This week's Chocolate Friday offering is healthy stuff.
Personally, I've taken a Vow of Indulgence. I follow the advice of one of my favorite quotes: "Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it I wash my mouth out with chocolate" -- Charles M. Schultz
But I know there are others who occasionally need to be relieved of guilt, and/or given a healthy alternative to the decadence of choco-indulgences. I did this once before for our buddy D who was trying hard to keep his girlish figure. This time I'm doing it for KeeWee poor KeeWee who is counting every ... whatever it is you count when you're on Weight Watchers.
Note: pic stolen from Kelly's Iblio site
Firstly, I just gotta note that chocolate isn't bad for you. It's the fats and sugars that chocolate is usually bundled with that cause all the problems. But chocolate has lots of good stuff in it: antioxidants and polyphenols and flavanoids. Research has shown that chocolate and cocoa can help your heart, keep your cholesterol down, keep you young, boost your sex life, and even help you grow new hair.
Ok, I'm exaggerating. But only a little.
According to this article:
Good quality chocolates are made with cocoa butter, which is comprised of about one-third oleic acid, a fat like that found in olive oil. Oleic acid has been shown to lower both total and LDL cholesterol.
It's important to read the labels, though, because not all chocolate is made with cocoa butter.
Chocolate is also rich in antioxidants. Studies have shown that flavonoids, which are found in cocoa, lower the risks of heart disease, lung and prostate cancer and type- 2 diabetes.
And of course, dark chocolate is the way to go, says What's Cooking America: "a study by market research publisher Packaged Facts titled Market Trends: The U.S. Market for Gourmet Chocolate reports that the higher cocoa, lower sugar content and antioxidant properties of premium dark chocolate are making it a more attractive treat for health-conscious Americans, especially those counting carbs.
- Healthy Fudgy Brownies - from Recipezaar.com made with wheat germ and oatmeal
- Healthy Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe - from BellyBytes.com's Healthy Chocolate Recipes List
- Chocolate Monkey - Heh, it's a sort of chocolate banana smoothie
- Healthy Chocolate Mousse -non dairy - from The Worlds Healthiest Foods
- Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding - from Cooking Light's Chocolate Recipes
- Healthy Chocolate Souffle - low fat and low calorie, from DIY Network
Whew! That's all I can manage. Too much healthy stuff and my eyes start to roll back in my head. You all can live long and healthy. I think I'll make chocolate pancakes for brekky this morning. With chocolate syrup. Yeah, that's the ticket!