Dark Chocolate Avocado Cookies

img_9253Before you call me crazy for putting an avocado in a cookie recipe, hear me out. It is actually delicious! I thought a cookie couldn’t possibly taste good with an avocado in it, but since I put avocados in everything I thought I would give it a shot. Surprisingly, the results were better than expected. I didn’t even hesitate to scrape the cookie mix from the bottom of the bowl and lick the spoon clean.

Chocolate is my guilty pleasure, and with Halloween around the corner, I wanted to make something that was at least semi-healthy to indulge my sweet tooth. Avocados are extremely healthy and beneficial for athletes; and dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, is actually quite nutritious. Before getting to the cookie recipe, I am going explain why you should eat more avocados and why you should give up the milk chocolate and switch to dark.

Avocados are an athlete’s best friend, which is why I am going to try to incorporate avocados into every recipe on SunSandVolley. To start off, avocados are an excellent source of saturated fat. (I talked about the importance of adding healthy fats to your diet in my post, Bacon & Guacamole Fat Bombs.) One avocado packs an extremely concentrated amount of energy and nutrients. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in avocados help to lower poor cholesterol, promote lean muscle growth and keep you feeling full longer. Here are some more reasons why you should love avocados:

  • They are loaded with vitamins. One avocado contains up to 15 grams of fiber, more than any other fruit, and nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including beta-carotene and vitamins C, E and B6.
  • Avocados are full of critical electrolytes including potassium and magnesium, which contribute to proper cell and muscle function (in other words if you sweat a lot in competition, you need all the electrolytes you can get).
    • Side note: Avocados contain up to 3 times more potassium than a banana.
  • Avocados are an anti-inflammatory food. This is particularly beneficial for athletes because it will reduce inflammation (swelling) in the joints and help your muscles recover faster by healing tissue damage.
    • Side note: Since avocados are an anti-inflammatory, they also reduce inflammation in your gut, which in return will make your belly less bloated.
  • Avocados make your skin glow. The healthy fats in avocados will give your skin a better appearance, especially if you have not had enough healthy fat in your diet for a long time.
  • Promotes healthy weight loss. Avocados will make you feel satiated longer and if you eat them regularly, you will naturally consume less calories during the day because you won’t be as hungry. This is due to the healthy fats and high amounts of fiber in the fruit, but keep in mind that one avocado is about 240 calories.

Dark chocolate with 70-85% of cocoa has been found to:

  • Rich with antioxidants. Dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than some fruits, including acai berries and blueberries
  • img_9250Lowers your risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Contains flavonols, which help to protect your skin against the sun (so particularly beneficial for beach volleyball players since we are always in the sun).
  • Improves blood flow on a short term basis, which improves cognitive function.
  • Packed with vitamins. Dark chocolate contains fiber, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, selenium, RDA for iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and many more.

However, dark chocolate does contain moderate amounts of sugar. For this reason, it is best consumed in moderation.

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 50 g. dark chocolate chunks
  • ½ tsp. baking soda

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Using a food processor or a hand mixer blend together avocado and coconut sugar until smooth. Then add in the egg.
  3. Mix in the cocoa powder and baking soda.
  4. Stir in chocolate chunks
  5. Using two spoons place dollops of cookie dough on a baking pan with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. If you are unsure if they are cooked enough, check to see if the cookies still stick to the parchment paper, if they don’t they are ready.

These next steps are optional and are definitely NOT healthy. I had originally planned to make this avocado icing http://www.giverecipe.com/avocado-buttercream-frosting#mpprecipe-container, but I wanted to make it a bit more “halloweeny” (plus I have a major sweet-tooth).

  1. Put ½ cup of white chocolate chips in two separate bowls.
  2. Microwave chocolate for 1-2 mins.
  3. Add 4-8 drops of desired food coloring in each bowl. Use a fork to whisk chocolate and food coloring until smooth.
  4. Drizzle chocolate over cooled cookies.
  5. Eat cookies like a little kid on Halloween.

Song: Don’t Wanna Know by Maroon 5

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