In our last post we discussed the health benefits of chocolate. Pure cacao is turning out to be, after many scientific studies, one of the healthier foods we can eat. The challenge, however, is finding chocolate in a form that is healthy.
Today we offer a hint how to buy and use chocolate that is nutritious and cost-effective.
Healthy chocolate bars in Brazil are difficult to find, and costly. If a chocolate bar has less than 70% cacao content, you can consider it a candy, nutritionally speaking. Some chocolate bars boast “43% cacao content” or “55% cacao content”. But chocolate makers are still trying to fool the Brazilian consumer with this junk food.
So, try this: buy 100% cacao powder, which you should be able to find at any good natural food store. If you can buy organic, even better. Unlike chocolate bars, pure cacao powder —not ruined by processing— has few calories. It is basically pure goodness; up to 10% flavonoid antioxidants by weight, along with protein, iron, fiber, and minerals.
The downside is that you are probably used to chocolate being sweet, and the flavonoids (the principle healthy substance in chocolate) are somewhat bitter. The solution is to disguise the bitter taste by adding other healthy foods along with the cacao.
You might make cacao a part of your breakfast, by blending it in with granola. Try this mixture:
-Granola, preferably with minimal added sugar
-Banana and/or apple
-Pure cacao powder
-Reduced fat milk or soymilk
-If needed, honey or sweetener; if you want, additional oats
You might want to start out with a small quantity of cacao until you get used to the taste, but you might be able to add up to a teaspoon or even a tablespoon. Note chocolate might be addictive, and could be stimulating (similar to coffee). if you have any medical concerns, discuss with your doctor.
Experiment with cacao powder in other ways, for example, add to smoothies, coffee, or sprinkle on sliced fruits.
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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)