Continuing with my “Sun Protection Diet”, I’ve become increasingly drawn to usefulness of Chocolate – specifically DARK (i.e., 72% or higher) Chocolate.
Outside of its benefits to helping your skin cope with the sun’s rays, Dark Chocolate also provides these “wins”:
1.It’s good for your heart – lowering blood pressure, blood flow and may prevent clots.
2. It increases blood flow to the brain, helping cognitive function, plus it helps soothe your troubled mind.
3. It helps prevent blood sugar spikes – again though, we’re talking about 72% Dark Chocolate or higher!
4. It’s loaded with Anti-Oxidants
5. It hardens tooth enamel
So Dark Chocolate provides many benefits, but I really can’t stress the Dark part enough, as SUGAR and MILK both impede the absorbtion of Chocolate’s benefits.. But, the question came to me – how to enjoy eating it, if it’s not like what we’ve been raised on?
So I searched online and found a recipe that I want to share with you. It uses the following:
– Organic Cocoa Butter (yes, it’s fat, but the “good” kind)
– Organic Cacao Powder (non-alkaline)
– Coconut Nectar (very low on the Glycemic index = tastes sweet, but absorbs slowly)
– Virgin Coconut Oil (Optional – will give your mouth that creamy feeling)
– Superfoods, like dried Goji Berries, Cherries, Spices (Cinnamon, Chili Powder) Maca, etc.(also Optional)
You’ll have to goof with the quantities of each element, according to your taste, but I found that you’ll want to use about:
– 100 gms of the Butter
– 80 gms of the Powder
– 2-1/2 to 3 tablespoons of the sweetener (Nectar).
Heat the Cocoa Butter (low heat) until liquid. Stir in the Cacao powder until smooth. Remove from heat and continue stirring for one minute. Then add Coconut Nectar and blend completely. If you’re adding spices, now is the time to stir them in.
You can find nifty molds at any kitchen supply store (S&F, B,B & Beyond, etc.), which are those red silicone molds. They come in heart shapes, triangles, muffins, I even found some in leaf patterns.
Pour your melted chocolate into them. Then, if you’re using dried (any fruit has to be dried, or it will rot) fruit, poke them into the mold, so that the chocolate covers them.
Put the mold(s) in your fridge for at least an hour. Then the finished product out onto a drying rack, in a cool place. The “Cool” part is impt., as these chocolates are not “tempered”, so they will melt, even at the touch of your fingers.
But, what you’re left with will be natural chocolates that are actually good for you, and will help ward off Free Radical damage from sun exposure. And – new bonus benefit – Dark Chocolate has been found to contain Resveratrol, which lengthens the life of your cells!
Jim Derner, owner, Clean Living