Chocolate - Is It Good for You?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mmm… chocolate!

Chocolate is the only ingredient that is its very own food group.

Well not really – but it seems as if it should be. Powerfully comforting, creamy, delicious – many people eat chocolate at least several times a week.

Which begs the question…

Is Chocolate Good for You?


The answer is both yes and no.

Chocolate has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, sexual malaise, fatigue, hangovers, anemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. It also helps release that feel-good neurotransmitter – serotonin – in the brain.

But eat the wrong kind and you’ll get loads of sugar, calories, and junk-y ingredients.

How to Eat it Responsibly
Chocolate begins life as raw cacao (pronounced kah-kow) beans. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols, cacao is a powerful superfood. The more processed cacao becomes, however – think commercially produced candy bars – the fewer healthy components remain.

So how to get the most out of your chocolate fix?

·     Don’t be afraid of the dark. The darker the chocolate, the more beneficial cacao it contains.
·     Know your percentages: the number on dark chocolate packaging refers to the percentage of cacao bean in chocolate. For maximum health benefit, look for dark chocolate that has 75% to 85% cacao.
·     Go raw – or as unprocessed as possible.

Looking for more fun ways to enjoy your favorite food? You’ll love this dark chocolate treat. Invite some friends over and make a batch!
CHOCOLATE BARK

Ingredients:
12 - 16 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks (at least 60% cacao)
1/4 c  pistachios, chopped
1/4 c  dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 c dried blueberries
1 tsp sea salt
Directions:
1.  Melt chocolate chunks over low heat in a double boiler or use a glass bowl on top of a saucepan filled with about 1/2 inch of water, stirring often until smooth.  (Do not let the water come to a boil.)
2.  Pour the melted chocolate onto a large baking sheet covered in parchment or wax paper.  
3.  Add your desired toppings to the chocolate and refrigerate for about 15 - 20 minutes until the chocolate is firm.
4.  Break chocolate into bite size portions and serve.

Note: You could add a number of toppings other than the ones I listed like any kind of nut or dried fruits, crystallized ginger, matcha powder, curry powder, pretzels, coconut flakes and more.  The sky is the limit but my advice is not to over complicate your flavors.





2 comments:

  1. Wonderfully delicious. Loved this bark. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete

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