Let’s dedicate some LOVE to dark chocolate!
Throughout my blog I discuss the dangers of sugar, however there are some “treats” that are actually quite good for you. The most important one is Dark Chocolate.
“Dark” chocolate refers to chocolate with 70% or higher cacao content. The higher the cacao content the less sugar and less dairy it will have. Believe it or not you can actually find 100% dark chocolate and personally I think it’s amazing!
Here is a highlight of just some of the health benefits of dark chocolate.
- Good source of minerals — iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese
- High in antioxidants — actually raw, unprocessed cocoa beans are among the highest scoring antioxidant foods.
- The flavonoids in dark chocolate have been shown to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and increase HDL (good cholesterol); making it great for the heart.
- Can improve brain function by increasing blood flow to the brain and improving cognitive function.
- The flavonoids may also offer cancer protection.
AND of course it tastes amazing! What’s not to LOVE!
Eat More Dark Chocolate
I don’t imagine that I need to give you too many ideas of how to eat dark chocolate. Just break off a square and enjoy!!
You can also use raw cacao powder or cacao nibs to get the full un-adulterated antioxidant benefit of dark chocolate without any added sugar or processing. You can add these to your smoothie, yogurt, or even on top of a bowl of berries.
Shaved dark chocolate is another yummy addition to top off a bowl of fruit. Yum!
Here’s a recipe using raw cacao powder in a treat the whole family will love. My kids gobble these up and the best part is they’re made entirely from real food; no added sugar, no flour, no dairy. AND they’re super simple!
Step 1: Combine all the following in a high-powered blender or food processor:
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup cacao powder (or 100% dark chocolate cocoa powder)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt
Step 2: Blend for less than a minute, just until all the ingredients are combined
Step 3: Roll into little balls (my kids love this part) and enjoy right away or store in the fridge for later.