Its reassuring to know that a little of what you fancy really can do you good! Yes that’s right, picking the best chocolate (aim for 85% Cacao) not only gives you that sweet boost but its is packed full of goodies that make it a great daily Indulgence. Don’t just take my word for it, read below some thoughts on Cacao from nutritionist Sarah J Cuff of Eat2Run.
And then try these super easy and delicious treats which you can custom to suit your mood.
Citrus Ginger Chocolate cups
(Makes 12 small cups)
- 2 Tbsp coconut butter
- 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp of lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp of grated fresh ginger
- option – if you like it extra zingy add a couple of drops of lemon essence
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate – the key here is use excellent chocolate and I love to use a flavored one, Orange ginger if possible! Zazubean Squeeze is my favorite for this recipe.
- For the centre, mix coconut butter, honey or maple syrup and grated ginger and lemon zest until creamy. Divide into 8 pieces and shape each into a coin.
- In a saucepan over a low heat melt dark chocolate with coconut oil. Pour a teaspoon or so of melted chocolate into mini muffin parchment liners, then place in the fridge to just set a little approximately 5-10 minutes
- Place a zesty coin on each, then top with remainder of melted chocolate. Refrigerate until set.
Try two other great flavors:-
Matcha and Tart Cherry
To make these simply omit the lemon and ginger and add either 1/4 tsp matcha green tea powder and follow all the steps as before, or remove 1 tsp of honey and replace with 1 tsp of tart cherry concentrate and again follow the steps as before.
Sarah, feature contributor of Eat2Run, on Raw Cacao
Cacao not only offers a decadent quality to foods it’s combined with, but contains many performance-enhancing proper9es. Raw cacao contains flavanols/flavonoids at a rate of 34mg/g (compared to 4-13mg/g in dutch processed varieties).
A 2012 review of 42 studies on chocolate found that daily consumption of chocolate rich in flavanols has strong cardiovascular benefits, including reduced insulin resistance and improved the capacity of the arteries to dilate and allow blood flow throughout the body.
A study published by the Journal of Psychopharmacology in May 2013 showed that 500mg daily of cocoa polyphenols significantly increased feelings of calmness and contentedness. Chocolate releases serotonin, which spikes dopamine in our brains, the feel good chemical. Cacao is also a good source of iron (8%dv) and great source of magnesium (23%dv). Cacao can be found as a powder, in small nibs, or whole beans.
Enjoy with a little eccentricity from…
Oh and one final note, I recently discovered an outstanding little chocolate bar collection from a company called Zimt, they are to die for and I will often treat myself to one of these, it honestly makes my day. I haven’t made the cups with these ones yet, they are already a skinny delicious masterpiece that I simply don’t want to mess with Bravo Zimt Im hooked!