Super Food Friday- Dark Chocolate

This is my favorite food topic!!! When I was a kid, I thought dark chocolate was so gross, but as I grew up, my tastes became more refined and I came to absolutely love it! Good thing too, because there are so many health benefits to dark chocolate.

In the past several decades chocolate has gotten a bad rap. Why? Because a lot of chocolate is highly processed and sweetened, almost completely cancelling out any health benefits.

So, let’s find out what makes dark chocolate actually good for you and give chocolate a better reputation!!

Antioxidants

  • Fight free radical damage
  • Flavanoids
    • Can help prevent cancer
    • Improve heart health
    • Increase blood flow to brain
  • Polyphenols
    • Natural cholesterol control

Lowers blood pressure

Helps control blood sugar

Improves vision

High in fiber, iron and magnesium

 

When choosing dark chocolate, here are a few things to be aware of to get the least amount of sugar and the most antioxidant benefit:

Make sure your chocolate is over 70% cocoa or cacao
It should be made with cocoa butter and not palm, coconut or any other hydrogenated oils
The cocoa should be minimally processed (not dutched)
Make it even better: added almonds or sweetened with stevia
Be aware that chocolate does contain some caffeine, so enjoy in moderation the awesomeness of dark chocolate!

 

And check out these delicious recipes:

Dark Chocolate Coconut Clusters

(adapted from draxe.com)

INGREDIENTS:
  • ¾ c. coconut flakes
  • ⅔ c. coconut oil, melted
  • ½ c. almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 dark chocolate bar, minimum 72% cacao
DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, mix all but the chocolate and form small balls with your hands. Set them on a plate and put them in the freezer to harden. Melt chocolate over medium heat. Once melted, turn heat off and wait 5 minutes. Dip frozen balls in chocolate and return them to plate. Place in refrigerator to harden, then store there in an airtight container.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse

INGREDIENTS:

2 oz. unsweetened baking cocoa bar
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 12 oz. package of firm silken tofu
1/3 c. all-natural peanut butter
24 drops of liquid stevia
1 tablespoon honey (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Melt cocoa with coconut oil in a pan. Then add all ingredients to a blender and blend, scraping sides as needed, until super smooth. Enjoy!

 

 

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