Saturday, December 18, 2010

Delicious, Magical, (and Healthy!) Chocolate

Diamonds are pretty, yes, but dark chocolate is my best friend. Milk chocolate is a friend I occasionally call to grab a cup of coffee with.  White chocolate is an acquaintance who is too dull and pathetic to call at all! Hell, white chocolate isn't even 'chocolate' in my books. (Cue hate mail from white chocolate fans.)

I love chocolate in just about *any* form from brownies to hot chocolate to candy bars.  I've always eaten small amounts of chocolate guilt-free because I read once that cocoa is good for health.  But I've never known just *what* it's good for.  So I decided to find out!



From chennai-grocery.com





Unfortunately, I found that commercial chocolate does not have the health benefits that raw cacao does, probably because of all the processing it goes through.  Raw cacao has tons of compounds that are required by the human body: zinc, iron, fiber protein, calcium, etc.  It contains magnesium, which acts both as a muscle relaxant as well as a bone strengthener.  It also contains sulfur which helps keep nails and hair strong. Raw cocoa is brimming with antioxidants, which have a truckload of things they're good for.

And, as we all know, it contains caffeine, consumption of which is one of the top 6 ways to boost brain power, according to a  recent Scientific American MIND report. Yippee!

While I've cut down on hogging commercial chocolates, I've started making hot chocolate with raw cocoa  and fudge brownies with whole wheat!

Here are the recipes:
Hot Chocolate from Raw Cocoa - Hershey's syrup, in comparison, is like a sneeze  sitting on the tip of your nose, depriving you of a sweet, quick release, leaving you completely dissatisfied.
Eggless Fudge Brownies - I use whole wheat flour, instead.


Another one that looks good that I haven't been able to try is: Barcelona Hot Chocolate

For more info on health benefits:

If you're interested in making chocolate from scratch at home, Chocolate Alchemy seems like a great site.  I often visit it randomly, hoping that I'll eventually have the patience (and money!) to make chocolate straight from the beans, at home.

5 comments:

  1. Cocoa is a scarce commodity. We have to import most of it. Cadbury's is desperately trying Indian farmers to grow more of it. Their flagship Dark chocolate product (Bournville) has only 44% cocoa, and that too is imported from Ghana. I wrote about it last year. (L).

    Dean Ornish's TED talk also recommends it. (L)

    Diamonds took a nosedive in my books after I read this. Warning: that article was written in 1982 and is very long.

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  2. Ah, I wasn't aware of the high lead content in cocoa.

    Ornish's talk was interesting!

    Especially: "Walking for three hours per week for only three months caused so many neurons to grow that it actually increased the size of people's brains."

    It was also good to hear that chocolate and tea both can increase brain cells. Even though I'm obsessed with coffee and chocolate, I make sure tea (especially green) is a regular part of my diet.

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  3. You know, I really don't like chocolate :o I dunno why it is... But whenever I'm craving sugar like INSANELY bad and all I have at the moment is chocolate... After two bites I put it away again! I just can't eat it :p. Even the best, most expensive chocolate! I've had it all!
    >_> Perhaps something is wrong with me.

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  4. I'm with you on the white-chocolate-isn't-really-chocolate stand. And I feel very strongly about that.

    P.S. 3 of the best flavors that go with chocolate: hot cayenne, mint, and smoked sea salt.

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  5. Mmmm mint... I used to love dipping candy canes in hot chocolate during winter when I lived in Maryland! Unfortunately we don't get candy canes here. :(

    Haven't tried smoked sea salt. I should!

    @Manon You're nuts. What a waste! From now on you are not allowed to eat any chocolate. You have to direct it all to me! :P

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