We all feel guilty when we have something sugary and sweet. Maybe, we do not have to face guilt when we eat a piece of chocolate. Of course, too much of anything is a bad thing. Therefore, despite its reputation for causing weight gain, chocolate does hold a number of nutrition value and health benefits when consumed in a proper manner (less proportion – no binging!). Chocolate is made from the tropical cacao tree seeds. They are roasted to a point of crunchiness and then split open to reach the cacao nibs (the original sweetness of a bar of chocolate comes from the nibs – not from the seeds themselves).
Dark chocolate – NOT MILK OR WHITE – is rich in anti-oxidants and packed with nutrients making this a bittersweet superfood. Flavanols in cocoa beans have antioxidant effects that reduce cell damage implicated in heart disease. Flavanols — more prevalent in dark chocolate than in milk chocolate — may also help lower blood pressure and improve heart function.
How do we decide how much chocolate is enough chocolate? Tody Amidor, a cookbook author and nutrition expert from Food Network can help us here. She says, “Cacao is packed with numerous anti-oxidants – actually more than green tea or red wine. The darker you go, the more anti-oxidants you will get; but there needs to be a balance between eating palatable dark chocolate and getting the health benefits”. To avoid gaining weight, she recommends eating no more than 30 grams of dark chocolate per day.
The next question comes to – how should I consume chocolate on a daily basis? Remember, there are some people that do not enjoy eating chocolate in its normal bar form. Here’s how we should go about it:
Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
These are the perfect carry-around snacks. Make it for you, your kids or your loved ones for a day out to work, for a picnic, or just sitting at home (we all are suffering the quarantine!). Here’s a quick recipe – all you need is:
- 1 cup of softened butter
- 1 cup of light brown sugar
- ½ cup of white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 & 1/4th cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups of cooking oats
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits
- Preheat your oven to 165 degrees Celsius
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Arrange scoops of the mixture onto a baking sheet
- Bake for about 15 minutes and allow the cookies to cool & then consume
Pro-tip: Cross out the oats, walnuts and chocolate and add Gouri’s Goodies Mini Bites instead – (200 grams package of Belgian Dark Chocolate Mini Energy Bites). This gives you the crunch of almonds, the perfect mix of oats and chocolate – and as a bonus, you get the nutrition from flax seeds, sesame seeds, and raisins.
Chocolate Energy Bars
The glitch with choosing energy bars from a store is whether the ingredients are just what you need – or with processed elements. The advantage of choosing a Gouri’s Goodies Energy Bar is a system of Clean Label – we offer exactly what we print. Ingredients that are easily available in the market, combined in a manner and exact proportions to give you the good nutrition your body requires. With options of Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate & Dark Chocolate Orange Energy Bars – you have a choice on your hands along with bonus nutrition of oat bran, flax seeds, sesame seeds, raisins and almonds.
Like we enjoy saying – Honestly, delicious!
Chocolate Chia Pudding
For those that do not like hectic mornings, this overnight pudding recipe is the perfect snack to carry or enjoy the next day (on your millionth WFH day!). All you need is:
- 1/4th cup cacao powder (choose the unsweetened variant!)
- 3-5 tbsp of maple syrup (choose honey as an alternative)
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 5 cups of almond milk or coconut milk
- ½ cup chia seeds
- Mix together the cacao powder, syrup, cinnamon, salt and vanilla in a bowl with a whisk. Add some of the milk, little at a time and whisk until a paste is formed. Add the remaining milk and whisk until smooth.
- Add chia seeds and whisk to combine the mixture. Refrigerate for at least 3-5 hours – easier is to refrigerate it overnight.
- Pull it out once you are ready to have it. Top it with your favourite granola.
Pro-tip – You can choose to crush any of the Gouri’s Goodies Chocolate Energy Bars into the mixture before refrigeration – this skips the maple/honey syrup and gives it the natural sweetness.
For topping – Gouri’s Goodies Cereal Mixes are the perfect topping for your pudding – giving you the additional nutrition boost you need! Choose from Mighty Oats Cereal Mix, Ragi Rhythm Cereal Mix, Rice Power Cereal Mix or the Magic Millet and Apricot Cereal Mix!
A perfect alternative to sugars in your recipes, chocolate should be incorporated wherever possible for a more nutritious alternative. Like the saying goes – the calories in chocolate don’t count, because chocolate comes from the cacao bean, and everyone knows that beans are good for you!