When I was a little girl, I used to crawl up on the kitchen counter and sneak into the cupboard where my mom kept her baking ingredients in search of…….chocolate chips. Sometimes, I would get lucky and there would be a bag already opened that had been taped shut. I would carefully peel away the tape and get myself a handful of chocolate and then close it back up without being caught. Other times, I wasn't so lucky. I would somehow have to figure out how to open the bag just enough so that the chocolate chips would come out but not too much to appear as if it had been opened. After I got my fix, if I put it away just right and the hole was small enough, I could get away with it, or so I thought.
Health Benefits of Chocolate
Cocoa is a superfood containing a rich supply of antioxidants, iron and fiber. It is also known to be one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium. Cocoa is loaded with flavonols which prevent fat-like substances in the bloodstream from clogging the arteries. The flavonols found in cocoa also regulate nitric oxide in the body. This compound is critical for healthy blood flow. Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure as well as improve insulin sensitivity. To read more about the health benefits of dark chocolate, read The Sweet Truth for Your Sweet Tooth.
These days, I still enjoy a chocolate fix, only instead of unhealthy chocolate chips, I indulge in a serving of a deep dark chocolate. My current favorite is Alter Eco 85% Dark Chocolate Blackout, with only three organic and fair trade ingredients, cocoa mass, cocoa butter and cane sugar. Another way I get my chocolate fix is by enjoying desserts made with chocolate, like this Healthy Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding. Not only does this dessert give me my chocolate fix, it is made with three superfoods, coconut, chocolate and chia, making it super healthy!
The next time you need a chocolate fix instead of falling into a bag of empty sugar-filled chocolate flavored candy give this healthy dessert a try.
By the way, Valentine's day is coming up, forgo the box of chocolates and make this for your sweetie.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 60 minutes
- 1 1/2 c. Coconut Milk
- 1/4 c. Chia Seeds
- 1/4 c. Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 25-30 drops Vanilla Stevia
- Put coconut milk, cocoa powder, vanilla and stevia in a glass jar, cover tightly and shake well until powder is dissolved.
- Add chia seeds and shake again.
- Refrigerate for about 5 minutes and shake again.
- One more time, refrigerate for about 5 minutes and shake again.
- Return to refrigerator and this time let it sit for about 50 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh berries and a few cacao nibs.