Dark Chocolate Recipe And Benefits!
Made from the seed of a cocoa tree dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants that can help prevent cell damage and offer protection. Research suggests that dark chocolate with a high cocoa content of around 70% or more, can lower the risk of heart disease and be beneficial to other major health challenges. It’s an ultimate comfort food and often consumed when stressed or when we feel let down – is this then a green light to consume lots of it?! Err no…all the positive nutrients offered also come with calories and a sizeable amount of sugar, and it’s for this reason, we would always recommend moderate consumption only.
How do you eat yours?! Using 80% cocoa is our preference, and we like to enjoy by adding nuts and seeds all of which offer a different texture, dimension and added healthy properties.
- Boosts Brain Power – flavanols, a key component in dark chocolate can help to dilate blood vessels, allowing for more oxygen and blood to reach key areas of the brain – which can help against fatigue. Worth noting green tea and blue blueberries offer this as well!
- Improved Heart Health – research has shown that flavanols have a very positive effect on heart health by helping lower blood pressure and improving blood flow to the heart as well as the brain.
- Cholesterol – good for your overall cholesterol profile research suggests cocoa has been shown to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and raise the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) as dark chocolate is rich in polyphenol.
- Packed With Minerals – potassium, zinc and selenium…70% cocoa or more can provide you with a sizeable shot of your recommended daily iron.
- 100-125g of dark chocolate – we use 80%
- Toppings – you can choose from the following…
- Nuts – any nuts roughly chopped and sprinkled
- Seeds – sunflower, pumpkin and/or sesame
- Dried fruits – (raisins, dates, figs, apricots, goji berries) roughly chopped
- Prepare a baking tray or thin tray with greaseproof paper.
- Place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan that has water in the bottom (careful not too much, you do not want it to touch the bottom of the bowl).
- Place on hob, and bring water to a gentle simmer. Add chunks of chocolate into the bowl.
- Stir until chocolate is smooth and completely melted.
- Pour the melted chocolate onto the baking tray and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle your toppings of choice – transfer into the fridge for 2-3 hours to cool.
- Break into shards and serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Check out our Easy Banana Cake Recipe