Chocolate = Healthy; Cocoa Powder = Healthy & Low Cal
The good news on chocolate continues to pile up. We’ve known for a while now that regular chocolate consumption is not only good for your heart but can improve your mood as well. Earlier this year, studies found that chocolate eaters tend to be a bit thinner. And just this week, Swedish researchers announced their findings that eating chocolate on a regular basis appears to lower the risk of stroke. All of this is good news for chocoholics. It’s not a treat after all. It’s health food!
There’s just one wrinkle: The beneficial flavanols in chocolate, which appear to be responsible for most of the health benefits, tend to come packaged with a fair amount of fat, sugar, and calories. But it is possible to get all of the advantages of flavanols without the unwanted sugar or fat. Just turn to unsweetened cocoa powder — sugar-free and virtually fat-free — for one of the most potent sources of healthful flavanols. All the good stuff, none of the bad.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy a mood- and heart-boosting dose of chocolate is in a smoothie: Just add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to a blender along with some yogurt and a frozen banana. And although many of us tend to think of chocolate exclusively as a sweet treat, cocoa powder also plays well in savory dishes, such as those I’ve chosen below.
One last tip: Be sure to choose regular cocoa and not “Dutched” or “alakalized” cocoa powder.The dutching process, which imparts a mellower flavor, also cuts the flavanol content in half.
Healthy pork chops end up in a sauce that’s almost a variation on a classic Mexican mole.
This dish that delivers the spicy punch of chili but with lean chicken instead of meat.
The star of any cookout, this burger is made with lean venison and spiced up with chili powder and whiskey!
The magic’s in the sauce, with molasses, coffee, and cocoa, but this magic act is easy to pull off.
Take an authentic taste of Old World Hungary, complete with a generous dollop of sour cream!
The rich flavor-packed sauce that is this chocolate mole turns ordinary turkey into a South of the Border treat.
Time for a snack? Make these irresistible Healthy Chocolate Chipper cookies!