Isn’t it funny how the word “dark” makes us feel less guilty about eating chocolate? Love that. If you’re currently not a dark chocolate lover, I encourage you to try this recipe. Every day, more and more science proves the health benefits of dark chocolate. When buying dark chocolate, look for a bar that contains 70% cocoa or higher in order to get the maximum health benefits.
My new favorite discovery is dark chocolate cocoa powder. You can find it in any grocery store and it is a sure fire way to make sure you are eating the right type of heart healthy dark chocolate. Of course it is delicious prepared as cocoa below, but I also love sprinkling it into Greek yogurt and mixing in stevia and fresh berries. Want to kick your bowl of hot oats up a notch? Sprinkle in cocoa powder. Making homemade Chex mix for the holidays? Add cocoa powder. Still not convinced? Here are a few of my favorite excuses to eat dark chocolate:
Flavanoids: Dark chocolate contains flavanoids, a naturally occurring compound found in plant based foods that shield from environmental damage and repair damaged cells.
Fight Cavities: Recent studies show that chocolate contains a compound called theobromine which may help harden tooth enamel which helps prevent cavities.
Antioxidants: The darker the chocolate, the higher the antioxidant power. Antioxidants help cells resist damage caused by free radicals that are formed by every day processes like breathing or from inhaling cigarette smoke. If the body doesn’t get enough antioxidants, damage from free radicals occurs and leads to increases in LDL (bad) cholesterol. It can also lead to an increase of plaque formation in your arteries.
Boost Brain Power: New studies show that dark chocolate consumption increases blood flow to the brain, improving brain function.
Your mug is waiting.
Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa
- In a medium sauce pot, whisk together cocoa powder, cinnamon, honey, water, vanilla, salt and cayenne over medium heat until smooth and creamy.
- Slowly add in milk and whisk continuously until bubbles start to form around the edge. Do not walk away - you want the cocoa to gently simmer, not boil.
- Serve with whipped cream if you wish.