Want to know how to make dairy-free chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day so you can save $42 at Godiva? And yes, Godiva charges a whopping $42 for six measly chocolate covered strawberries–and they aren’t even organic strawberries!
I got the Godiva strawberry sticker shock when I took my nieces shopping at the mall. Since I was not sure exactly what ingredients Godiva uses for their chocolate, I thought the chocolate covered strawberries would be the healthiest choice since they are mostly fruit.
I asked for 6 chocolate covered strawberries, and didn’t even think to ask the price, since I thought they would be around $2 or $3 each. $42 dollars later I decided next time we should just Google how to make chocolate covered strawberries, and put the $42 towards more clothes.
Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries taste decadent and always look splashy and fun. It’s a simple classic treat everybody loves, they are beyond easy to make and they can be made healthfully too!
Although you may not think strawberries could pose health risks, I suggest choosing organic with these fruits. This is because strawberries are actually among the “Dirty Dozen” list by the Environmental Working Group. This means when conventionally grown, they test positive for at least 47 different chemicals.
After you clean things up by buying organic strawberries, you can start the fun part—chocolate dipping! But of course the chocolate part is where so many things can go wrong…
Pre-Made Chocolate Covered Strawberries
If you are buying chocolate covered strawberries pre-made, you are definitely getting a less-than healthy chocolate sauce. The strawberries most likely won’t be all that fresh either. And they surely won’t be organic.
More often than not, commercial chocolate sauces contain heavy cream and/or partially hydrogenated oils. Although Godiva chocolate does taste amazing, I knew it probably wasn’t one of the “cleaner” chocolate brands. However, I had NO idea until I did my research online that they use super cheap ingredients for their recipe. This list includes ingredients like: corn syrup, butter oil, refined palm oil, evaporated milk, “natural flavors”, artificial color, etc. What a rip off that place is!
Chocolate covered strawberries do not need to be unhealthy, and they definitely do not need to be that pricey either…..
Homemade Chocolate Covered Strawberries
If you make your own chocolate covered strawberries, the typical recipe calls for you to simply melt a bar of chocolate. This at least gives you the control of buying the absolute very best, highest quality chocolate. As a reminder, the healthiest chocolate is dark chocolate that contains 75% to 80% cocoa. It also uses cocoa butter rather than milk fat or hydrogenated oils.
By the way, cocoa, a main ingredient in chocolate, is from the beans of the cacao plant. All plant foods are rich in anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting phytonutrients, and the cacao plant is no exception.
However, processing techniques such as roasting, which occur during the manufacturing of a chocolate bar or chocolate candy, can substantially decrease flavanol levels. This is just one of the reasons why making your own chocolate sauce from scratch, from raw cacao powder is a healthier idea.
Cacao vs. Cocoa
While both cacao and cocoa are derivatives of cacao beans, the difference all comes down to the processing of the chocolate.
Cacao is the minimally processed product of cacao beans, resulting in a highly nutrient-dense, rich powder. It is particularly rich in flavanols, a class of phytonutrients. These are also present in red wine, tea and certain fruits. To achieve such a high percentage of nutrient retainment, cacao uses a cold-press technique to remove the cacao butter, and roasts at low temperatures.
You might have guessed it by now, but cocoa is the highly processed form of cacao. It still maintains some of its original nutrients, but its not nearly as beneficial as its unprocessed counterpart.
Cocoa powder often includes additional ingredients, preservatives, or uses an alkalization process to reduce acidity, once again, reducing the nutrients.
Cocoa is not inherently bad, it’s just simply not as beneficial. However, when choosing this product, it’s vital to ensure you are purchasing from a clean brand with no added ingredients or preservatives. Anthony’s is a great brand for this!
The recipe below for hand-dipped chocolate covered organic strawberries uses raw cacao powder, and has zero dairy and no processed/ refined sugar (note: the small amount of pure maple syrup called for in the recipe is also a plant food and although it is certainly not a “superfood”, it does actually have phytonutrients!)
So here is how it’s done…how to make chocolate covered strawberries that are healthy and inexpensive too….Print
How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Learn how to make Chocolate Covered Strawberries that are healthy, vegan and paleo for Valentines Day in only a few short minutes!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, add the lime juice, coconut milk and coconut oil; heat over low heat for about 1 minute, or until oil is melted.
- Slowly stir in the maple syrup, vanilla and cacao powder (sprinkling only a tiny amount at time, and mixing until fully dissolved before adding more). Mix to combine well. Stir in a pinch of unrefined sea salt.
- Take a strawberry, and dip it completely into the chocolate. Twirl it around to completely coat the strawberry.
- Transfer the strawberry to the cookie sheet to cool.
- Repeat until all the strawberries are covered.
- Refrigerate strawberries for 1 hour, or until chocolate hardens.
Chocolate covered strawberries are best if made no more than 48 hours before serving.