Healthy dark chocolate
HOW TO RESET YOUR TASTEBUDS WITH CHOCOLATE
Chocolate in small amounts can be good for you. But how do you know you are really eating pure chocolate? Could you in fact be consuming an adulterated knockoff?
The truth is most of the chocolate America eats is what we call “chocolate in disguise”. Why? Because chocolate Hershey’s Kisses, Milky Way and many bars out there are mostly made of white sugar, milk solids and very little chocolate-as little as 10% in some cases! Dark chocolate the healthier kind, can contain as little as 35%. Eating chocolate this way can make you gain weight, increase cravings, desensitize your taste buds and lead to a dysfunctional relationship with this fine dessert.
In this blogpost we will introduce a “3-day Chocolate reset” to help you eat chocolate as close to its whole food origins as possible. You will be taught this simple revolutionary tool to assist you in learning what pure chocolate really is, helping you change your cravings, balance your taste buds and eat more mindfully in the process. We know that if you taste the real thing you will find it hard to go back to low quality chocolate. And you will enjoy your chocolate treats in surprisingly smaller portions. You will also experience richer flavor while obtaining the maximum health benefits from low glycemic nutrient rich cocoa, the basic ingredient of chocolate. Best of all, this “reset” is not about restriction but about enjoyment.
Shall we get started? Here is how your reset is designed:
Part 1. We define “chocolate”.
Part 2. We give you strategies and tips to identify whole food based chocolate.
Part 3. You will eat only this kind of chocolate for a consecutive 3 day period.
Part 1. What is Chocolate?
Let’s start by understanding that the basics of chocolate come from a plant(see my previous posts on Where chocolate comes from). The theobroma cacao tree bears fruit from which cacao beans are derived. These beans are fermented, dried, usually roasted and then crushed into nibs. These nibs are then ground into something called cocoa mass then might be liquefied. At this juncture almost no processing has occurred and if you were to add a sweetener like raw cane sugar, vanilla or spices you would create chocolate in its purest form. This is how chocolate was consumed by the ancient Aztecs before the bean was discovered by the Spanish in the 16th century. And in this state is where you will discover what unadulterated chocolate actually tastes like. You would also get the greatest nutritional benefits if you ate it in this unprocessed form.
But mass-produced chocolate by companies like Nestle require several more processing steps. From the liquid it is processed into two parts- cocoa solids and cocoa butter. These parts are then combined with large amounts of refined white sugar, milk fat and various additives-amounts so high that the actual chocolate in the cocoa is overshadowed.
The numbers are eye-opening. According to the FDA most mass-produced chocolate requires only 15% cocoa parts. White chocolate requires only 10% and semisweet/bitter//dark chocolate requires only 35%. So that leaves us with the fact that roughly 65% of commercial chocolate consists of either sugar, milk and/or additives.
Here’s the ingredient label of a well known milk chocolate bar. Sugar is the first ingredient listed.
Milk chocolate : sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, lactose, skim milk, milkfat, soy lecithin, artificial flavor.
Part 2. Choosing Pure Chocolate
Now that you know how little coca there is in everyday chocolate here are the tools you need to find the pure stuff:
1) Buy only 70% or higher dark chocolate.
The first rule is to pick solid chocolate confections that are made mainly of cocoa and little else. The highest quality purest kind of chocolate is usually made up of no more than four to five ingredients: cocoa butter, cocoa solids or cocoa mass, sugar, an emulsifier like soy lecithin and vanilla. No milk and no additives. Most labels will give you a percentage on the front. This percentage pertains to the combined amount of cocoa butter and cocoa solids. If the label doesn’t give yoiu a percentage even though it says dark chocolate don’t buy it. The higher percentage the more antioxidants, the less sugar and most important the more rich and intense the chocolate flavor. Never buy a bar if sugar is its first ingredient.
2) Choose nibs
Cocoa nibs are as pure as you can get when it comes to tasting the entire cocoa bean. Nibs are simply the cocoa bean roasted, dried and crushed into tiny pieces.
3 Choose cocoa powder
Not quite as whole-food based as nibs, cocoa powder usually involves two further steps after the beans are crushed. They are liquefied then processed using a press to squeeze the butter out. What remains are the cocoa solids that are then transformed into powder. So if you are using cocoa powder to make chocolate milk your drink won’t contain any cocoa butter. The benefit to experiencing pure cocoa powder is that most of the antioxidants from cocoa beans are found in this part not in the butter.
Part 3) Start Your 3 day Reset
Now that you know some common forms of pure cocoa start eating it. Over a consecutive 3 day period only eat from the list below. Substitute your chocolate tastings for your daily dessert so your taste buds can fully acclimate to pure chocolate treats and not get confused by other sugary dessert foods. Over this reset you will discover a new gloriously rich rich chocolate flavor that is not masked by sugar and milk. You will tame your taste buds and prevent them from getting over stimulated by refined sugar. Indulge in one to two portions of the following per day:
Dessert Choice #1: Square chocolate pieces from a 70% or higher cocoa solid bar
Have a 1 1/2 inch square piece of a 70% or higher solid chocolate bar as your dessert. Read the ingredient list keeping in mind the notes from above. You will probably have to pay about $4.00 for this kind of bar but it will last you for several days.
Dessert Choice #2: Pooja’s Basic Hot Chocolate. Yield: i cup
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons pure unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1. In a heavy bottomed small sauce pan heat almond milk over medium low heat.
2. Turn heat to low, add cocoa and syrup and gently whisk until fully mixed and slightly frothy. Pour and enjoy hot.
Dessert choice #3: Pooja’s Chocolate Snack Bowl
Yield: Approximately 2 servings.
2/3 cup frozen organic raspberries
4 teaspoons pure maple syrup
6 tablespoons (3 oz.) old fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
1. In a heavy bottomed small sauce pan heat raspberries until mixture melts into a thick sauce, stirring gently over low heat. Stir in syrup. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Lightly toast oats using a fry pan over medium low heat, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Using two small ramekins plate dessert by pouring in 3 tablespoons of oats into each ramekin then adding 1 tablespoon of nibs as a second layer finishing by pouring 2 to 3 tablespoons of warm sauce over the top. Enjoy with a spoon, stirring before the first bite to experience all the flavors at once.
Congratulations! At the end of these 3 days you will have learned what most people never get to experience-what true chocolate really tastes like. You will have strong knowledge of what chocolates have been “spiked” and how to avoid them when you want to. You will have helped to partially reset your taste buds in the process and significantly lessened your crovings for commercial chocolate.
If you continue eating chocolate this way you will build a deeper appreciation for this powerhouse plant-based food that has become so heavily processed since its ancient origins.
If you are ready to change your health and your diet by staying true to whole-based foods eating and wish to experience the lusciousness of real chocolate as it is naturally meant to be eaten you now have the knowledge and tools to do it for life.
This post is reprinted from Recipes by Pooja Mottl 2011 Pooja Mottl. All rights reserved
And by David’s Delicious Chocolates http://www.davidsdeliciouschocolates.com the source for delicious healthy chocolates that are sugarless, low glycemic index, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, gluten-free and kosher. Check us out and continue to follow The Chocolate Postman.
We enjoy writing for you!