s polyphenols may also help prevent hardening of your arteries by helping to lower bad cholesterol.
- GIVES YOU ENERGY – The high magnesium levels in cacao will give you a long lasting energy boost, so great if you need a hit of energy mid-afternoon or before a gym session. Word of advice: if you are easily stimulated it is not advisable to eat too much before bedtime for obvious reasons.
- GREAT FOR SKIN, HAIR AND NAILS – Cacao’s source of sulfur will help get you glowing due to its ability to build keratin and collagen, both of which are the building blocks to your skin, hair and nails. How truly awesome is that? Let me say that again “it helps to build COLLAGEN”!
- HEALTHY GUT – Cacao can help improve your gut microbiome, and a healthy gut microbiome is associated with a strong immune system.
- REDUCES STRESS – Yes, chocolate when you’re stressed, isn’t just for comfort. It has been found in this Swiss study that dark chocolate (aka cacao powder) has been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and to boot they also found it to boost metabolism.
Can tasty food be healthy?
The reason why I both create and scour the internet for healthy alternatives to ANY dish is because I want people to understand that food can not only be fun, delicious, and completely satisfying for your taste buds, but just as importantly it can be good for your body too. I believe we both eat to live and live to eat in equal measure, and when I decided to go fully plant based I definitely wasn’t prepared to miss out on any of my favorite things.
Seeing a list of all the nutritional value in your food and how that directly impacts your body and health is such a great incentive to make a dish that you can feel good about eating don’t you agree?
So now you have seen all the fantastic reasons to try out this tasty treat, why not give it a go. It’s SO simple, you literally just need a blender or food processor to whip it up (or even a fork and a strong bicep) and it’s done and ready to go in less than 5 minutes. And once you have made it it will keep for at least 3 days in your refrigerator to use as you please. Here are some great suggestions for its use:-
- Cake or cupcake topping.
- A chocolate pudding or desert: add chopped fruit, nuts or shaved chocolate for added texture and MORE nutrition.
- Use it as a dip for sweet crackers.
- Make it a little runnier with extra coconut cream for a delicious chocolate sauce for ice-cream.
- Just leave it in your fridge and scoop out and eat spoonfuls of as and when you like (my favorite method).
You can make this frosting absolutely sugar free if you use xylitol or natural stevia as your sweetener. I like to grind down these sugars to a very fine powder (the consistency of icing sugar) before I add them as it may be to grainy otherwise, and considering this frosting isn’t cooked means the sugar won’t melt down in the cooking process. You can do this in a spice or coffee grinder – or even a pestle and mortar if it’s all you have.
- 1 X can very chilled coconut cream, all excess water drained out.
- 50 grams of dark chocolate.
- 2 x tablespoons of raw cacao powder.
- 2 x tablespoons of coconut oil.
- 1-2 x tablespoons of finely powdered xylitol or stevia to taste.
- Melt broken up dark chocolate and coconut oil in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. It doesn’t need to get too hot; keep all ingredients as cool as possible.
- Whisk in coconut cream until smooth.
- Add your cacao powder and sweetener to taste and mix until smooth. You should be able to do this with a whisk or fork alone, but you can also use a blender or vitamix for even more fluffiness and smoothness.
- Leave to chill in the refrigerator, then use your yummy frosting whichever way you choose.
Thanks for stopping by zestforever today, your support is much appreciated! If you made and enjoyed this recipe I would love to hear your comments, or even any suggestions for improvement in the comments section below. Thanks again, and have a great day!