February is National Heart Month! We hope you’re celebrating with chocolate! Of course, not all chocolate is created equal. Do you know what to look for when buying “good” chocolate? Here are a few tips:
1) Dark chocolate is better (sorry milk chocolate lovers!). Look for 70% or higher cacao content. Cacao is the plant chocolate is harvested from, and a higher percentage means more antioxidants, which is a major reason to eat chocolate in the first place. Also, there is often a higher mineral content present in dark chocolate, as it tends to be less refined. Pure cacao is an excellent source of magnesium.
2) Try raw cacao powder in smoothies, or purchase an inexpensive ice cream maker, and try making your own chocolate ice cream at home! Pure, raw cacao is not very sweet, so try adding stevia for a yummy sugar-free treat!
3) Avoid products containing cocoa “processed with alkali.” This process basically denatures any nutrient value. Unfortunately, this is the type of chocolate found in most major grocery store brands. Try a gourmet or natural food store to find quality chocolate.
4) If you have a dairy allergy, or are simply trying to avoid excess animal fats, you can still enjoy chocolate! There are many dairy-free chocolates, and in fact quality dark chocolate does not usually contain milk or dairy. Also note, cocoa butter is not a dairy product, so if you see this on the ingredient label, it does not refer to a milk or dairy-derived food.
Below is a homemade chocolate ice cream recipe to try. I’ve personally made it with a Cuisinart ice cream maker, with yummy results! We’d love to hear your recipe ideas—post them to our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EliteChiroMason.
Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream
2 cups cream, milk, OR 1 can coconut milk
2 eggs (organic, pastured eggs recommended)
1/4 – 1/2 cup sweetener (date palm sugar, sucanat) OR 2t. stevia for sugar-free version
1/2 t. vanilla
1-2 T. raw cacao powder, or 1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Blend ingredients on high. Chill in a cup or bowl for 1 hour in freezer (my ice cream maker doesn’t say this is required, but I’ve found better results doing this step.)
Pour into pre-frozen ice cream maker, and run machine for 20-25 minutes.
Yours in Health,
Drs. Nick & Delphine Deignan
3143 Western Row Rd.
Mason, OH 45039