These Chocolate Balloon Bowls Valentine's Day healthy dessert recipe is a fun way to cook with kids! Bonus: four healthy treat filling options!
If you're looking for a fun, family activity for Valentine's Day that just may happen to yield a delicious treat, look no further! This "recipe" as more of an activity how-to. You'll see that you really need minimal ingredients, and it's more of a method than anything.
First: the chocolate. I used a half-and-half mixture of semi-sweet chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate chips. You can use milk, semi-sweet, bittersweet, white chocolate, or go as dark chocolate as you want. I like adding a bit of the darker/ bittersweet chocolate because it adds a few more antioxidants (although let's be real: it's still chocolate and a treat!). You could even use those colored candy melts, although you're going to lose a little of the nutritional benefits of a dark chocolate.
I melted my chocolate in 30 second intervals in the microwave instead of melting and tempering it over a double boiler because, real life - I pretty much do everything in 30 second intervals with a baby in tow. 😉 Note: that is why the chocolate has that "spotted" type appearance in the finished product! Every 30 seconds, give the chocolate a stir. Stirring frequently is important because often the chocolate won't look melted until you start stirring it, and if you heat it too much it can seize and can burn.
Next, collect your supplies. You'll need 8 balloons, a small rubber spatula, and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I wanted smaller bowls to help with portion control, so I used four-inch water balloons that I found at Walmart for 99 cents and just inflated them partially to get the diameter for the "bowl" that I wanted.
Once you're good to go, start by using your spatula to spread a little bit of the melted chocolate into a disk on the parchment paper - slightly bigger than the size of a quarter. This will help give your balloon bowl a sturdy bottom.
Then, take your balloon and dip it into the chocolate so it comes partially up the side to create the wall of your bowl. Allow any excess chocolate on the bottom to drip off slightly, then place the balloon upright onto your circle of melted chocolate on the baking sheet.
Don't worry about keep things perfect. Have fun with it! As long as your chocolate and the bowl that it is in isn't too hot, this is so fun for kids of all ages to dip balloons into the chocolate. As you have less and less chocolate remaining in the bowl, you'll likely end up with more creative looking balloon bowls at the end, too. 😉
Once your balloons are dipped and assembled on the baking sheet, let them harden. I let mine harden overnight in the laundry room. If you're looking for speed, you could pop them in the fridge briefly to help speed up the process.
Once the chocolate is hardened, take something sharp like the tip of a knife or a safety pin (the latter is much more kid-safe) and pop the balloons! Carefully peel any remaining balloon remnants out of the bowls, and you'll have edible chocolate dessert bowls ready to take your Valentine's to the next level!
Now of course I am a dietitian and this blog is here to help you nourish your families. While chocolate is 100% a part of that, I wanted to share a few ideas for some healthier fillings!
Fresh Fruit - you can't go wrong here! Slice some berries, banana, pineapple, mango, etc. Whatever kind of fruit you want, it'll add some vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber to this treat. If you're really feeling crazy you can top it with a little whipped cream (or whipped coconut cream for my dairy-free friends).
Yogurt + Toppings - use whatever kind of yogurt floats your boat, but I'm partial to the creamy, protein-packed thickness of an Icelandic or Greek yogurt. I like to look for yogurts that have less added sugar, especially so here when you're getting so much sweetness from the chocolate. You can then create a fun toppings bar for your kids. Set out different fruits, nuts, seeds, graham cracker crumbles, etc.
Banana Nice Cream - the Internet loves this! Just place frozen banana chunks in a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until you get this lovely smooth, soft-serve-like consistency. You can do plain "nice cream" or blend in other ingredients. I'm partial to adding frozen cherries + cocoa powder or peanut butter + cocoa powder to mine. You could do the same toppings bar here, so your kids can add other sliced fruit, unsweetened coconut flakes, cinnamon, nuts, seeds, etc.
Chocolate Raspberry Avocado Pudding - this Nutrition to Fit favorite is perfect for Valentine's Day, and is a treat you don't have to feel bad about! It's packed with heart healthy fats, lots of fiber, and only has four ingredients.
No matter how you fill them, these chocolate balloon bowls are a fun way to do something as a family and a yummy Valentine's Day treat. Whether you make them with your kids or as an impressive surprise for your partner, I hope you have as much fun with them and enjoy them as much as we did!
Chocolate Balloon Bowls + 4 Healthy Fillings
- 2 cups chocolate chips I used 1 cup semi-sweet and 1 cup bittersweet
- 8 small balloons
- parchment paper
- safety pin
- Desired fillings fruit, yogurt, avocado pudding, toppings, etc.
- Inflate balloons and set aside. Place a sheet of parchment paper on your baking sheet.
- Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each set of 30 seconds. Mine took about 90 seconds total, but you just want the chocolate to be warm and silky smooth. Be careful not to heat it too much or it will burn and seize!
- Using a spoon or spatula, make a small circle of melted chocolate on the parchment paper (slightly bigger than the size of a quarter).
- Dip a balloon in the chocolate, slowly turning it slightly to create the "walls" of your bowl. Allow any excess chocolate on the bottom to drip off, then place the chocolate-covered balloon upright on the circle of chocolate on the parchment paper.
- Repeat for each balloon.
- Allow chocolate to cool and harden. This could be done overnight, or you can pop them in the fridge to expedite the process.
- Once chocolate is hardened, take a safety pin or the tip of a knife to pop the balloons. Carefully peel away any remaining balloon remnants.
- Carefully remove chocolate bowls from the parchment paper.
- Fill with whatever filling you desire!
Final Note: I'm 110% on board with kids being involved in the kitchen, but please remember they still need adult supervision! Also - don't use this tutorial if you or your child has a latex allergy due to latex in balloons!