It’s a special week this week, it’s National Chocolate Week!
With dietary requirements, food cravings and the need for more nutrients, navigating desserts during your pregnancy can be tricky. Luckily chocolate has been given the green light as a sweet treat to enjoy during your pregnancy. You may have even caught our past blog about chocolate not just being safe, but actually being good for you and your baby (in moderation of course).
There are some ingredients that should be avoided while expecting; mainly in dishes with raw ingredients (such as raw eggs) like cookie dough, meringue or tiramisu. As a dessert for pregnancy chocolate can be an indulgent and healthy treat, but when snacking do remember not to overdo it – chocolate (especially dark chocolate) contains caffeine and it's best to have no more than 200mg of per of this a day.
We’ve rounded up some of the best pregnancy safe (and healthy) chocolate treats from around the web, so you can celebrate chocolate week with confidence!
Our first dessert for pregnancy is a classic chocolate cake. This rich recipe has been created specifically to pack in antioxidants, magnesium and resveratrol.
Magnesium deficiency can be common for expecting Mothers, as you need more while your baby grows, and what better way to get in those extra nutrients than with cake!
If you’re having symptoms like headaches, leg cramps, sugar cravings or trouble sleeping you could be a little low on magnesium so check out this recipe, You really CAN have your cake and eat it too!
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup unprocessed honey
- 1 cup natural peanut butter
- 2 cups chickpeas (drained)
- 1 cup dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp unsweetened coco powder
- 2 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking powder (aluminium free)
- pinch of salt
Simply put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, then bake for 20-25 min at 200 degrees.
A simple nutrition packed dessert for pregnancy that will take you back to your own childhood are chocolate coated bananas. Bananas are rich in potassium, mineral and vitamins so they’re great for relieving morning sickness and constipation. If you choose to use dark chocolate you’ll add antioxidants into the mix too.
- 2 bananas
- 6 oz dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp veg oil
- chopped nuts, dried fruit – or whatever you want to sprinkle on top!
All you need to do is to put a lolly stick into each banana and freeze them for 15 min while you melt the oil and chocolate in a bowl together. Next roll the bananas in the chocolate, sprinkle on your toppings and put back in the freezer for 30 min (or until the chocolate has solidified).
Another great, indulgent dessert during pregnancy is moreish chocolate fudge. This is a fab little treat as it contains peanut butter (a useful source of protein and folate, so good for building your baby's bones and helping build up your immune system) and also protein and iron-rich chickpeas (which helps prevent birth defects and help with baby’s growth)
- 200 grams tinned chickpeas (drained)
- ½ banana
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 20 grams dark chocolate
- cooking oil spray
For this fudge start with blending the chickpeas, banana, cocoa powder and vanilla until smooth. Then heat the peanut butter, coconut oil and chocolate until melted together. Pour this melted mixture into the food processor too and mix well.
Line a baking tin with clingfilm and spray on a little oil to stop the mixture sticking, then spoon in the fudge and freeze for 4-5 hours.
This is one of our favourite desserts for pregnancy. It may sound a little odd, but just wait until you’ve tried it. Most chocolate mousses aren’t pregnancy safe due to raw ingredients, but this avocado based chocolate mousse is safe, healthy, and super quick to make. Not only is this recipe delicious but avocados have more folate than other fruits, plus they’re a great source of Vitamins C, B and K, as well as fibre, potassium and magnesium. They're also a useful source of choline which is important for the development of your baby’s brain and nerves.
- one avocado
- ¼ cup melted chocolate chips
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
Just pop all of the ingredients into a food processor, and blend until smooth and creamy. You can then top the mousse with anything you want – chopped nuts, freeze dried berries – or this recipe suggests shredded coconut.
Dark Chocolate Bark
This dark chocolate bark is a beautiful and simple way to get your chocolate fix. (plus it can be stored for 2 weeks or longer so it’s an easy pre-prepared snack!). Advice is to eat nuts in moderation when pregnant, but almonds can help regulate blood sugar, blood pressure — which is important to reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women — and digestion so this makes a perfect dessert during pregnancy.
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 ½ tbsp granulated sweetener or ½ cup of granulated sugar
- ½ tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup freeze dries raspberries (diced finely)
- 2 tsp almonds (diced finely)
- ¼ coarse sea salt
First, line a baking tray with baking paper.
Heat the sweetener, vanilla extract and chocolate until melted and smooth. While it’s still hot quickly pour this mixture into the baking tray and smooth it out flat into a layer of about 1/16” thick, and quickly add your toppings of dried raspberries and almonds and press them into the chocolate. You could swap the raspberries and almonds for any other nuts or freeze-dried fruit that you prefer!
Once the chocolate has cooled and hardened you can cut it into smaller pieces and enjoy!
A classic dessert during pregnancy (and one that the whole family can enjoy) is a chocolate fondu. There isn’t a fruit that we can think of that won’t go well with this one! Why not try mangoes (full of vitamin A and C), pears (for potassium and fibre) and a mix of berries (a good source of vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants).
- 1 cup of 2% milk
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- a pinch of salt
- 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- yummy things to dip!
Just whisk the milk, cocoa and salt in a pan and bring it to boil, stir in the chocolate until melted, then add the vanilla and stir until smooth. Then dip away - It’s a great opportunity to sneak some fruit into your pregnancy diet.
Our final chocolate filled recipe is another cake, but this time with a twist. This recipe includes beetroot to make sure you are getting enough of that essential vitamin E, omega 3 and folic acid. As a dessert during pregnancy it’s great to find a multi-tasker like this that provides some goodness and satisfies your sweet tooth.
- 85g dark chocolate
- 3 medium eggs
- 300g brown sugar
- 200ml olive oil
- 300g cooked beetroots
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
- 30g cocoa powder
- 200g ground almonds
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
For the cream cheese icing in this recipe ingredients are;
- 200g cream cheese
- 1 cup icing sugar
- juice of half an orange
To cook the beetroot wash thoroughly then bring to the boil in a pan of cold water until soft (about 30 min).
Then you can run them under cold water and rub off the skin – and it’s up to you whether to blend them smooth or mash them to leave a few juicy chunks.
put the chopped chocolate in a bowl and heat until melted, and in a separate bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and oil.
Slowly add in the beet puree, melted chocolate and vanilla essence into the egg mixture whilst stirring. Sift in the ground almonds, baking powder and cocoa then fold these in until the mixture is combined.
Spread this into your oiled baking tray and bake for about 50 minutes at 108C.
So, now you have a collection of chocolatey desserts for pregnancy that you can try out this National Chocolate Week, and throughout your pregnancy (in moderation!)
Just remember to maintain a healthy, balanced diet and avoid non-safe ingredients. Your body is working hard right now so don’t be afraid to treat yourself!
Read similar stories on Secret Saviours blog.