It's OK to Love Chocolate
Halloween is almost here, which means giant boxes of ‘candy minis’ are everywhere, including our cupboards, bringing with them binge temptations, sugar-crashing and guilt. What do we dislike almost as much as the artificial ingredients, dyes and other BS in most commercial chocolate and candy? The dumb guilt that comes with it.
Today, we’re diving into how your love of chocolate can bring big health benefits, recipe ideas & some better for us trick-or-treat suggestions.
There are a lot of reasons to love chocolate, high quality dark chocolate that is. Here are a few:* Contains more calcium than cow's milk (for healthy bones & teeth)
* Natural mood elevator
* High in free radical fighting antioxidants (3 cheers for healthy cells!)
* Packed with magnesium (for brain & heart health)
Pro-Tip: Most commercial chocolate (we're looking at you Halloween candy) contains minimal amounts of cacao and are packed with high fructose corn syrup, dyes, chemicals and other things your body doesn’t want or need. Go for dark chocolate, more natural-ingredient containing snacks (suggestions below) and check labels for the percentage of cacao included.
Do you get hit with chocolate cravings? If yes, you’re not alone. According to John Hopkins Medicine, a huge percentage of us do. We love the approach taken in this article. Check it out for a deeper dive into the health benefits and suggestions on how to reframe your love-guilt relationship with chocolate.
You get a BIG dose of cacao health benefits, without the sugary badness,
in our Choco-Nutty blends.
Try the recipes below for a more delicious chocolate-fix with health benefits.
Kid & Adult Fave Chocolate Recipes
Homemade Chocolate Bites
- 1 cup finely chopped cocoa butter (packed)
- 3-5 Tbsp maple syrup (adjust to your preference)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cacao powder (cocoa also works)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt (to taste)
Toppings: finely chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans), sea salt
Equipment: you’ll need a double boiler or a saucepan that can have a glass bowl sit on top without sitting more than ½ deep into the saucepan.
Arrange 14 mini cupcake liners on a small baking sheet. Set aside.
Add 2 inches of water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Then set a medium glass or ceramic mixing bowl on top, making sure it's not touching the water (this creates a "double boiler").
To the mixing bowl, add finely chopped cocoa butter and let melt @ 2-3 minutes.
Once melted, add 3 TBSP maple syrup and use a whisk or wooden spoon to mix until fluid and thoroughly combined. Remove bowl and set on a flat surface. Turn off stove-top heat and set the saucepan aside.
Add cacao or cocoa powder, vanilla, and sea salt, and whisk to combine until there are no clumps.
Taste and add another 1 to 2 TBSP of maple syrup if desired (whisk again if added)
Carefully pour chocolate into 12-14 mini cupcake liners and top with a dash of sea salt and crushed nuts.
Transfer chocolate to the freezer or refrigerator to set - about 10 minutes for small, 20 minutes for larger liners.
Enjoy straight from the freezer, refrigerator, or at room temperature. Store leftovers in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Source inspiration: The Minimalist Baker
Here are a few more simple-ingredient, quick-prep, delicious recipes I’ve tried and loved (if you’ve got kiddos, both are perfect for little helpers).
Trick or Treat Ideas
Homemade candy isn’t likely your best bet for Halloween handouts. Here are some suggestions that kids and parents will love:
Laid Back Snacks (Tuscan Road Trip for the nutty-chocolate fans)
Have a fun, safe, and festive Halloween.