healthy party idea! how to host a chocolate bar

healthy party idea

Stick around here long enough and you’ll know that I’m obsessed with helping people kick their sugar addiction and love living life without it. While this can be much easier to do when you’re by yourself at home, here’s a healthy party idea that is meant for a crowd and can even be taken on the road…host a “Chocolate Bar.”

I did this for a group of ladies at our local rock climbing gym this week and it was so. much. fun! It’s easy to do too.

But what it is?

A “Chocolate Bar” is kind of like a Menchies (except without all the sugar) or a salad bar (but this is dessert). You start with a base – in this case, my favorite chocolate avocado pudding recipe, and then provide a variety of mix-in and toppings options for your crowd to pick from.

Read on for the how to…

vegan chocolate pudding

Healthy party idea: How to Host a Chocolate Bar

1) Start by making the vegan chocolate avocado pudding. Since it’s gluten and grain free, this is perfect for your gluten-free and paleo friends and family too. If you have guests with nut allergies, I recommend making a nut-free batch first and storing it away

2) Brainstorm and gather your topping and mix-in ideas. I highly recommend choosing toppings and mix-ins that are free of added sugars (and vegan too!). Otherwise, this party is not quite so healthy. Here are my suggestions:

  • Nuts (almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, pistachios)
  • Fresh fruits (raspberries, strawberries, cherries, oranges)
  • Unsweetened dried fruit (raisins, goji berries, apricots, cranberries, cherries, coconut)
  • Cacao nibs
  • Instant coffee
  • Peanut butter
  • Peppermint extract
  • Date caramel (grab my recipe for that here)

3) Create a large sign to display at the Bar plus smaller food tag cards in front of all the toppings and the pudding too. This is so important, especially if you have guests with particular food allergies, aversions or dietary preferences. If you have guests with nut allergies, I recommend keeping the nut-free pudding and topping options separate from the rest to avoid cross contamination.

4) Decide whether you will have the pudding portioned out ahead of time or will have guests help themselves to that along with their topping and mix-in selections. I shared my favorite ideas for doing this with my VIP readers in a brief video. If you aren’t already a Wildberry Press VIP and want to become one so you have access to that video, plus printable versions of the recipe and how to, click here to learn more.

5) Optional, but fun (this is a healthy party idea, after all!): Have guests name their creation, snap a selfie with it, then share their picture with you which you can use to create a shareable Chocolate Bar Photo Album!

That’s it! So easy and super fun. And if you’re looking for other healthy recipes for a party, try these ones from my blog:

vegan scalloped potatoes (easy, dairy free, gluten free)

vegan scalloped potatoes

 

With Thanksgiving coming up fast, here’s one of my favorite side dishes that’s an alternative to the traditional mashed potatoes: vegan scalloped potatoes.

Even though there isn’t bit of dairy to be found, they taste very close to the original. In fact, when one of my young nephews tried it, he said he, “really liked these cheesy potatoes.” Total vegan recipe win!! Did I let him in on the dairy-free secret? Nope.

But I’m sharing it with you. Let me know what you think!

 

vegan scalloped potatoes

 

Vegan Scalloped Potatoes (printable version below)

6 medium potatoes, thinly sliced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 3/4 cup unsweetened organic soy milk (see tips for more)

1 cup original hummus

1 T nutritional yeast

3/4-1 tsp salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

 

  1. Add garlic cloves, soy milk, hummus, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to a medium saucepan. Stir gently over medium-high heat until well-combined.
  2. In a greased casserole or baking dish (see tips for what I use), add a single layer of potatoes, then onions and repeat until all the potatoes and onions are gone, making sure you end with the potatoes. For a more finished look, place the final layer of potatoes in a spiral pattern starting on the outside of the dish and working inward and slightly overlapping each potato.
  3. Pour the sauce over top, cover the dish with foil and bake, covered, in a 400 F oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. 

 

Recipe tips:
  • Onions, garlic and hummus are the key to bringing the cheesy flavor out in these vegan scalloped potatoes. My go to brand of hummus is Sabra so if you use another brand, you may have to adjust for flavor.
  • While you can slice the potatoes and onions by hand, makes it much quicker and easier to use a food processor to slice them (here’s the one I use). Or you could use a mandolin. I usually pluck out the best pieces and save them for the top for a prettier look.
  • I prefer using avocado oil for greasing the casserole or baking dish because it’s better for high heat cooking. If you can’t find avocado oil in your local grocery store, try this one.
  • I use unsweetened organic soy milk in this recipe because I think it gives the best flavor. While soy is a controversial ingredient, I personally don’t have a problem with it, especially since I use it sparingly. If you try another non-dairy milk, you may need to adjust for taste.
  • Though I love these in a round or oval casserole dish for looks, any shallow baking dish will do.

 

And if you’re looking for other potato side dish ideas for a holiday dinner, you might like these: smashed potatoes & roasted broccoli  or jeweled sweet potatoes.

 

Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 

This easy side dish is a vegan take on a classic...cheesy but without the cheese!

Course: Side Dish
Keyword: gluten free, vegan scalloped potatoes, vegan side dish
Servings: 8
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
  • 6 medium potatoes thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 3/4 cup unsweetened organic soy milk see post for more info
  • 1 cup original hummus
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 3/4-1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add garlic cloves, soy milk, hummus, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to a medium saucepan. Stir gently over medium-high heat until well-combined.
  2. In a greased casserole or baking dish (see post for what I use), add a single layer of potatoes, then onions and repeat until all the potatoes and onions are gone, making sure you end with the potatoes. For a more finished look, place the final layer of potatoes in a spiral pattern starting on the outside of the dish and working inward and slightly overlapping each potato.

  3. Pour the sauce over top, cover the dish with foil and bake, covered, in a 400 F oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.