Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

If you’re a fan of sweets, you’ll jump for joy over these 10 reasons to enjoy chocolate. But, before you grab a candy bar, it’s important to recognize that not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate with a 70 percent cocoa content or higher contains more health benefits and less sugar than milk chocolate varieties. Look for a bar with whole food ingredients and a sugar content of less than 10 grams per serving. Dark chocolate may not directly reduce body fat, but provides a healthier alternative to those conventional sweets that are sure to sabotage weight loss efforts. 

Benefits of Dark Chocolate

  1. Lowers risk of stroke & heart disease.
  2. Boosts heart health by decreasing blood pressure.
  3. Reduces cravings & provides high satiation.
  4. Increases insulin sensitivity & reduces diabetes risk.
  5. Protects skin with antioxidants.
  6. Quiets coughs by relaxing the vagus nerve.
  7. Improves mood & reduces stress.
  8. Increases circulation with blood-thinning properties.
  9. Improves vision by increasing blood flow to the retina.
  10. Increases blood flow to the brain to enhance mental performance.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yields 12 cookies
5 large Medjool dates, pitted
2 cups chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil (warmed so it’s in liquid form)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
To taste stevia (about 10 mini scoops powdered)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 72-88% dark chocolate bar, chopped (I love the Alter Eco brand)
1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil (for cookie sheet)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Blend dates, nuts and vanilla in a food processor until a paste forms. Add baking soda, salt, butter, egg, cinnamon and stevia. Mix thoroughly.
  • Scrape the batter into a bowl & stir in coconut & chocolate. Form 12 portions of the dough onto a buttered cookie sheet, then gently flatten each one with your fingers.
  • Bake until nicely browned, about 15 minutes.
  • Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 5 days.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

Serves 2
1 ripe frozen banana
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup organic cacao powder
1 1/2 cups yogurt/kefir with 2 tablespoons chia seeds (soaked for 2 hours to thicken)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
stevia, to taste

  • In a food processor or blender, add ingredients and process until creamy.
  • Top with optional cacao nibs. Serve chilled as is or as a dip for berries or cherries.

Dark Chocolate Covered Berries

Serves 4
2 dark chocolate bars (70% cocoa content or higher)
2 cups fresh organic strawberries or blueberries

  • Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir frequently until completely melted, then remove from the heat.
  • Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
  • Stir berries into the melted chocolate. Spoon small clumps of berries onto the baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
  • Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days.

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