Why you Need to Eat More Chocolate

Chocolate our old time favorite comfort food and mood enhancer, it is the definition of comfort food. Sadly we are often asked to avoid it. Rather than try to resist chocolate, you can safely go for healthier versions that will satisfy your craving and leave you reaping its health benefits.healthy chocolate

Chocolate, good quality chocolate, contains biologically active compounds that have an antioxidant effect on the body. Chocolate contains plant sterols and cocoa flavanols that lower cholesterol levels making it good for the heart and improving blood pressure. It is rich in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium and iron.  It supports cognitive function, is good for the skin and reduces stress.

Check these 6 amazing health benefits to enjoying chocolate

Which chocolate should you go for?

Commercial chocolates have a high calorie count, containing large amounts of processed sugar and additives that will leave you overweight, they also cause tooth decay and are detrimental to your health long-term. If these are what you are consuming, set a limit on your consumption and go for dark chocolate, cocoa powder 70% or more, or raw cocoa.

Preparing delicious chocolate recipes at home is the better way to go. You can even pack them in pretty colorful jars, paper, boxes, ribbon and your eyes will feast on them as much as your taste buds will.

Some Recipes to try:

Chocolate Energy Balls

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups walnuts, or other nut/seed of choice

  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

  • 2 cups soft dates, pitted

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

  • 1 tsp. sea salt

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

In a large food processor fitted with an “S” blade, process the walnuts and coconut until crumbly.

Add in the dates, coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt and process again until a sticky, uniform batter is formed.

Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons, then roll between your hands to form balls.

Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then place in the freezer to set for at least an hour before serving.

 chocolate-cream

Halawa & Chocolate Spread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup tahini

  • 1/2 cup honey (OR 90ml Agave nectar)

  • 3-5 tsp. raw cocoa powder

Directions:

 Gradually, mix the honey into the sesame paste (tahini) and keep on stirring until it looks like a paste.

. If you don’t like chocolate halawa spread, you can stop at this point and your halawa spread is ready! I usually take some of the halawa spread and add 3-5 teaspoons of pure cocoa to it & stir. (Aim to use high quality Cocoa Powder with no added sugar or Raw Cocoa)

.If you will use the whole batch, then add more cocoa.

Fruit Nachos

Ingredients:

  • 1 pear

  • 1 apple

  • 6-7 strawberries

  • *you can use your choice of fruits

  • ¼ cup dark chocolate

  • ¼ cup coconut flakes or shredded

Directions:

Slice your apple and pear in halves.

Next chop your strawberries into small pieces. Sprinkle onto The apple and pears.

Melt chocolate.

Drizzle onto your fruit.

Sprinkle the coconut.

Homemade Healthy Nutella

Ingredients

  • 2 cups roasted hazelnuts

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup cashew milk

  • 1/4 cup cacao powder

  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil

  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence

  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

Put the hazelnuts into a heavy duty food processor and blend on medium speed for a few minutes. You might have to scrape down the sides as you go.

Add all the other ingredients and keep blending with the speed on medium, again scraping down the sides if need be. It should take up to 10 minutes before it turns into a smooth, delicious butter.

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

Ingredients

Yield: 24 mini cups
For the bottom layer

  • 1 ½ cups organic almond butter

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil

For the top layer

  • ¾ cup cacao powder

  • ½ cup cacao butter

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 tsp raw unpasteurized honey (depending on preferred sweetness)

  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt (optional)

Directions:
Line mini muffin pan with mini baking cups.

Bottom Layer:
Using a double boiler, combine the nut butter and coconut oil. Stir over medium – low heat until melted. Remove mixture from heat.

Spoon the mixture into the bottom of the cups – fill each ¾ full.

Let harden in the freezer while preparing the top chocolate layer.

Top Layer:
Using a double boiler, combine all ingredients for the top layer. Stir over medium – low heat until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.

Taste and adjust for preferred sweetness.

Remove tray from the freezer and spoon chocolate mixture on top of the bottom layer, filling each cup.

Place tray back in the freezer to harden the top layer, 20-30 minutes.

Sprinkle with sea salt.

Store in the fridge or freezer and see how long they last. Enjoy!

Bonus Tip: There are so many flavor combinations to try here. Have fun experimenting with different sweeteners such as honey, lucuma powder, maple syrup or coconut sugar. For an extra boost of goodness, add maca or peppermint extract to the chocolate layer. Top with roasted almonds, shredded coconut or goji berries – the possibilities are endless!

Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients (serves 1-2):

  • 1 large ripe avocado

  • 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk or almond milk

  • Natural sweetener like date molasses or maple syrup.

  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract

Optional extras: toasted sliced almonds, chia seeds, frozen mixed berries, almond butter, cocoa nibs, coconut oil

Directions:

Purée the avocado until smooth.

Mix together the cocoa powder and milk until combined and add to the avocado.

Stir in the stevia, vanilla extract, and any extra ingredients (toasted almonds add a lovely crunch, and frozen berries give the mousse a great fruity twang!) and mix well.

Transfer the mousse to individual bowls and store in the fridge until ready to eat.

 

Other Delicious Chocolate Recipes:

Make Your Own Vegan Dark Chocolate

Chocolate Peanut Butter Date Balls

Got more questions about what you should eat? Want to have a chat about your health? Email me coach@healthytude.org

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