I LOVE chocolate.
I mean very few people don’t.
However it doesn’t exactly make you think of healthy eating…. but when you eat it right its full of amazing nutritional benefits to help you feel amazing!
Top nutritional benefits of chocolate
- high in iron, magnesium and zinc
- lowers blood pressue
- Contains Polyphenols (stabalises cholesterol)
- Reduces insulin resistance
- Improves neuroplasticity
There are two ways I mainly use chocolate in my diet, either through raw cacao powder added to smoothies and bakes or through dark chocolate bars. But there is one rule I try to stick to with dark chocolate bars, they must be a at least a minimum of 70% cocoa solids. Any less and its just not worth it.
Why 70%+ cocoa solids
Most chocolate bars, unless otherwise started contain very little actual cocoa solids, there for contain very little of the health benefits of cocoa. They are mainly filled with sugars other highly processed ingredients that make the cocoa much sweeter and palatable and often more addictive. Chocolate is naturally very bitter, and the higher percentage of cocoa you go with in chocolate bar the more bitter it will be. Ive found 70-85% have the perfect bitter sweet balance to keep the health benefits but also still taste great for everyday eating; although we have used 90% cocoa solids a few times, its really not for those with a sweet tooth and faced immediate rejection by our 6 our old daughter.
Melting the chocolate
A lot of my sweet recipes involves topping with melted chocolate, because chocolate makes everything better of course, so to help you put if you have never melted chocolate before I thought I would pop a little guide to melting chocolate with a make shift bain marie here to help you with your culinary delights:
- Firstly put some water to boil in a small pan on the stove, so it comes to a gentle simmer.
- Place a heat proof bowl over the pan, but don’t let it touch the water.
- Break up your chocolate, and place in the bowl.
- stir the chocolate occasionally, but be patient and enjoy watching it melt slowly.
- Once all the chocolate is melted its ready to use for whatever you like.
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