The holidays are coming, and I am aware more than anyone of the threats to a healthy eating program. All the parties and family gatherings surrounded by either dense/traditional family meals or surrounded by sweets. I am a baking addict, my dream is to have my Body Change Studio during the weekday and a Bakery Bus on the weekends. With that being said, I am passionate about taking traditional foods and putting a healthier spin on them. Pushing them to their nutritional max. I do think it’s important to mention that I believe in occasional indulgences, but the recipes I post for treats are for special occasions not to eat daily (I would never suggest eating almond bread or almond cookies daily), I like food in a natural whole form. But for the special occasion I want to maximize the health potential and decrease the guilt. With all that being said, I want to bake and cook with the best ingredients for me.
Chocolate. How can you not like chocolate? I have to admit I myself am a bit odd on this one (but when am I not a little different), in that I like chocolate candy and the occasional brownie, but I do not like chocolate ice cream or chocolate cake (I should just admit now while I’m confessing, that I do not like cake at all- I’ve been that way since I was little). Unless you’re allergic to it, I believe most people cannot despise chocolate right out in one of its forms. So what kinds of benefits are we looking at with chocolate? Turns out chocolate boasts quite an impressive resume, so you may not need to feel to guilty for some holiday chocolate:
- Polyphenols and antioxidants are the talk of the town when it comes to chocolate and cocoa potential (namely polyphenols like epicatechin)
- Another similar trait are the flavanols found in cocoa. These are actually the main differences in white vs. dark chocolate
- Fat, of course chocolate has one of the keys to longevity, we are FAT-BURNERS after all! Good news here is the low concentration of polyunsaturated fat and the high percentage of monounsaturated fat and saturated fat (stearic acid)
- Related to lower blood pressure
- may decrease risk of cardiovascular disease
- reduce instances of blood clots.
What to look for when buying chocolate?
- higher cacao percentage (like higher than 70)
- less sugar
- Cocoa mass: just discovered this but it is only cocoa solids and butter, nothing else
- Cocoa butter: covered this before but it’s great because it is mostly saturated fat!
Now you are informed for making your holiday dessert selection, and don’t feel bad about the occasional chocolate indulgence just look for the best quality!