There’s nothing better than a creamy, cool dessert on a warm, sunny day … but what if it had the added benefit of being a brain-boosting food, too?! The classic Chocolate Delight recipe is getting a healthy makeover, thanks to a few simple swaps using brain-boosting ingredients. No one needs to know that this rich, chocolatey dessert is actually good for you!
This post is sponsored by Vivant Senior Living, a Central Florida community of memory care homes that provides services to seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia. We have partnered together to promote brain health and memory care through nourishing foods. To view more on the disclosure policies of this site, click here.
You know those foods that you only crave when someone special makes them? The chocolate delight dessert that my Nana makes is one of those foods.
If I close my eyes, I can picture the layers of graham cracker crust, cool whip, chocolate pudding and sprinkled nuts on top. When you go to take a bite, your fork easily slides through the creaminess of the pudding and whipped topping, stopping just long enough to break through the crust.
You don’t think much of the decadent layers on their own, but when combined together in each and every bite, it’s a decadent experience that is truly addicting. If you haven’t experienced this dessert, chocolate delight is rich, airy, and satisfying in every way.
Brain-boosting ingredients … What are they?
So how does this decadent dessert lend itself to boosting brain health?
The foods most commonly linked to brain health include avocados, walnuts and dark chocolate. Why? Because each of these three foods contain a hefty dose of antioxidant and healthy fats.
While there is no magic food to guarantee protection against cognitive decline, there is an abundance of research that links specific nutrients to overall improved brain function.
- Omega 3s – About 60% of your brain is made up of fat, and half of that is from omega 3s. These types of fats are essential for supporting brain and nerve function and can be found in a wide variety of foods, including avocados.
- Walnuts – These brain-shaped nuts are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. Walnuts have been shown to help lower blood pressure, protect arteries and improve brain cognition.
- Dark chocolate – As if we need another reason to eat more chocolate, cacao contains a high dose of antioxidants, as well as a plant compound called Flavonoids. Flavanols, a form of flavonoids found in chocolate, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
These Brain-Boosting Chocolate Delight Dessert Bars are not just your average healthy dessert. Judging by taste alone, even your pickiest eater would never suspect the significant healthy swaps made in this recipe.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Instead of a traditional butter and graham cracker crust, this recipe calls for a no-bake version made with Medjool dates and walnuts
- A homemade chocolate pudding made with pureed avocado, cashews, coconut oil, almond milk, melted dark chocolate and a touch of maple syrup
- Finished with a healthy fat whipped topping made from full-fat coconut milk
These Brain-Boosting Chocolate Delight Dessert Bars require no baking, can be stored in the freezer until ready, and will guarantee instant fans at your next get together.Print
- 2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 ripe avocado
- ½ cup cashews, soaked for 4 hours
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips, melted
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- Pinch of salt
- 8 ounces coconut cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- To make the crust, add the dates and walnuts to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and crumbly. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper and press the crust firmly into a single layer, extending all the way to the edges.
- To make the chocolate filling, add the avocado, cashews (rinsed and drained), almond milk, coconut oil and pinch of salt to a high-speed blender. Blend until silky smooth and creamy. Add the melted chocolate and blend until emulsified. Spread the chocolate layer onto the crust and place in the freezer to harden, for at least a few hours.
- To make the topping, whip the coconut cream and vanilla extract together. When ready to serve, pull out the bars and store in the refrigerator to soften. Remove the bars from the pan by gently pulling up on the parchment paper. Cut into 12 even bars and top with a dollop of the vanilla coconut whipped cream.
Keywords: dessert, no bake dessert, vegan dessert, chocolate dessert bars, healthy chocolate delight, chocolate delight, vegan chocolate delight, brain health, brain food