Ways to Up the Health Stakes & Enjoy Dark Chocolate
If you are a born chocolate lover, you may be joining me in collecting all of the latest health news about chocolate. It was always a complete pleasure, but now researchers are giving us a lot of new health reasons to indulge. But there is one stipulation – it must be dark.
Healthy chocolate contains around seventy percent dark cocoa
The Telegraph tells us dark chocolate helps restore artery flexibility and prevents white blood cells from sticking to blood vessel walls. It reduces stroke risk and it is loaded with iron, potassium, zinc and selenium.
Dark chocolate also reduces cholesterol levels, and helps protect the skin from sun damage. A small square of chocolate before a meal can also help you feel full and lose weight. And another square after dinner can reduce the urge to snack later.
Researchers believe it helps reduce memory loss in seniors and provides a natural feel good boost with phenylethylamine, the same chemical your brain generates when you fall in love. Dark chocolate cocoa has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity too, helping to prevent diabetes.
With a healthy credential list like this, most chocolate lovers will figure a way to incorporate dark chocolate into their lives. Wherever you enjoy chocolate now consider making it dark.
A favorite of mine is a dark chocolate edged apricot. Just dip dried apricots into melted dark chocolate, chill and serve until they disappear. I also recommend spooning dark chocolate cocoa into breakfast oats and adding a little to your morning coffee.
Health.com offers a whole array of dark chocolate recipes, from crème brulee to chocolate matinis, but the one I have to try is called Chocolate Chip Coffee Muffin. My two favorite foods, chocolate and coffee have been made healthy with some lighter substitutions.
Ingredients: Use two thirds cup of soymilk, two and a half teaspoons of butter and two and a half tablespoons of fat free Greek yogurt, and two cups hard white whole wheat flour. Combine dry ingredients. Stir with a whisk. Add milk stirring until moist. Bake in muffin cups coated with cooking spray at 400 degrees for 18 minutes. Enjoy!
Another tempting way to dry dark chocolate is Epicurious,com’s flank steak with a blended marinade of olive oil, cilantro, garlic, ancho chile paste, cocoa powder, and lime juice. Marinate for 24 hours. Then sear the meat on both sides, move meat to indirect heat to avoid burning marinade, grill and serve with lime wedges.