With all of the chocolate Halloween candy parading around lately, just begging you to indulge in its creamy goodness, you might be asking yourself, “Is it really that bad if I have a little?” Well, there have been many studies recently in which health researchers suggest that chocolate, in moderation, might be good for your health. This is due to the flavonoids present in the cacao beans that originally inspired the treat.
Flavonoids are found in most fruits and vegetables, and they function as antioxidants; they help neutralize the highly reactive molecules found in the body that can result in the development of illness and diseases. However, while it is believed that we benefit from the antioxidant qualities of chocolate, these flavonoids are only found in the vegetable matter within the cacao bean itself; depending on how much cacao is actually in the candy, most of the bar could be made up of other ingredients like milk, sugar, and butter. This gives the naturally-bitter cacao the creamy, sweet taste of the processed chocolate most of us are used to consuming.
For example, a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar only contains 11% cacao, which means most of the candy is comprised of sugars and fats detrimental to your health. The bright side? Some chocolates are better for you than others. Typically, the darker the better. Just look at the nutrition facts on the back; the higher percent of cacao on the wrapper, the lower percent of sugar there will be, and the more nutritional benefit you’ll receive. Instead of milk chocolate, maybe go for the Hershey’s Extra Dark Chocolate containing 60% cacao.
This doesn’t mean you should eat all of the dark chocolate in sight. It’s always better to pick a healthier snack, like the veggies or fruits that are also rich in antioxidants.
But everyone has a sweet tooth! Lucky for you, we have a chocolatey option that’s both nutritious and delicious. We have a recipe for The Best Mousse You’ll Ever Eat. It’s tastier than a chocolate bar, but it’s healthy for you! It’s made with natural (non-alkalized) cocoa powder, which is essentially a concentrated form of cacao beans—all of the flavor but a fraction of the fat. Don’t believe us? Try it yourself!
- 2 avocado, ripe.
- 30 dates, pitted (depending on size and sweetness).
- 1 cup water.
- 1 cup seasonal berry.
- 10 tablespoon natural non-alkalized cocoa powder.
- 4 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Place all ingredients in a high speed blender
- Run until creamy and smooth
- For desired texture, additional water may be used
- For more sweetness, additional dates may be used