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 chocolate pudding (raw, gluten free, added sugar free)

vegan chocolate pudding

When you need a chocolate fix, you need this vegan chocolate pudding.

It’s been one of my favorite go-to dessert recipes for years. The inspiration for it came from a bonus recipe pack for the Oh She Glows cookbook. It’s incredibly easy to whip up and, even better, is free of added sugars so it doesn’t give you the crash and burn that typically happens with desserts.

When you first mix it up, it has the texture of pudding, but will take on the texture of a thick mousse once refrigerated. To keep a more pudding-like consistency, try adding your favorite unsweetened non-dairy milk a 1/4 cup at a time (I prefer unsweetened vanilla almond milk).

A note of caution: If you are trying to lose weight, eat this recipe sparingly because avocado and full-fat coconut milk are heavy hitters in the fat department, even if it is plant-based fat. On the flip side, if you find yourself shedding too much weight from eating a low-fat, plant-based, carb-light diet, then by all means indulge away.

Here’s the recipe for the vegan chocolate pudding, but if you want a little story I share along with is, scroll to the bottom as well.

 

vegan chocolate pudding

 

Vegan Chocolate Pudding (printable version below)

Ingredients
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 14.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 2/3 c. date paste
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (try fair trade!)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 scoops 100% pure stevia powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T almond butter (optional)
  • unsweetened non-dairy milk as needed
Instructions
  1. Add date paste, breaking into small pieces to help with the blending.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (except nondairy milk),
  3. Blend ingredients until smooth, anywhere from 3-5 minutes.
  4. If too thick, add nondairy milk 1/4 cup at a time to achieve desired consistency.
  5. Eat immediately or place in refrigerator for later.
Recipe Notes
  • If you can’t find date paste, you can make your own by soaking 3/4 cup of Medjool dates in warm water for 1-2 hours and then blending until smooth. In this case, it’s best to buy Medjool dates with the pits still in them and simply remove the pits just before using.
  • An avocado that easily yields when gently pressed and is free of bruises works best.
  • Be sure to carefully read your stevia package to make sure it is pure as many stevia products are a blend and may include undesired ingredients. I bought my stevia at Trader Joe’s and it came with its own scoop. One hundred percent pure stevia is potent so the scoop is tiny, less than 1/8 tsp.
  • I use roasted almond butter in my recipe, but you also can use peanut butter or leave it out completely. If you want to keep it raw, use raw almond butter.
  • This recipe thickens as it chills, achieving a mousse-like texture. Adding nondairy milk (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk best) helps return it to a pudding. This pudding should be consumed within 3 days of eating and must be kept refrigerated.

 

Vegan Chocolate Pudding
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

An essential recipe for your vegan kitchen, this vegan chocolate pudding is easy to make and perfect for satisfying your chocolate craving without any added sugar.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: vegan chocolate pudding, vegan dessert recipe, sugar free dessert
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe avocado pitted and peeled
  • 1 14.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 2/3 c. date paste
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder try fair trade!
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 scoops 100% pure stevia powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T almond butter optional
  • unsweetened non-dairy milk as needed
Instructions
  1. Add date paste, breaking into small pieces to help with the blending.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (except nondairy milk),
  3. Blend ingredients until smooth, anywhere from 3-5 minutes.
  4. If too thick, add nondairy milk 1/4 cup at a time to achieve desired consistency.
  5. Eat immediately or place in refrigerator for later.
Recipe Notes

*See post for extra tips

A sweet chocolate story…

Whenever I had to do a research project for school, I always leaned toward more sober subjects, like “why suntanning is bad for you” or “pollution in the environment.” Why I didn’t think I could combine my fondness for science with something fun like…chocolate…is beyond me.

My oldest son, on the other hand, gets it. Several times in the past couple of years, he has checked this book out from the library.  The first time was for a research project in second grade and just for fun after that. I like his style.

reese
when he dressed as his favorite character – Willy Wonka – for school

And reading through that book, it suddenly clicked with me why chocolate’s health benefits are  touted…it’s a vegetable! “Eat your veggies” suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.

Of course, chocolate stops being a health food when paired with sugar and milk. Which is why this vegan chocolate pudding is the answer to keeping your taste buds and your body happy.