I don’t get too excited about this holiday for some reason. Maybe it’s because the month to me is more about Heart Healthy Month. What about you? How was your Feb 14th?
I love hearts and heart days, I really do! But I like to keep them beating. LOL! So yeah, though chocolate could be good for you with the cacao in it, everything around the cacao might not be so great, at least not all month long! Remember that cacao is a source of rich polyphenols and quite a few of them. But that’s the cacao itself not its tasty partner: sugar 🙂 AND we really aren’t sure if some of the potent flavonoids are lost in the processing methods. As of now, I’m still not sure which brand I like the best, but I will keep you informed once I figure it out!
Here are some other more unique ways (besides all the usual dessert ideas) to use just 100% unprocessed natural cacao powder or the nibs itself (use in small amounts and sparingly–it’s acidic and bitter without all the fat and sugar and don’t overdo any foods in general anyway! )
- Smoothies–add a teaspoon or so to the blender
- Overnight Oats–same idea
- Mole Sauce
- Any kind of chili–add a small amount to add complexity
- Use the nibs wherever you want crunch factor: i.e. homemade granola or trailmix
- Make a cacao and espresso rub for grilling (in moderation please)
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries–yes cliche and yes you do this with melted chocolate not cacao powder, but SOOO easy to prepare and you get your fiber and Vit C and other phytonutrients in the berries too and it satisfies a sweet tooth. Use a higher percentage such as 70 or 75% to reduce the sweetness/sugar. Skip the white chocolate.
In continuation of Heart Month, I was interviewed on a couple of recent live events by other providers interested in further awareness of cardiometabolic health. Check out last week’s interview with a colleague who is a gastroenterologist who is also interested in learning more about metabolic health and food-as-medicine. We talked about what kinds of tests I like, nutrigenomics, fatty liver, and more!